Best Mascara for Long Lashes

Sky high lashes- my secret

Lashes. In my opinion, they’re probably the most important feature of a makeup routine besides eyebrows. Eyebrows frame the face, eyelashes draw people to your eyes – the windows to your soul. Great lashes are the difference between a cute, “blend in with the crowd” face and one that will be imprinted in the minds of everyone you pass by. Sure I may be embellishing a little bit, but you all know what I mean. We’ve all seen the difference between the face of a beauty guru before they apply their favourite mascara or pair of falsies and after….it’s monumental.

I like the almond shape of my eyes, but as you’ll see below, I was blessed with neither large eyes nor thick visible lashes. This often prevents my makeup from having that, “BAM!” effect, and left me feeling unsatisfied with my makeup routine….

….then a couple weeks ago, I found the answer!

First, I made sure to really focus on using a lengthening mascara. I’ve been using the L’oreal Voluminous Miss Manga mascara which I LOVE. First, the brush is cone shaped, so it makes it much easier to grab the eyelashes from the inner corner to the outer. The brush is also flexible at the top, so it makes it even less of a challenge to grab each and every lash. I apply this by running the brush from root to tip from the top of my lashes instead of from the bottom. This way, I feel like I get the ultimate grip over my lashes. After this, I layer with my Lancome Hypnose/Drama mascara. I never used to layer, but using a thickening mascara over the lengthening one has really helped boost the look of my lashes as you can see above.  The brush on this is pretty average in my opinion, but since the bristles vary in length they seem to distribute product on the lashes in a unique way.

I know you’re probably wondering why I don’t just use a thickening + lengthening mascara? Answer: this works for me. I’ve tried that in the past, and I don’t get anywhere near the same results as I do using this combination.

Have you tried either of these mascaras? What’s your favourite?




#WebWednesday| My morning at Caravan Stylist Studio

caravan stylist studio

It’s the middle of the week thank gawd! I hope everyone’s week has been great so far.

It has been exactly one week since I visited Caravan Stylist Studio for their Girl in the City event, which you can read about here. If you don’t feel like clicking the link, it was basically a chance to mingle with other female interns in fashion realm, those interning in the beauty industry and other creative industries, as well as beauty and fashion bloggers all while learning great tips and tricks about skincare, makeup, and hair.

The day was broken up into three separate sessions: “Barefaced Beauty; Natural and Clean,” “Go to Summer Beauty Bag,” and “Braids and Buns.” I chose the first session, “Barefaced Beauty,” as I am looking for all kinds of ways to make my routine as quick and natural as possible during the school year. Classes, work, and extracurricular activities? No time for a beat face!

The sessions were hosted in Caravan’s studio located in the Gregory Hotel NYC, a boutique hotel that just opened this year I believe, in the Garment District in Manhattan.

PicMonkey Collage

I arrived about 10 minutes early, so 9:20 A.M., and waited in the lobby. At 9:30, I made my way to the second floor where their studio was located. After stepping inside, we were greeted by members of the Caravan team, as well as the current interns, all of whom were very kind 🙂 We were each handed a bag of products with items from the brands they sponsor. Below are just a couple of the items I received. I’ll have a gallery of items at the end of the post so you can check them out at your leisure!

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 6.33.36 PM
p.s. this picture is from my IG, you should follow if you’re not

After we were all seated and settled, we were introduced to everyone, and Valerie, the beauty director of Caravan took over. First, she had us go around and talk about our current skincare routines (what we use – cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens, etc…). In between each of us sharing our routines, she would make suggestions on how to tweak products and the like to better suit our skin, as well as discuss general skincare tips.

For example, she recommended taking a look at Lift Lab Skin Care, one of the brands they partner with, as their products are top quality and deliver fantastic results. She herself swears by them. She also recommended Cetaphil moisturizer for the face, as it is very gentle and is suitable for most skin types. She stressed the importance of serums, and a few different types for different skin care needs (discoloration/brightening, smoothing, etc…). She also discussed incorporating eye creams into our skin care routines, as that area can be very prone to wrinkling since the skin is so thin and there are no oil glands in the area. A little bit goes a long way since the skin around the eye draws in the product exactly where it needs to be. The sensitivity of this area was emphasized, so she said that it’s important to apply the creams with the ring finger (since it applies with the least amount of pressure). It is important not to apply too much cream, as applying too much can cause eye infections and/or clog up your tear ducts.

