Beauty Essentials for Valentine’s Day


Before I get into today’s post I have to tell you, I wasn’t a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I was one of those girls that always managed to find herself single when this holiday came around. I would sit at home watching the clock waiting for it to be over. My husband came along and thankfully changed all that, with plenty of Valentine’s Days spent going out to dinners and giving each other hilarious “I Love You” cards.

If you have big plans this Friday, here are some beauty goodies you just have to have for gorgeous time out!

1. Bold Pink Lipstick: Sure, a red one will be an obvious choice but I chose pink because it’s a lot more fun and flirty. Plus it works whether your day involves a special lunch or a romantic dinner.

My pick: CoverGirl LipPerfection Lip Color in Bombshell

2. A Shine Fighting Press Powder: This especially applies to ladies who fight the shiny T-zone monster like me on a daily basis. Applying press powder to your shiny spots after your foundation gives your look a nice, matte finish. Make sure you bring it with you so you can touch up.

My pick: CoverGirl Cleaned Press Powder, Oil Control

3. Glittery Hair Accessory: Want to add some pizzaz to your hair? Sparkly hair accessories are the way to go. Add a flower clip to side swept hair, a glittery headband to a sock bun, or trendy pins to an updo. Hit up stores like Claire’s or Forever 21 to get fun accessories for less!

My Pick: Claire’s Rhinestone Twist Headwrap

4. Sexy Black Eyeliner: Nothing is sexier than a bold cat eye and the right liner will do just that! Plus, it’s so on trend this season.

My Pick: ScandalEyes Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Liner Pencil

5. Makeup Ready Primer: A flawless beauty look requires the necessary face prep. The right primer needs to be hydrating, brighten, and even out skin to create the ideal canvas for the rest of your makeup.

My Pick: Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer

6. Killer Red Polish: Even girls like me who don’t get mani’s that often can appreciate a beautiful, red one for a special occasion like this one. Spice things with some nail art or a glittery top coat.

My pick: Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Red My Lips

7. A Lover’s Flush Blush: We concentrate so much on our eyes and lips that our cheeks can get overlooked and that’s no bueno! Applying the right blush adds the finishing touch that your face needs for a gorgeous, put-together look.

My Pick: Mary Kay’s Cheek Color in Citrus Bloom

 8. Sleek Heat Protectant: This is a must if you plan on rocking smooth, straight hair for your special date. Not only will it protect your hair as you flat iron it, it will keep your hair smooth, shiny, and frizz free all night long!

My pick: Smooth ‘n Shine Polishing Silk ‘N Sleek Heat Protect Straighten Polisher

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? What are your makeup essentials?

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Beauty Stocking Stuffers Under $20

Beauty Gifts

Sephora Collection Event Entry Palette $11 / Organix 3 Piece Starter Kit – Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil $10.99 / Bath and Body Works Santa’s Helping Hand Gift Set $16.50 / Sweet & Shimmer Gem Mirror $4.99 / essie Mirror Metallics Nail Polish $8.50 each / Smashbox Try it Kit $19 / e.l.f. Lip Cylinder with Lip component $10 / philosophy purity made simple facial cleanser ornament $10 / The Body Shop® Coconut Shower Scrub & Moisture Set $10.50 / Olay Ooh-La-La Luscious Moisturizing Skin Care Gift Set $9.99 

We’re coming down the holiday home stretch and if you still have more shopping to do a) don’t fee bad and b) don’t panic!  You still have a little time and I have some more gift ideas for you that won’t break the bank.  I find that stocking stuffers aren’t only great little bonuses for close family but the perfect last minute gifts for friends and extended family that you haven’t shopped for yet.  From a cute eye shadow clutch to a bath and body set, there are plenty of affordable options that you can easily pick up at your favorite stores!

Click here for more stocking stuffers ideas on my Yahoo! Shine blog. Your welcome! ;)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide for the Curly Girl

Natural Hair Gift Guide


Shea Moisture Curl and Shine Kit /  DEVACURL Trial and Travel kit / Better Than Good Hair by Nikki Walton / Ouidad’s Curls are Coming To Town / Mixed Chicks Spring Bands / Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Starter Kit / Satin Luxury Pillowcases 

This year has proven that natural hair is no longer a trend with more and more girls getting back to their curly hair roots.  Giving them the latest hair products would be an awesome holiday gift, especially if their early in their hair journey.  Hair kits are definitely the way to go, especially if the curly girl in your life doesn’t have a set regimen yet.  It allows her to try out a full set of products to see if it works out for her and her hair.  By some chance they don’t, there’s no pressure (who wants to throw out full size bottles of anything!)  Shea Moisture and Carol’s Daughter are my personal favorites while DevaCurl and Ouidad get a lot of positive play in the natural hair world.

