Getting out of the Holiday blues

For years I hated the holidays. I’ve always seen the holidays time as full of hurt, and a lot of headache. I have a huge family and I love my family very much. But over the years I’ve tended to separate myself from some of my family because of their negativity and attitudes.

This year I decided to go at the holidays alone and to my surprise I didn’t contract holiday Blues this year. I’ve been spending way more time with my kids. Who’s hilarious, by the way. My kids help to keep me grounded. Sometimes I think if I didn’t have my kids I wouldn’t be as much fun.

So this Thanksgiving, my family and I had Thanksgiving here at home. I cooked all the traditional Thanksgiving food that I love to cook for my family each year. We ate, we talked, we drank, and repeated until we all passed out for the night. I must say it was the most fun that I’ve had with my little family here, my husband, my two kids and his brother who currently lives with us.

There was no drama, no fussing, no stress. And this is how I would like every holiday to go but unfortunately I know it won’t be so, or can it be?

I’ve been working on the rest of the Holiday season and how I would like for it to go. Remember, plans will always change. Leave room for the unexpected. I have delegated certain tasks so that I’m not overwhelmed. Done is always better than perfect.

I’ve opted out of heavy decor this year. I have two little monsters that I will keep busy by letting them make the decorations (that I have strategically located online) and put up the tree. Michael’s craft store has been a real time saver for all of the decor and crafts for kids.

Finally, my menu is simple. Minimum leftovers predicted. I’ll have plenty of time to mingle and celebrate. I’ve also gotten plenty of disposable dishes and pans. Minimum cleaning predicted also. This planning didn’t take long and wasn’t complicated. Mostly clever and common sense. I don’t know why I didn’t think of all this before.

I realized that most of my stress and anxiety associated with the holidays is caused by my constant pursuit of perfection. I’ve been chasing a ghost. Perfection does not exist. I don’t have to impress my family. They could care less about the decorations or our outfits for that matter. They’re just happy to celebrate with us and that is just what the holidays are about. Family.

I wish each and every one of you a happy, safe and blessed holiday season. I hope to see you all in 2019.

Happy holidays!

Profusion 6 piece Kiss me up matte lipstick review

I stumbled across this set in my local Dollar General store and it caught my eye. With all the matte lip trends I felt compelled to give this product a try. I already have an obsession about lipstick as it is. I just had to pick up this set. The lipstick packaging looks very sleek and They have a clear stripe so you can see each color. These are a comfortable formula with no real smell or taste. I love the feel of these lipsticks and they have at least a five hour wear without eating or drinking. They are not transfer proof which I wasn’t expecting for the price.

This is a great starter set for someone who wants to experiment with matte lipstick. Most matte lipsticks cost a pretty penny and it’s best not to dive in and invest before knowing if a matte lip is for you. I definitely needed to try matte lip before investing and I like how it looks so far. I’m a medium deep skintone and most of these lipsticks I had to use a lipliner with to tone down the color. This wasn’t a con for me because I usually wear a lipliner with any lipstick I wear anyway. The wear time is okay but the feel is amazing. They feel very moisturizing on the lips and don’t dry your lips out like most matte lipsticks do.

I would definitely recommend these to a friend and will repurchase more lippies from Profusion.

 

 

One month postpartum update and dealing with depression

On October 10, 2016 we gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. We named her Gwendolyn.

 At first for me this was a struggle to admit to myself that I was even pregnant. I found out I was pregnant on March 1, 2016. I was six weeks and five days along at this point and it was hard to believe. My son is now six years old and with all the trouble I had conceiving, I just thought I wasn’t going to have any more children. I really prayed and asked God for a child when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I was almost 14 weeks along when I found out I was pregnant with him and I must admit it was easier and quicker than this pregnancy. I’m a firm believer in God and I don’t remember asking him for a little girl, but I must admit, I was a bit envious of all the newborn babies I was seeing at the time. Everywhere I went it seemed like someone had a new baby girl. Maybe deep in my heart, I might have whispered that prayer. God blessed me with what my heart was desiring so, that means that the Bible is true. God will give his true and faithful the desires of their heart.

I had a lot of new symptoms with this pregnancy that I didn’t with my son. The swelling of my hands, legs, and feet were the worst. I like to move around and stay busy and the swelling just would not let me do that. I was so miserable and whiny. I also had a lot of shortness of breath with this one. I am already a high risk because of my diabetes. At the end I was ready to throw in the towel. I was so emotional and miserable and I had started to get preeclampsia, which prompted my doctor to deliver a couple of weeks early. I was so happy to finally be done with it and have my little bundle of joy in my arms. My excitement and joy came across a hurdle. My daughter had to spend some time in the NICU and that made me crazy. For nine months I was waiting on the greatest gift God could ever give anyone and she has to fight for her life. Being away from something that grew inside of you is the hardest thing ever. She was right down the hall from me in the hospital but it felt like she was miles away.