After that, we went around and discussed our skin types and other skin concerns. In between each sharing, Valerie suggested products that could be used (or taken away) to maximize the benefits to our skin. For example, for some of the girls who stated that their skin was more sensitive, she recommended that any exfoliating be kept to once or twice a week, and only during the night. Any more than that can cause micro abrasions to the skin, and interrupt the healing that the skin does at night. Exfoliating too much with too harsh of an exfoliant does not allow the skin to repair itself in an adequate time frame, thus you make it more prone to issues. For me specifically, since I discussed problems with mild hyper-pigmentation (especially considering that I have darker skin), she recommended that I look into a vitamin C serum for brightening. She recommended a rice based exfoliator since it is more gentle.

Interspersed between these suggestions were small displays of products (which I’ll put below). One of the ones that caught my attention was the Foreo, a skincare device by Luna. For the sake of brevity (which I have already breached – oops), you can click the hyperlink to read more about it. I think I will be investing in one though. The benefits of this product over a product like the Clarisonic, for example, intrigued me.

All in all, I learned a lot about how to properly take care of the skin so that you not only provide a good base for makeup application and ensure that it looks great, but in the long run you look #flawless as you age.




Strobing, the New Contour?

From bold, perfectly concealed around brows to “gone with the wind lashes,” to dramatic eyeliner, to baking…it seems like the mainstream makeup world is always wrapping its hands around something new.


browslashesbold linesbaking/cooking

 After Kim K’s picture/video surfaced with her face in pre-contour mode, everyone went crazy! There was no escaping the bright concealer under the eyes, on the chin, down the bridge of the nose, and right between the brows. The streaks of darker makeup on the temples, sides of the nose, and in the hollow cheeks were never missed. Chiseled features and cheekbones to slay the gawds were common place….forever….everywhere.

More recently however (especially since it’s the summer time), people have been opting for less of a defined, sculpted, time consuming method of defining the face for a more youthful and brightening technique…strobing.

PicMonkey Collage


Strobing basically helps you achieve what you can through contouring, except it sticks to using highlighting to achieve the desired effect. You are highlighting areas of your face you’d like to stand out, but on 10. It’s highlighting on crack. It’s as simple as that. It isn’t anything that people weren’t doing before, it just has a name now.

When strobing, you want to focus your highlighters on your standard areas as seen in the below graphic. This helps create more of a natural, glowing look. You want to be careful not to apply too much though, as you can come off looking like a glittery disco ball. Worst off, if you are someone with oily skin, you WILL look like an oil slick after a few hours. Be very cognizant of the products you use so that you strike just the right chord.



Here are some products to help you as you practice strobing! It’s much simpler and forgiving than contouring, so it’s worth a try 🙂

image credit links// 1 2 34 56 7

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Best BB Cream Ever for Brown Skin! Kiss Aqua BB Beauty Balm Review

kiss ny aqua bb cream-first impression

It’s the end of the week!

Can I get an Amen?!

Anyway, I only received this product yesterday, but I’m already in love. I can see this becoming a staple in my makeup routine for months to come (or until I come across something new, whatever.)

What product am I talking about? None other than the Kiss New York Aqua BB Cream!

First, let me tell yall something…stop sleeping on beauty supply store makeup!!!! Yes it’s inexpensive, yes it may not be as popular or circulated among makeup junkies, but the stuff is bomb. Some of my holy grail products have come from not Sephora, not M.A.C, not Nordstrom (couldn’t even if I wanted to on my college student budget)….but the good ole beauty supply store. The LA Girl Pro Concealers that many rave about can be found right in these beauty supply stores (in certain neighborhoods of course.) Basically, don’t turn your nose up to the Beauty Supply Store.

With that being said, let me stop rambling.

This BB cream is about $8, and it comes in 6 shades that cater to women with darker shades of skin (so this is perfect for my fellow black makeup lovers out there. It comes with 1.42 fluid ounces of product, so there’s a bit more in there than your standard 1 fl. oz. product. You can definitely tell that there’s a lot of product in there once you feel the container.

It comes in tube packaging with a squeeze dispenser….like a fat toothpaste tube, so you get a lot of control over the product. The shade I got was medium, and I think it matches me pretty well. I have neutral/warm undertones, and this was pretty much in that range in my opinion. There could be a little more variation in terms of the undertones of the shades, since most of them are pretty warm in my opinion. Anyway, they recommend applying the product with your fingers, but I’m bougie so I don’t lol. I applied the product with my favourites brush, the EcoTools Buffing Brush, and it gave me amazing coverage.

I swear I only applied one layer of product….not even a dime sized amount! It gave me the coverage of a medium/full coverage foundation! This was only my first day using it, but it most certainly lives up to its claims to:

Even your skin tone

Cover and conceal

Brighten and refresh

…and refine pores and regenerate skin

I find that with other BB creams (granted I’ve only tried two others), the coverage is okay, but still closer to that of tinted moisturizer. Again, I haven’t tried any high end brand BB creams, but this one does it for me. The coverage is great, it isn’t really oily (I didn’t have to blot my face), and the consistency isn’t thick so it’s perfect for these hot, humid, summer days.

