June 28, 2011

Samsung Experience Party: Coast to Coast Photo Post Exhibition

Snapped this lovely picture at the party.

Tonight I attended the Samsung Experience Party: Coast to Coast Photo Post Exhibition. It was a lot of fun! Select bloggers and other internet influencers took the Samsung SH100 camera across country taking pictures. The party featured all of the photos. What's so great about the camera is that it takes high quality photos and allows you to not only edit them on the camera, but instantly send the pics to Facebook, Twitter, etc. The tunes at the party were spun by Grandmaster Flash. Not a lot of people were dancing, which baffled me because when GRANDMASTER FLASH spins, you dance. No questions. Anyway, my lips are covered with the Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain in Gothic--my favorite color.

June 27, 2011

What Type of Nail Polish Remover Do You Use?

Nutra Nail Odor Free Non-Damaging Polish Remover

I recently started using Nutra Nail Odor Free Non-Damaging Polish Remover and I love it! Prior, I used the regular extra strength acetone nail polish remover because it's the best liquid to get off glitter nail lacquer. I love Nutra Nail's nail polish remover because it's odor free and always leaves my nails smooth. Now, I only get headaches from the fumes of my nail polish and not my remover. Ha! It's very oily, but I don't mind it. The extra oil is great for moisturizing my cuticles. Lastly, I only have to use ONE (THAT'S RIGHT, ONE) cotton ball to remove the layers of polish from all TEN finger nails! This is by far the BEST nail polish remover I have EVER used. It's a definite, must buy.

Sadly, I just finished my bottle and it's out of stock at my local CVS. Womp.

Do you have a favorite nail polish remover? Tell me about it!

The Beginnings of My Nail Polish Addiction

softball dara
I was trolling the pictures on my dad's computer and stumbled upon the gem to your left. That's right. I used to play softball. I mentioned on my other blog that I was an athlete growing up.

Anyway, take a closer look and you will see that I had my nails freshly painted for my picture. Seems like I've been a nail polish addict since I was a kid!

June 25, 2011

NAILS: Mermaid Hands™ 2.0

mermaid nails

After seeing that Cupcakes and Cashmere and I had the same idea about "mermaid" nails with Essie's Mint Candy Apple, I thought I'd give it a second try. I gave away my Essie nail polish, so I no longer have Mint Candy Apple. I do however have OPI's Mermaid's Tears. Befitting for this project. See how I got the above result below.

mermaid nails

mermaid nails
OPI Mermaid's Tears

mermaid nails
OPI Not Like The Movies

mermaid nails
OPI Simmer & Shimmer

mermaid nails
Mermaid Hands™ 2.0

June 24, 2011

Forever 21 Nail Polish - A Waste of My Money?

On a recent shopping trip, I bought the below nail polish at Forever 21. I love red, so I thought I could somehow use it in one of my nail painting ventures. We'll see. I'm just worried that I paid $2.50 for nail polish that is crap. I don't wear low quality nail polish (I gave away my Essie nail polish), and as we know, cheap is Forever 21's middle name.

Oh yeah, if you noticed, my my nails a bare. Sort of. I'm wearing Passion from OPI. I'm in between painting my nails as I type this post and using Passion as a base color coat for my next nail project.

nail polish forever21

June 23, 2011

Are You Over Celebrity Fragrances?

heidi klum shine fragrance

I'm not really a fan of celebrity fragrances. Unless, it smells very unique. I just feel like it is a way for a star to milk money off their name. I will say it is a smart business venture. But with so many perfumes and colognes out there, do we really need someone who didn't exactly study perfume making telling us how we should smell?

The last celeb perfume I remember absolutely loving was With Love by Hilary Duff. It was a scent like no other.

Heidi Klum just released a new fragrance called Shine and while I love the Klum, I'm curious see what Shine smells like.

Do you have a favorite celebrity fragrance?

Liya Kebede New Face of L'Oreal Paris

Liya Kebede
Succeeding Gwen Stefani (another one of my girl crushes), Liya Kebede is the new face of L'Oreal Paris. I love this woman (just take a look to your right). She is beautiful inside and out. She will represent the brand VERY well!

Liya said in a statement released, "It is important for me that I represent a brand that reflects my personality. I'm pleased to play a part in sharing the uniqueness, the charisma, and the incredible stories of women of all origins and from all regions of the world."

She's so articulate. I love it. Go Liya!!

June 22, 2011

Red Lips & Red Nails

I think matching your lips and nails is a chic idea! Next time I plan on wearing a red lipstain, I'll paint my nails red! Would you match your lips and your nails?