I cried and prayed and cried some more. The doctors don’t make it any better. Every few hours it seems they would come back to tell me something else they found wrong with my child. They really pissed me off. That made me cry. I was in pain from the C-section and the swelling still hadn’t gone down. It was hard for me to move and get around and that made me cry. Finally, after six days we could finally bring my love home. I was so happy. I held her so much and gave her lots of kisses and love. My heart was so full. I wondered, how could God, as busy as he is, take the time to make something so beautiful and perfect just for me? He must truly love me. I must be special to him. I felt so loved and blessed and that made me cry. (Tears of joy)

Today my love is a month old and thriving. I have the most beautiful little girl ever. I’m sure every parent feels this way. I wouldn’t trade my two children for anything in this world. Just when I thought my heart couldn’t love anyone else. Here Gwendolyn comes and steals my heart. My son CJ is being the best big brother ever. He and his dad are very helpful and protective of “little Gwen”.

A few months before my daughter was born I was treated for depression and was given medication. It seemed to not help. It was only a temporary fix. When I forgot to take that medicine, I felt it. I didn’t want to become dependent on it. I wanted to feel the joy I should have been feeling being pregnant with my beautiful baby girl. I shouldn’t have been sad or worrying before she was born, but I was. I couldn’t shake this feeling of dread. and I don’t know why or where it came from. I haven’t had a problem with depression since I graduated high school. I felt like I was loosing my mind. Everything drove me crazy. I just wanted to be alone all the time and I cried so much til my eyes were almost swollen shut.

I tried to get to the bottom of what I was feeling or rather why I was feeling what I was feeling. I had a support system. I had people around me to help and rooting for me to be great. My husband was loving and supportive. My family was rallying around me constantly. Everything was done by the time we delivered. What was going on in my mind? Why was I so confused, scared, worried and sad?

Honestly, I never have found out what was really going on. After Gwendolyn was born the fog just lifted. I knew what to do because I had done it before. Not just with my kids but with my cousins, nieces and nephews, all of which I helped to raise because I am the eldest. I remember thinking to myself one night that I was going to be a terrible mother and questioning why would God give such a terrible person children. This was the point when I decided to talk to someone about what I was feeling. I wanted to kill myself so the children wouldn’t have such a terrible mother. This was while I was still pregnant. I immediately checked myself into the hospital. I had people in place to take care of my son and my household for a few days while I seeked treatment.

While in the hospital I came across a situation that made me wake up. A woman had left her children in the car while she went in to the casino to play the poker machines. I was so furious. How could she leave those poor kids in the car so she could go gamble? What kind of mother is she? Then I asked myself; What kind of mother am I? I pondered this question most of the night, still angry from what I had heard and seen earlier that day. I realized how much I love kids. Not just my own but my friends’and families’ kids. I’m the most loving and kind person ever.(according to my friends and family) Oh yes. They put up an incredible fuss about me when I came home from the hospital and did their best to assure me that I was a great mother. That was music to my ears.

As a wife and a mother sometimes we need to hear these things. Even if we know it. I remember bringing my son to his first doctor’s visit and the doctor looked at me and said. “He’s so fine and healthy.You’re doing a great job. You’re a good mother.” This statement alone brought me to uncontrollable tears. The doctor embraced me, gave me some tissue and said it again. “You’re a great mom. You’re doing a great job.” I muffled through my sobbing a very humble “Thank You”. She truly humbled my heart with that statement. My husband also got the same reaction when he told me the same thing a few hours later when he came home from work. I laid my head on his chest and cried for what seemed like twenty minutes. He comforted me and gave me a kiss on the forehead, which was also a first. Later on he asked me was everything okay and I told him that I just needed to know if I was doing it right. He told me that there is no right or wrong way to parent, but the love that I showed our child was all he needed to see to know that I was a great mother. And the sobbing began again.

No matter how old your children are, from a few weeks to teenagers, or grown with children of their own, as mothers we need to hear that we’re doing or have done a good job. It  just validates all the pain and turmoil we go through with and for our kids. This kept me from jumping off a bridge, literally. Maybe it will help a mother you know who is new, tired, exhausted, or just telling it to your own mom will make her day. You never know how your words will affect someone else. Choose them wisely.

To: All the mothers

You’re a great mom.