All in all, I give this a preliminary 11/10. I really like this product and I can’t wait to see how it performs in the next few weeks.

Have any of you tried this BB Cream before?

You can check it out here on Kiss New York’s Website, here on SamsBeauty, and here on Amazon if you can’t access it at a beauty supply store.

Have a great weekend!

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“The Stained Glass” 

Happy Wednesday!

Dropping in quickly to do something a little different. Here is a poem I wrote a little while back called “The Stained Glass”

The stained glass
Prized for its broken and blemished pieces
Such beauty
Coveted by many
So why can’t the same
Be said for me
When no one gleans
At my shattered pieces
Into a masterpiece
Beckoning to be seen

-Courtenay S

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**poem is mine. do not copy**

#WebWednesdays| Liebster Award, BBHMM!

Happy Wednesday Everyone 🙂 To keep things short and sweet, as you can see from the title, I’ll be discussing my Liebster Award, Rihanna’s violent, badass, slap in the face video for “B*tch Better Have My Money”, and a new feature I want to roll out: Blog Spotlight. Onward!

The lovely Hope from LancoraPerla nominated me for a Liebster Award a couple weeks ago. I have to apologize for only getting to it now, as things got quite busy as school started wrapping up and I started my internship. With that out of the way, onto the details:


liebster (1)

Answers to questions|

  1. What are the top 3 things on your bucket list? First, get a tattoo from every continent applied in a traditional way (not traditional by modern/Western standards). Second, experience modeling for a day possibly. Third, ride an elephant for a few miles somewhere.
  2. Which beauty product can you not live without? Only one, huh? I suppose concealer. I’m going to cheat and throw mascara in there as well. My eyes are so tiny and I need the boost to open them up a little more.
  3. What’s your favourite song? I never have one steady favourite. It’s hard for me to even choose one at the moment. I have been listening to “Sobriety” by SZA a lot again recently. 
  4. What’s the most important quality you look for in a partner? Loyalty.
  5. Name a colour that best describes your personality Blue. I think blue is a pretty serene and calming colour. I don’t need much in order to be content, nor do I expect much out of others.
  6. What is your favourite quote? “Speak softly but carry a big stick.” People talk a lot without backing their words up.
  7. What aspect of your appearance do you love the most? My eyes 🙂
  8. Describe your favourite outfit A simple black midi trapeze dress. It’s soft, flowy, and simple. Plus….no pants!
  9. Why did you decide to start blogging? I wanted another outlet and somewhere I could share my love of beauty products. I’m most likely going to change the description of the blog to include more lifestyle things, as I have had more to talk about in that aspect recently. I think that I have more to offer just discussing life things rather than solely beauty.
  10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Hopefully with a steady job able to slowly pay off my student loans. Well, let me speak it into existence – I will have a job and I will be paying off my loans.

My Questions|

1. Do you prefer patterns or plain?

2. Do you often doubt your decisions?

3. Write music or listen to it?

4. What is one country you’d like to visit and why

5. What is the last movie you watched?

6. What is the most influential book/article/etc you have read recently?

7. What is one bold change to your style you would make if you weren’t scared?

8. Least favourite fruit?

9. Favourite vegetable?

10. What is something you hope to have accomplished a month from now?

check out the blogs I nominated at the end of the post!

B*tch Better Have My Money!!

YAAAAAASSSSSSS RIH RIH GIRL!!!!!!! I don’t care WHAT any of you say, I loved this video. “Oh it’s too violent!” or “it’s there’s too much nudity!” orrrrrrr “she’s using drugs oh my gosh!” save it and click the “X” button right now. There will be none of that talk here.

I thought this was funny more than anything. I could be wrong, but was this a huge spit in the face to her ex accountant who made her bankrupt a few years back? To make a video so blatantly calling someone out on their ish, and in such a theatric way is hilarious to me. Plus, she looks fantastic (as always)

If you haven’t seen the video and want to, click play below. If you have and you want to be snatched again, click below. Otherwise scroll past this part of the post and shhhhhh.