Harper’s Bazaar Russia July/August 2011 Cover | Zoe Saldana by Katie Bleacher & Dean Everard
Harper’s Bazaar Russia July/August 2011 Cover

June 20, 2011

MUST BUY: Qtica Extending Top Coat & Half Time Polish Drying Accelerator

Qtica Extending Top Coat
Qtica Half Time Polish Drying Accelerator

I'm obsessed. OBSESSED.

The top coat allows my nail polish to last for a long time without chipping. I change my nail polish almost every 4 days, so that's not a long time. However, prior to using the Qtica Extending Top Coat, my nail polish chipped after two days. I truly enjoy going four to five days with a seemingly perfect manicure.

Qtica Half Time Polish Drying Accelerator speeds up the nail lacquer drying process. This makes it really easy for me to do my scotch tape manicures and layer on polishes.

Both products are pricey for the size of the bottles, but worth every penny.

Would You Pay $125 for Acne Cream?

My night cream

Six months ago, this happened:
PHARMACIST: "That'll be $125."
PHARMACIST: "It looks like your insurance no longer covers Azelex."
ME: "You're joking..........."

I begrudgingly forked over $125. Six months later, after I switched insurance companies, I thought I'd see if the new one covered my night cream. Turns out, it doesn't. I'm kind of curious as to why this happened. I've found that the only reason insurance companies don't cover certain topicals is when they think the product is too risky.

I have been using Azelex since I was 10 years old (I'm now 22), so I'm baffled as to why the sudden change in coverage. Combined with my prescribed day lotion, it leaves my face seemingly flawless. It's amazing and blows that ProActive crap out of the water.

This time around, I told the Pharmacist to forget renewing my prescription for Azelex. I'm going to have to hit up my Dermatologist for new and affordable zit cream or find an over-the-counter alternative. If I had cash flowing out of my ears, I would definitely pay the $125. However, I do think that's an unreasonable price for a face cream! Am I right?

Would you pay $125 for acne cream?

I Broke the Lip Balm of My Revlon Lipstain!

Don't worry. I fixed it! I grabbed the broken lip balm piece, set the bottom on fire and quickly reattached it. This trick worked like magic! The proof is in the photos below. You can try this on lipstick as well. Just be sure to put the lipstick in the fridge to seal the fire fix. I'm not sticking my lipstain in the fridge simply because I don't know what will happen to the actual lipstain. I don't want to risk ruining my favorite color!

revlon just bitten lipstain
revlon just bitten lipstain
revlon just bitten lipstain

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

As you know, I'm in love with my Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. Below are some quick snaps of me using the mask.

Boscia's Luminizing Black Mask

Boscia's Luminizing Black Mask

Manicure Inspired By Gucci Resort 2012

gucci resort 2012
The resort collections are truly embracing the color block trend. This is one fashion look I absolutely adore. It goes with my simple sense of style. My last nail polish color block inspiration was Rachel Roy's Resort 2012 collection. This week, I chose Gucci.

I knew I had to recreate the look on my nails when I saw the photo. With an orange base and a double french tip, this is by far my favorite manicure. Ever.

Orange: Orange Punch from Orly
Purple: African Violet from American Apparel
White: White Light from SpaRitual

See the process in photo form below.

gucci resort 2012

gucci resort 2012

gucci resort 2012

gucci resort 2012

June 16, 2011

SUMMER SLIMDOWN: My Last Midnight Snack

hot dog

I've decided to do a prune juice cleanse. Yeah. You read that right. I haven't really been keeping up with my Summer Slimdown, so it's time I take drastic measures. Today, I am going to drink a cup of prune juice (Sunsweet NOT from concentrate) and then either go for a walk or go shopping--same thing, right? There's a lot of walking involved in shopping :).

That hot dog is my last midnight snack for the rest of the summer. May the force be with me because Lord knows I love a good midnight dish.

June 15, 2011

NAILS: Green & Pink Colorblocking

I dabbled in more nail polish colorblocking. This one came out more Christmas than watermelon than I expected. I wasn't going to put Glow Up Already! from OPI in the middle, but I didn't like the way the colors looked just on top of one another.

China Glaze Starboard

POP Pinkest



June 14, 2011

My Facial Sunscreen of Choice: Clean & Clear Finishes Mattifying Moisturizer

Clean & Clear Finishes Mattifying Moisturizer
The FDA recently released new guidelines for sunscreen distributors.

SPF 50 will be the max to be put on labels because they found that there is no data that proves sunscreens marked higher than SPF 50 protect you more from the sun's rays than SPF 50. In addition, sunscreens that are SPF 15 or higher are the only ones that can say "they reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, when used as directed."

