Quick Beauty Tips: Easy Every Day Smoky Eye

L'Oreal HIP Color Truth Creme Liner in BrownThis is a great work-friendly, daytime smoky eye from Simonne Devon. Last year, I created my own “lazy” neutral look for days when I didn’t feel like choosing colors, blending, etc. I simply used concealer, foundation and/or bronzer, eyeliner and mascara. On my lids, I used L’Oreal HIP Color Truth Eyeliner in Brown, which is very close to my complexion.

When I watched Simonne’s tutorial, I decided to incorporate her look into mine, by using the creme liner as a base, and then adding the same lid colors she used. Needless to say, I wore this look to work three times this week! Enjoy Simonne’s video below, and let me know if you decide to try the look!


The Beauty of a Mini-Makeup Party

Yesterday I attended my first makeup party, hosted by our very own Calandra Branch. About a dozen women gathered in a Brooklyn church to share our own makeup fears and frustrations and get tips on how to overcome them.

Calandra got things going by reaffirming what most of us believed but needed to hear every now and again: Black women are beautiful. No matter what shade, skin type or shape of eyes, we are gorgeous creatures who can wear pretty much any color of the makeup rainbow. Amid many ‘Amens’ and ‘uh-huhs’, Calandra gave a beauty mini-sermon (maybe it was the church setting) about loving yourself in and out of makeup. She concluded that if anyone in the room didn’t love herself, she needed to work on that first before working on what shades to mix on her face.

After the preachin’ ended the demonstration began. Calandra started with a quick primer about brushes then, with help from one of her good friends, showed a simple daytime eye look with neutrals and a pop of color–check the original full face video on her You Tube site. During the demonstration an insightful elder of the room stated “She was beautiful before the makeup”, causing a little pause in the room. She clarified that she didn’t mean it in a harsh way and that she doesn’t believe in makeup. However after Calandra was done even she was impressed at the “natural plus more” look.

Next up was yours truly as the model with a demo of the MAC Smoked Ruby eye with a black L’Oreal HIP base. My daily eye go-to is a neutral of peaches and browns so the smoked ruby was certainly a departure. Fairly dramatic and good for a night out…I’ll likely try that one one my own. A third demonstration was on a woman who expressed frustration of not knowing use eyeshadow on her hooded eyes. Calandra was the miracle-worker, showing her that a gold color on the base of her lids, plus some neutrals in the crease and above gave her just that pop she needed. The gold base made her eyes look bigger and definitely made the woman’s day.

The party ended with goodie bags for for a few lucky raffle winners that included brush sets and compact mirrors. All left with beauty kits with water (hydration), tea (relaxation), hand sanitizer (clean hands before you touch your face!), lotion and Hershey Kisses to leave with love. I think a good time was had by all and quite a few walked out with new techniques and fun shades to try. I left with some new ideas for my Avon 12-shade eye palette and the MAC Smoked Ruby on my ‘to-buy’ list…plus new-found admiration for my cousin’s love of sharing beauty with everyone.

Fall Favorites – Using What You Have

We know what the fall 2011 trends are – bold brows, jewel-tones, etc., etc…. But most of us already have all those items in our stash that will allow us to pull off all the looks we need for the fall/winter. Yes, it’s fun to buy and play in new makeup, but let’s take a moment to look at what we already have before we head to the makeup counters and makeup sites.

Here’s my video of Fall Favorites – using what I have!

Fall FOTD – MAC Smoked Ruby

Here’s a video tutorial of my MAC Smoked Ruby look for Fall! This is similar to the FOTD I posted a few days back using Gilt by Association (click here for the product list and photos)

Scroll down for product list and photos from the video. Enjoy!


IMAN Creme Foundation – Earth 3

IMAN Second to None Semi-Loose Powder – Earth Medium


L’Oreal HIP Creme Eyeliner – Eggplant (lid primer)

MAC Mineralized Eye Shadow – Smoked Ruby (lid)

L’Oreal HIP Duo – Brazen (dark brown shade as transition color)

MAC e/s – Naked Lunch(highlight)

MAC Eyebrow pencil – Spiked

Revlon Color Stay Felt Liner Pen – Black (upper lash line)

Annabelle Eyeliner Pencil – Oh My Goth (lower lash line)

L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes – Blackest Black


MAC Blush – Loverush


MAC Viva Glam VI lipstick and gloss

MAC Lip Liner – Nightmoth (I mistakenly said “Chestnut” in the video)

Fall FOTD – Gilt by Association

Fall is here! My favorite time of year. I love the cool crisp days, and the sound of leaves crunching under foot. What I am really loving this fall are the strong brows and jewel-toned makeup looks that are in season this year. Today I wore one of what will be my two favorite fall faces for work (and play!), using MAC Gilt by Association from the old Style Black collection. I finally figured out how to wear it in a way that works for me. I know, it took me long enough, right?

Here are the pictures and products I used. Enjoy!


CoverGirl Natureluxe Liquid Silk Foundation – Brazilnut

IMAN Second to None Semi-Loose Powder – Earth 3


L’Oreal HIP Creme Eyeliner – Black (lid primer)

MAC Mineralized Eye Shadow – Gilt by Association (lid)

L’Oreal HIP Duo – Brazen (dark brown shade as transition color)

MAC e/s – Arena (highlight)

MAC Eyebrow pencil – Spiked

MAC Fluidline e/l – Blacktrack (upper lash line)

L’Oreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil e/l – Carbon Black (lower lash line)

L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes – Blackest Black


NARS Blush – Albatross (cheek highlight)

NARS Blush – Exhibit A (main cheek color)


MAC Lipglass – All of My Purple Life


Pearly Blue FOTD

I very rarely post a FOTD (Face of the Day), but I felt inspired. I recently posted my video showing off my amazing makeup prizes from the BeautyThesis contest I won a few weeks ago. In that package was a beautiful Stila “Precious Pearl” palette.

Stila Precious Pearl Palette-cover

Here are the products I used:


Sephora Primer

CoverGirl Natureluxe Liquid Foundation (Brazilnut)

Iman Second to None Semi-Loose Powder (Earth 3)


MAC Brow Pencil (Spiked)

MAC Fluidline gel liner (Blacktrack) – upper lash line

L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes (Blackest Black)

Stila Precious Pearl Palette (Beige-Gold and Deep Blue colors) – inner lid/outer lid

MAC shadows (Saddle, Carbon) – transition/outer corner

Urban Decay 24/7 liner (black) – lower lash line


MAC Blush (Sweet as Cocoa)


MAC Liner (Chestnut)

Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss (Nude Lustre) – great dupe for NARS Lipgloss in Giza, by the way

Hope you like the look!