That’s all for now 🙂 Hope you all enjoyed! Check out the blogs I mentioned for the Liebster Award below, and remember to follow me on TWITTER & INSTAGRAM


blogs// Hope (LancoraPerla), Chantal (Chantal & Shekinah), Pilot Zone, 4 Year Old Adult, TV Show Consultant, The Simple Beginner, Have I Got News Pour Vous?, Glimmer of Happiness, Itz Been Real, SilkyResh

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops Review Dark Skin

makeup monday- a review

Hey everyone. I know it’s been a while, but I’m going to try to post a bit more frequently. Between the end of the semester, final exams, starting my new internship, and handling some personal stuff, I just haven’t been making the time to post. I hope you all have been fine, and I’m excited to get back into the swing of things. I’m probable going to change my posting schedule for the summer only because posting during the week is kind of difficult given my schedule, but I’ll work that out later.

Anyhow, in order to ring in things, I’d like to start off this summer with a review of what has easily been my favourite product for the past month and then some: the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops.

I usually don’t give into Youtube hype…usually, but this was a must. I watched video after video in awe. There’s really a product out there that provides so much customization?! And in so many shades?! Something had to give…it sounded too good to be true.

Determined to find out if this was worth the hype, and find an excuse to go to Sephora, I purchased the drops.

IMG_0240 IMG_0241 IMG_0242

As I said, I went to Sephora and was colour matched to shade N100. QUICK NOTE: These drops are not foundation. They are to be mixed with another liquid, oil, or silicone based product (i.e. primer, facial oil, moisturizers, foundations, etc…) in order to create a better shade match and/or customize your coverage.

With that being said, I started using this product immediately, and since I purchased them in late April/beginning of May, I have to say I give them a 10/10. Let’s go about the review based on it’s claims:

From a sheer tint to total coverage, Custom Cover Drops lets you achieve your desired coverage. Blend it with anything liquid to create your desired coverage, including moisturizers, serums, oils, primers, foundations, and tinted moisturizers that are water-, oil-, or silicone-based. These revolutionary drops feature Flash Fusion Technology™, so as soon as you drop, it leaves behind pigment that weightlessly transforms your favorite beauty product into the sheerest tint or a total coverage foundation. Simply adjust your coverage by the number of drops you add. The pigments are coated with lecithin, which is biochemically similar to the skin, to ensure seamless blending, precise control, and the smoothest application.

  • “Custom Cover Drops lets you achieve your desired coverage.”/”…as soon as you drop, it leaves behind pigment that weightlessly transforms your favourite beauty product into the sheerest tint or total coverage foundation.”

I’ve used these drops with primer, moisturizer, liquid foundation, and BB cream, and I’ve had nothing but success with each of these products. During the day, I am able to use 1-2 drops to achieve a really nice and office wearable face. Here’s a picture: IMG_0107

When I want more of a beat face, when I’m going out for example, I use 3-4 drops for more full coverage. Here is a picture:  IMG_0418 Clearly I don’t like to smile >.< Anyway, the spectrum of coverage with this product is amazing, and since everything revolves around just a few drops, the .5 fl oz’s of product is bound to last you a while. I’ve been using these virtually every day for about a month and a half to two months now and I still have a long way to go before everything is finished.

  • “Blend it with anything liquid…”

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve used this with my Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream, Black Radiance BB Cream, BH Cosmetics Foundation, NYX Photo Finish Primer, and Cocoa Butter lotion. Each of these products has been given a new life because of these drops. In the case of the primer, wearing that alone with just 3 drops of the drops was enough to give me great coverage for the day (topped with a powder of course since I can tend to get oily). Once just using primer became played out in my makeup routine, I turned to incorporating it into my summer routine which consists mainly of my BB Creams. In both cases, I am able to maintain the light feel of the BB Creams without sacrificing coverage which I love. It’s so hot, and I hate the feeling of sticky makeup on my face. I hate when I sweat and I can just feel this layer of bleh on my face as the droplets form and slide down my face. It’s a great feeling to look like you just walked out of a beauty studio without sacrificing breathable skin.  Specifically regarding the Maybelline BB Cream, I am able to adjust it to my skin colour perfectly, as I have the shade Medium/Deep. I was worried about oxidizing so I got it a shade up from the darkest one, but when I first apply it, it can look a bit light. Once I powder and all that it’s fine, but it’s nice to have it just look fine freshly applied to the face. The correcting properties have been especially helpful in the case of my BH Cosmetics liquid foundation which turned out to be too dark for me, and also couldn’t reach a full coverage. The drops help get it to just the right colour and coverage for me.

  • “…ensure seamless blending, precise control, and the smoothest application.”

Yes, to everything. Just yes.

The only issues I can see people having with this might be how they choose to blend these with other liquid products, thus not allowing them to get the full benefit of the drops. Also, people might mistake it for a foundation, which they stress not to, so they might judge them from that standpoint. Overall, I think these are a revolutionary product that everyone should at least try.

That’s all! I might try posting a video or something to show how I use these.

Happy Monday!


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