Do you use sunscreen daily? I do if I know I'm not going to wear makeup because my Bare Escentuals foundation has a SPF of 15. Any sun protecting product should have a minimum of SPF 15. Lower than that and you're at what the FDA calls a "broad spectrum" and you're not getting a sufficient amount of UVA/UVB protection. My facial sunscreen of choice is Clean & Clear Finishes Mattifying Moisturizer. I have oily skin, so the more matte a product, the happier I'll be.

June 12, 2011

What's Your Favorite Type of Mask?

peeling mask
Mine is a mask that peels like the one pictured to the left. I have a situation going on around my forehead and to deal with the sudden pimply mess, I took immediate force.

Last night I exfoliated with my St. Ives Apricot scrub and used Freeman's Feeling Beautiful Cucumber Facial Peel-Off Mask. A couple nights before that, I used Boscia's Luminizing Black Mask. I love both mask not only because of what they do, but also because of how I have to remove them.

Peeling the masks off my face makes me feel like I'm tearing off a layer of my skin like some type of zombie. It's fun!! The method of my mask madness is that one unclogged my pores, while the other renewed my skin. It seems like my plan worked because my zits have zipped down a size. Woohoo!

Manicure Inspired By Rachel Roy Resort 2012

rachel roy resort 2012
I recently stumbled upon a great nail blog called Nailside. What I love about this blogger is that she uses scotch tape to make crazy and cool designs. After seeing photos from Rachel Roy's Resort 2012 collection, I got inspired to do my own scotch tape manicure. I decided to use the image to the left to color block my nails.

Both nail lacquers are from Orly. I started with a base of Frisky. After an hour or two (I wanted to be extra sure it was dry), I placed the tape over my nails and began painting away with Orange Punch. The perfectionist inside of me was pleased with my results. The tape allows you to create perfectly straight lines!

See the process below.

rachel roy resort 2012
rachel roy resort 2012
rachel roy resort 2012

June 9, 2011

NAILS: First Time Wearing China Glaze

China Glaze Starboard
China Glaze in Starboard

This was my first time wearing a China Glaze nail lacquer. I am impressed, but slightly annoyed. The China Glaze nail polish is thick and dries quickly. So quick, applying a second layer caused a gloppy look that made my nails dry with bubbles. It's partially my fault because I like to slab on a thick layer of paint to make sure my entire nail gets covered. China Glaze solidifies that all I need is a thin layer and I'm good to go.

Time To Grow Out My Hair?

dara long hair
Me during the summer of 2009

Last night I had a weird dream. I was getting ready to go out and I had LONG HAIR!! This baffled me when I woke up because I haven't had hair past my ears in a very long time. However, I wonder if this is my subconcious telling me it's time for a new do? I don't know, because my hair is at the perfect short length for me. I do have an itch to have long locks again. I'm anti-weave, so getting shoulder length hair will take some time. Needless to say, I did find that my hair grows at a more rapid rate ever since I chopped off my tresses.

June 7, 2011

Is It Time To Invest In A Silk Pillow Case?

dara not wearing a scarf
The other day I tweeted the picture to your left and wrote, "Don't wear a scarf to bed, wake up looking like Coolio. #blackgirlproblems"

It's the truth. There are days I just want to be lazy and not put on a scarf. You see, a scarf keeps my hair texture from becoming super dry and frizzy. My hair needs all the moisture it can get and a scarf helps my hair retain its natural oils. In addition, my hair remains shiny and healthy.

A friend of mine recently told me she sleeps on a silk pillow--something I thought about investing in, but never made the moves to do. She said she doesn't worry about her scarf falling off her head at night because she sleeps on a silk pillow.

A silk pillow is not just a black girl investment. It's an investment for girls in general! It'll help you prevent bed-head, or uh, Coolio locks in the morning. In addition, you won't get those pesky pillow creases on your face!

Yup. I think I'm going to find the time and means to retrieve a silk pillow case.

June 6, 2011

SUMMER SLIMDOWN: Dinner is Served!


Summer Slimdown is a struggle, but it's happening. Last night I had brown rice, veggies and baked chicken for dinner. I put it in this small to medium sized bowl so I could have portion control and not overeat.

Brown rice is filled with fiber, which is essential to boosting a metabolism. The veggies offer me the vitamins I may have missed throughout the day. And as a meat lover, I will never go without eating chicken. Baked chicken is a great alternative to fried. It's healthier, yet still finger-licking-good.

Two words: BELLY FULL.