XOXO
Dee

Carly Bybel Palette Review

This palette was so incredibly hyped up that I really waited until the excitement was over before I even thought about giving it a try. This palette was an addition to my personal collection and I wanted to try it for so long. I just had to wait out the initial release in order to do it. A lot of people were reviewing this palette and gave it high marks. I’m not so much a sucker for everyone’s opinion. I only trust a few select people. I kept on doing my research for months after this palette was released and to my surprise it was still getting very high marks, even after two months. I was surprised. I didn’t hear any type of scandal or controversy surrounding this palette. Even those who purchased and were not sent it in PR gave it great reviews. 
Finally, I pulled the trigger and purchased during Ulta’s 21 days of beauty event. It wasn’t on the sale list but it was right in store at the checkout counter and I took that as a sign that this was worth me having.
Carly Bybel Palette

This palette has a row of satin and semi-matte eyeshadows, a row of shimmery eyeshadows, and a row of highlights. The texture of the powders are amazing. They are buttery and soft. They blend easily and don’t have a lot of fallout. This has been a great neutral palette for me. I sometimes want an all matte eye but, I think that makes me look a little heavy around the eyes. This palette has given me a versatile look. These are all neutral colors that work for everyday looks.

I am in my 30’s. Glittery eyeshadows are not and never have been my thing. I don’t want to look like a teenager playing with makeup. I have grown up quite a bit and my makeup style has to reflect that. This palette gives me what I need to create a modern, age friendly look on an everyday basis. I am constantly reaching for this palette. The highlights are a beautiful and dare I say creamy texture and aren’t to heavy for my deep caramel skin. Most highlighters tend to look ashy on African-American skin tones, especially deep skin tones. These apply great and wear great to all complexions. I love the way these feel. They are so smooth I have used them as eyeshadows too.

The construction and design of this palette is very clean. White cardboard with a big mirror and magnetic closure. This palette is great for travel. The slogan on the inside is a great one to live by. “Aspire to Inspire” That is a great quote.

This is the first time that I have ever purchased a YouTuber and brand collaborated product. I  must say that I am not disappointed. This palette lived up to the hype and guess what?  YouTube made me buy it.

Buxom Full on Lip Polish Review

I have been a huge fan of BareMinerals for years. I loved their mineral foundation. That foundation was the first powder form of foundation that didn’t make me look ashy or ghostly. It never broke me out and it lasted forever. I was pleasantly surprised when the company came out with the Buxom line.

The first gloss I tried was Sandy. It was so beautiful and I loved the tingle it gave my lips. It was gorgeous on top of any lipstick that I wore. I used the entire tube and repurchased four times. I have been using and loving buxom glosses ever since. It has been about ten years now that I have been a devoted BareMinerals and Buxom lip polish user.

Lately they have been coming back in with more new colors. 100 in all. Which is so incredible. Each one lends a different undertone and hue. Each one sparkles and shines in it’s own way. There is a color for every skin tone and every woman. Whether you are a diva, or stay at home mom, Buxom has your perfect pout. Let’s talk about two of my favorites.

Brandi

Candied Berry

 This color is my true love. I am always reaching for this color and usually have a backup of this somewhere in my makeup stash. It looks like it’s a dramatic color in the container but on the lips, it is a sheer wash of berry with a little bit of brown undertone, I can never go wrong with this one.

Sarina

Chocolate Sparkle
This color has also become a favorite. I love a nude lip and this color is perfect to wear over a nude lipstick, with a nude lip liner or just on it’s own. I love this color on it’s own. It gives my lips a nice sparkle and shine. It makes me look a little more pulled together even on a minimal or no makeup day. I keep this shade in my makeup bag. It’s great for touch ups no matter what color I was wearing. 
The only complaint that I have heard about this gloss is the tingle and the stickiness. Gloss is such a personal preference. Some like a sticky gloss, like myself and others like a more slippery gloss. I love the feel of this gloss too. The tingle is actually very cooling to my lips, which is always welcome. It’s like popping a mint without actually eating one. I can’t testify to the plumping effect because my lips are pretty full, but the tingle does make you pout a little. I think that is the point of the cooling inside the formula. 
The Buxom full on lip polish retails for $20.00. I think they are worth every penny of your investment. If you don’t want to splurge on just one then get a set of minis to try and see if you like them. I recommend The Pout of paradise set or the Ulta exclusive Six degrees below. Both sets retail for $32.00. You get six minis to try and hopefully you’ll fall in love with them the way I have.

Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate bar review.

Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar

  

I was a little skeptical of ordering this palette considering I already had the original Chocolate bar. I was wondering what the difference might be between the two and if it was even worth it to have both. The original Chocolate bar palette is very warm and neutral whereas the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar is very cool toned and neutral. They both give very beautiful looks and the colors are superb but I was still on the fence. So I dove in and got it and I must say it is worth every penny.

I love this palette for several reasons. First, it’s way more compact than the original Chocolate bar which I bought before the palette was redesigned. The colors are much more rich and warmer in spite of the fact that a lot of people say the colors are cooler. They read much warmer on my skin tone which I like. The shadows aren’t powdery. This Chocolate Bar smells even more like Cocoa than the first.

Now let me clarify that this palette is cool toned. My skin tone is NC50 in MAC so these shadows are warm on me because of my skin tone not because the color is warm. As you can tell from the pictures, these shadows are cooler in tone than the original chocolate bar but I personally don’t find this palette to be a totally cool toned palette. I reach for this one every day no matter what eye look I’m doing.

Each color is unique and the names match perfectly. I couldn’t have thought of better names for these shadows. After you use each one you will understand why the name is so fitting. Here are a few of my favorites.

A perfect satin brown taupe.- most of the glitter does not transfer on the eyes.

A rose gold shimmer- Great for highlighting the inner corner.
Warm matte light brown- Great transition and blending shade.

shimmery satin blackened plum- great alternative to black 

Golden vanilla shimmer highlight. Can also be used as a facial highlight.

Frosted sheer bronze with gold reflect- warms up any shadow you put it on top of .

Matte cream

Matte black

Pink frosted sheer shimmer- Transforms the look of a shadow when applied on top.

I’ve enjoyed this palette to the fullest. I have created very dramatic to everyday looks with this palette. I expect no less from Too Faced cosmetics. They bring us great quality when there is a focused theme. They make sure the palette is totally in line with the theme all the way down to the packaging. They excite our senses in every way. The look of the Chocolate bar draws us in cause we all love chocolate but maybe can’t indulge in it as much as we would like but we can have this bar sitting on our vanity to remind us of our love. The smell when you open the palette immediately makes you nostalgic and you go to a happy place because the scent reminds you of a long lost love, cocoa. Not only are the shadows infused with cocoa powder, research shows that the scent of cocoa is connected with increased memory and brain power.

Too Faced has brought us some great product and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. 

My Obsession

Makeup has been a love of mine for a long time. I grew up in a household of women who never went anywhere without their makeup on. I came to love makeup in elementary school, although too young to wear it. My aunts gave me chapsticks for Christmas and birthdays so that I would have “makeup” of my own and get out of thiers. I remember getting scolded so much for playing in makeup and I wasn’t supposed to. I just loved everything about makeup and still till this day my greatest love is lipstick.

As I got into high school my folks let me have more and more creative freedom. My first time wearing a full face of makeup was Jr. year in high school and well can I say it was a hot mess. My foundation was too light, my lips were too dark. My eyebrows were just ridiculous. I was really a hot mess. Thank God I had some very caring friends who got me together and a loving family that took me shopping for makeup that was more suitable for me.

I remember that shopping trip like it was yesterday. It was so quiet in my aunt’s car and then the speech began.

“So Dee, what we are going to do is get you matched and get some stuff for your face.”

Wait. What? I was like confused, scared and excited all at once. My aunts had no idea about the terminology we use today in makeup but they knew that this was serious business.

So when we got to the mall we went straight to the nearest Estee’ Lauder counter, another love of mine. I loomed and drooled over all the makeup and perfumes I saw. The glass was so bright and clear. Not a speck of dust to be found anywhere. The ladies that worked the counter were sugar sharp in their Estee’ Lauder uniforms and a gold pin. The lady that I admired the most had the most beautiful bronze skin and she wore her hair in a tight bun. She was so well dressed and her makeup was gorgeous and when she asked me what I was looking for all I could say is “I want to look like you”. I had the best experience and i got to learn a lot of things like skin care and color. She took real good care of me that day and I will never forget that.

Ever since that experience I have been so obsessed with makeup and all things makeup and skin care. i have become a “beauty nerd” to say the least. I love finding new things and experimenting with new looks and products. I love to research companies and brands to find out what they are bringing to the table. I research ingredients and find out what they do, why they are in a product and what are the benefits.

I enjoy every minute of every day and they all consist of thoughts about makeup my one true love. Makeup is the one thing that always fits, always looks good, always in style and always there when I need it. it brightens my day, takes away the bags under my eyes, puts my cheekbones on fleek and makes me happy. Yes, it makes me happy. I have always been obsessed with makeup. I fear that i will never get pass this obsession. Til death do us part? No. Even when I’m dead my highlight will be on fleek.