If you’re still iffy on getting her hair products, hair accessories like the Spring Bands and the Satin Pillows are excellent options no matter what her hair type.  The bands are great for keeping the curls out of her face while the satin pillows will keep them looking gorgeous while she sleeps.  The latest book from the founder of Curly Nikki herself is an extra bonus, a how-to guide to fabulous curls right at her fingertips!


Photos courtesy of:, Sephora, Beauty Bar, Curly Nikki, Bed Bath and Beyond, Mixed Chicks


Beauty Blast: TRESemmé Flawless Curls Conditioner

Conditioner for natural hair

I was in CVS a few weeks ago taking advantage of a sale on one my favorite brands.  Because it was so popular I was only able to get shampoo.  So I kept strolling down the aisle and came to the TRESemmé section.  I’ve heard a lot of buzz about their conditioners on natural hair blogs but never had the chance to try them out.  I saw the big bottle of their Flawless Curls Conditioner for only $5 and snatched that up quick, praying it was just as awesome as everyone said it was.

A part of the Flawless Curls hair collection, this conditioner is formulated with vitamin B1 to help moisturize hair where it needs it the most, while helping to detangle and tame frizz. I loved the consistency of this conditioner, pleasantly surprised at how thick and creamy it was.  It gave me so much slip, my detangling session a breeze, even without oil rinsing.  My hair stays soft and moisturized well after rinsing it out, my curls looking fabulous even before my styling products.

I honestly haven’t been this impressed with a conditioner in really long time and the fact that I get so much conditioner for my money is another big plus.  I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and I haven’t even touched the halfway mark (that’s music to a product junkie’s ears!).  Besides the conditioner, the collection also has a shampoo, Curl Locking Styling Spray, Extra Hold Mousse, and Lotion Crème.  I have my eye on the shampoo and lotion crème!

Have you tried any products from TRESemmé?  Which ones do you like?


Photo courtesy of Walmart

FTC Disclosure:  Product mentioned in this review was personally purchased by me.

Beauty Blast: Spring Bands from Mixed Chicks

Mixed Chicks

While Mixed Chicks is widely known for its hair products that cater to curly girls like me, they sell more than just cleansing and styling products.  They have the tools that we need for our hair like paddle brushes and spring bands, which is what I’m talking about on today’s beauty blast.  These springy, plastic hair bands promise to keep your hair up and out of the way sans the tears and tangles that fabric ties can cause. You get five in a pack and are available in five fun colors (the light aqua is my favorite!)

At first glance they remind of those key chains I used to wear on my wrist back in the day.  I would’ve never thought to wear those in my hair but in this case, you would be crazy not to!  Tying up my hair was absolutely effortless!  You see, my hair in the back has very, very tight curls which are hard to stretch out to wear up in a ponytail.  Even when I tie up my hair at night I would have to make two ponytails instead of one.  Because the bands are so stretchy I’m able to tie up all of my hair without pulling the back too tight.  As a matter of fact, my hair didn’t feel tight at all, which is something my tender head can’t take much of. Just using the bands once around your hair is enough to get those curls out of the way. You also get some nice curly, poof action, especially if you gel down your edges or wear a pretty scarf (like I did here!) I didn’t realize just how often I wear my hair up – during my morning workouts, wash days, before bed, running errands, and, most recently, these past few days when I was too sick to do anything with my hair.  They were a real lifesaver, keeping my hair (and my appearance!) pulled together!

As for the tearing, there were some minor breakage but nothing super crazy and tangles were practically nonexistent.  I did notice that over time the bands do stretch out on you, especially if you wrap them around your hair more than once.   I also wouldn’t suggest using them on super wet hair because you will get some minor breakage when you take them down.

Have you tried any of the accessories from Mixed Chicks?


Photo courtesy of Mixed Chicks

FTC Disclosure:  Products used in this review were received as free samples.  All opinions are my own.