NAILS: Mixed Metal with Zoya Jules

zoya in jules
Zoya in Jules

Over the weekend, I headed up north for my friend Zooey's graduation party. I was pressed for time, so 45 minutes before I drove to her soiree, I painted my nails with Zoya Jules. It's rare I ever keep my nails one color. I just felt that this nail lacquer was festive enough for the event. The cool thing about the nail polish is that in certain lights it either looks gold or silver.

June 2, 2011

Perfect Lips with A Kiss Of Hope

philosophy lip treatment kiss of hope
Philosophy Kiss Of Hope Lip Treatment
After a recent conversation with a girlfriend, I thought it was time I address a certain black bullet in my purse.

"What is that?" Asked one of my friends as I pulled Philosophy's Kiss Of Hope Lip Treatment from my purse. "That's one serious chapstick."

I corrected her, "It's not a chapstick! It's a lip treatment and it keeps my lips smoother than butter. Ha!"

She grabbed it from me and chuckled. "It says, 'a kiss is worth hoping for' hm."

"Yeah, my philosophy is the more I wear it, the more likely I am to get kissed by my Prince Charming."

"OK, crazy."

I snatched the lip treatment back from her and put it on... Five seconds later, the most beautiful man I have ever seen walked past us and asked me to marry him... HA, I wish.

But anyway, when I'm not wearing one of Revlon's Just Bitten lipstains, I am spreading my lips with Philosophy's Kiss Of Hope creamy lip treatment. It's the absolute best! My lips remain hydrated for a very long time. I usually only apply it twice a day. When I used Blistex, I would have to apply it more than four times a day! Kiss Of Hope is enriched with SPF 15, so it's perfect for the summer sun. It also has a refreshing vanilla-mint scent. A little on the expensive side (it cost $16!!), but a total bang for your buck.

June 1, 2011

Should I Go Blonde?

eva marcille in vibe
Eva Marcille in VIBE
As if! I would never go blonde. I am scared my hair would fall out and my Nigerian mother would slap me silly! The only way I would ever go blonde is with a wig, as seen in my previous post.

However, I do think it's a great look on the right brown-skinned beauty. Blonde hair and black women is a trend that is growing rapidly. Beyonce, Eva Marcille and Ajak Deng wear it so well! I think it's an edgy look and not for every black woman.

Let me digress.

As I was driving in my car with one of my friends, we hit a red light and he said, "I don't understand why black women go blonde. It doesn't look very nice and the only person I know that wears it well is Beyonce! She looks so good blonde, it's a kind of scary-beautiful."

I turned to him and said, "Yeah. I know. It's not a color for every black woman. If a black woman decided to go blonde, she better have a good colorist or she'll be left looking like a fool."

And as I finished my sentence, I turned my head to the left and saw a young black girl walking with a strawberry blonde weave as her black hair peaked out underneath. I said, "And there goes an example of what it shouldn't look like. What, a travesty!"

"Travesty," he repeated.

So what am I saying? I'm saying blonde hair has to be done right. The shade of blonde must fit your skin tone. And if you wear a weave, make sure it's Beyonce fabulous.


What is Motions Telling Us About Black Hair?

dara adeeyo wearing a wig
Wiggin' out!
When I opened my weekly email from totalbeauty.com, and saw that there was a post entitled Must-Have Products for African-American Women, I gasped with excitement. I thought I could attain some true advice. Well, I was wrong. The slideshow of products was sponsored by Motions, which is a distributor of African-American hair care and styling products.

Most of the products in the slideshow were super general, mentioning that the respective item could be used on all skin types. I scratched my head when I read this because the gallery was not addressing all skin types. It was showcasing products specific for African-American women.

Anyway, that's besides the point because I saw the effort in the article and can appreciate that. I was more so annoyed by the blatant product placement of Motions hair care products. While the slideshow was sponsored by Motions, Motions is not the only maker of styling products for women of color.

This then got the wheels in my brain going. I feel like Motions is the poster child for black hair care. It is the only product that is shoved in the public's face. Don't get me wrong, I love Motions. Heck, I use their pommade every single day. I just think that it is saying something about black hair that I find perplexing.

When you look at a box of any Motions product, the model usually has shiny and seemingly movable "fabulous" hair. A little Dara (me) sees this and begs her mommy to buy the Motions shampoo, conditioner and etc. so she can look like the model on the box. And as expected, the little girl's hair comes out looking nothing like the picture on the box (read: disappointed Dara). Granted, this scenario goes for most black hair care product advertisements. We are promised weave-fabulous hair and end up with something very different.

There are other products out there that do just as good a job as (sometimes, better than) Motions. I ultimately think that Motions is sending a message to the less-wise that what they advertise is what black women want their hair to look like. But hm. Isn't it?

Let's discuss! Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

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