Maybelline Matte Lipstick Review

Ever since Maybelline came out with their vivid lipsticks, they have exceeded our expectation of a drugstore lipstick. From color choices to finishes and even comfort of wear, Maybelline has turned the drugstore lipstick genre on its head. Every other makeup company has had to reformulate their lipsticks because Maybelline gave the market a punch in the gut. So, now they have come out with two successful trend lines that don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. The buffs and the mattes. I loved the buffs. That line was the first time I had four or more drugstore nude colors to choose from. The formula was amazing and the feel was incredible. And most of all they smell so amazing.  Now with the new matte shades and some new additions for fall, Maybelline has done it again. I fell in love with two colors from the matte collection.

Divine Wine-695

 This color is the perfect brick red with a little of a burgundy undertone. It is so creamy and smooth. I was never one for matte lips but this color and formula changed my mind. I couldn’t believe how creamy this lipstick was. I fell in love with the feel of it as well. It was really comfortable to wear and I didn’t have a problem with bleeding or smudging. Honestly this is the first time that I have worn a red this intense and it is gorgeous.

Touch of Spice-660
This color was also a big surprise to me. I thought that this nude would be way too light or look ashy on me. It was hard for me to try this one. I tried it without my trusty lip liner and well I guessed right. it was too light and ashy and it made my lips look ill. So when I tried it with a spice lip liner or a brown or chocolate it was gorgeous. That just goes to show you how you can be completely wrong about a product until you tweak it to you. Had I just used my usual lip liner from the beginning I could have saved myself a lot of stress and trouble. 
I can’t wait to see what Maybelline comes up with next. I look forward to their new releases. I’m a lipstick junkie and if they keep this up I’m just going to have to go work for them. 


Milani Lipstick Review

I recently discovered a new love. I had been searching for new lipsticks for a while and well I didn’t want to go to the mall or endure the traffic to get there. I wanted to go to MAC but I can’t tolerate their customer service which gets worse every day. So, I took a trip to Wal-Mart. I had been hearing great things about some new drugstore products and I wanted to go see what all the hype was about. I stumbled onto a display for a brand which had only been carried at CVS and Walgreens in my area. I was so surprised to see Milani at Wal-Mart. I picked out two shades that night and one more a week later. These lipsticks have me falling in love with them. They are richly pigmented and soft to wear on the lips. They are full coverage  and I love how moisturizing they are.

 Teddy Bare


















Brandy Berry

Cabaret Blend
Each of these lipsticks have become a staple in my makeup bag or purse or pocket. I reach for one of them every day. They remind me so much of MAC lipsticks. From the way they smell, feel, and perform. Don’t get me wrong, I love MAC lipsticks but MAC lipsticks and my wallet don’t always agree. I must say that I am so happy that so many drugstore brands have given High-end products a run for their money. Literally.

A Makeup Love Affair

I have been asked the question so many times…. With all of the makeup out there and all the brands you’ve tried why do you go back to Elf?

Simple. I like to save money especially when it’s a good quality product. Elf is a brand that has stood the test of time from regular women to seasoned pros, They’ve held their own out here in this cruel makeup world where one bad product could mean the end of your company. I’m never afraid to say that when it comes to some things I am a “Penny Pincher”. Not to downplay any high end brands. I have a lot of high end brands in my stash but none that get as much use as all of my ELF products.

I got introduced to ELF cosmetics six years ago when I started doing YouTube. I ordered a few things and fell in love. I couldn’t believe what I got for the money I spent. It was unbelievable. I maybe spent $50 and got a huge amount of products. At the time I only ordered things that I knew I would use on a daily basis like brushes, lipglosses, and some powder products. I just knew that I would regret my entire purchase. To my surprise, I reached for those products every day.

ELF cosmetics has become a very trusted brand for me. The quality of the products is amazing and so is the value. I could not be more pleased with the company, products, or customer service. I love ELF products. I must say that it started with the lip products though. Those Hypershine glosses hooked me from day one.

I was always on a quest to find a good lipgloss that didn’t make my lips too sticky and well I found them. And they were only $1. I have a ton of them in my makeup collection. Their blushes and bronzers were a hit with me too. Not all of their products work for me but I’m not disappointed. They keep expanding the lines so there are more products to get to know and love than I could ever imagine. I don’t ever regret an ELF purchase. I also have staples that I only get from the ELF line.

From their studio to the basic line to now the skincare line, ELF has become a trusted and household name to women and men all over. It’s no wonder ELF is so successful. Quality products at rock bottom prices. I hope they continue to bring us these awesome products and keep expanding their lines. I can’t wait to see what they bring to us next.