Make the Rest Up

Beauty. LifeStyle. Love.
Alright i know I’m on a haitus right now while I move but I had to share one of my birthday gifts. It’s a 3 piece acne kit from Hylunia and smells divine. I’m hoping it really helps my hormonal acne.  

Have any of you tried it and what did you think?

Alright i know I’m on a haitus right now while I move but I had to share one of my birthday gifts. It’s a 3 piece acne kit from Hylunia and smells divine. I’m hoping it really helps my hormonal acne.

Have any of you tried it and what did you think?


This is gorgeous!

Maybelline Color Tattoo Review

This is an “oldie but a goodie” at this point but I figured it would still be great to review because it’s so hyped up in the beauty community. Maybelline’s Color Tattoo’s claim to be a long-wearing 24 hour cream color. 

imageI had always heard about the mac paint pots and couldn’t justify the hefty price tag so I tried these instead.  My favorite is in “Bad to the Bronze” and is a perfect every day color as you can see from the swatch below. 


Now let’s talk about the great things about these babies.  They are easy to find at the drugstore and come in a variety of colors ranging from neutral to bold and bright.  I’ve stuck with the bronze one to start with because when I’m looking for an easy to wear, long-wearing cream eyeshadow, I generally want it to use for everyday wear to work and daily life.  The bright blue “mimi” look just isn’t for me.  These are true to their claim and are VERY long wearing.  Now given the grease pit that is my face, I do still prefer to pair this with an eyeshadow primer but when I do, these DO NOT BUDGE.  I mean, I can accidentally fall asleep in this and it stays on like nothing had happened.

Now, I’ve had this one for about a year now and it’s starting to dry out.  While this is not surprising from a cream product, I find it hard to believe that anyone could use up an entire one of these before it actually dries out. Not a deal breaker though since I can’t imagine any other cream shadows stay fresh forever.  Also, I do wish there were some less shimmery shades tailored towards women of color. But to be fair, there are some more recent collections of mattes and nudes that I haven’t personally checked out yet. From what I have seen, they are tailored to our more fair skinned friends.  

Overall, I do love this and will plan to seek out some more every day wear colors (if I can find them) or stay tuned to future limited edition versions so I can stock up.

Thumbs ups! 

Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe


I have been making good use of my magic bullet that I’ve had for years because of my health kick lately and was looking for a good smoothie recipe that included my newest addiction, Almond Butter. I came across this recipe and thought that with some pantry staples, I could make a great healthy smoothie. 


My recipe is almost exactly the same except that I forgo the ice and use frozen cherries and use no sweetener because the Justin’s Almond Butter is sweet enough.  It makes the perfect single serving smoothie and I swear it tastes like a dessert.  No really, I SWEAR. It’s perfect for the hot and humid weather we are having. 


About to get too old to use bananas are GREAT for smoothies and shakes. 


Here’s the recipe that I use but it can be easily altered depending on what you like to use (it’s easy to remember because it’s 1 of everything, cup or tbs). Just add it all to your blender and blend it all up. It will be a little piece of heaven. If you need a bit more sweeter or chocolate in yours, you can go up to 2 tbs of everything but I try to keep it moderate to keep it healthy. 


  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbs of ground flax seed
  • 1 tbs Justin’s Almond Butter (I like the maple flavored kind, but any works) 
  • 1 tbs Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of frozen cherries
  • 1 cup of almond milk

Mix and ENJOY!  Yum. 

Review of Le Tote Clothing Rental (Part 2)

Alright, here is the long awaited part 2 of my review!  I wanted to make sure I took some time with the pieces I had and could really give you my final thoughts.  If you missed Part 1, check it out first for details on how this works. 

As I mentioned in the first box, I signed up for the plan that gives me 2-3 clothing pieces and accessories.  I received 2 tops and 2 necklaces in this box.  Let’s start with the good:

The blue necklace was gorgeous.  I wore it with a plain black v-neck tee and got so many compliments.  I absolutely loved it and plan to buy one on my own (not from Le Tote since for the price they charge for the used one, I could definitely get one new). The other chain necklace was definitely trendy but not really my style.  I liked it enough though and in this “try it and return it” concept, it works out great.

Ok, now for the ugly. 

This blouse was a mess.  It was such a crumpled ball of wrinkled…well I can’t even think of a word to describe how bad this was…and, this was definitely the most used looking piece I’ve received. You may not be able to tell from this picture, but it was beginning to fray and would be incredibly obvious upon wear because of the thin straps. It wasn’t just one thread either, it was a bunch all throughout. 

The style looked like it would be cute…had the fabric been thicker and the quality just, overall, better.  I could have bought something from Forever 21 that would have been way higher quality.

The last piece, was a blue blouse…and surprise surprise, also unwearable because of how wrinkled and crumpled it was.

I mean come on!  Who the heck would wear something that is this wrinkled? I mentioned this in my first post, but I had NO plans to iron these pieces and it sort of defeats the concept in my opinion.

So overall, after 2 boxes and one month (I had a 3rd one arrive but had to turn around and send it back so I didn’t get charged for another month) it’s a bust.  I’m cancelling my subscription and saving my $50/month for some trendy items from Forever 21 that I can get at least a couple of wears out of. 

Unfortunately, a thumbs down.  BUT, I’m hopeful that it swings around! I’ll keep my eye on this one and reserve the right to change my mind. 

Review of Le Tote Clothing Rental

Why Hello Lovelies!  I know it’s been way too long.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve had some crazy life/work stuff going on so bare with me until I can get back in the swing of things.  I have been testing out some cool things though in the last few weeks including Le Tote.  Be prepared. This is a LONG post (I split it into two, but still!). 

Le Tote is a clothing “rental” service where you pay a monthly fee and can get sent either accessories or accessories + clothes to wear as you please.  Once you are done with the clothes, you pack them back up in a pre-paid envelope and ship it back.


 Once they receive it, they pick another set of outfits for you (you can load up your closet from their website of things you like) and they send you a new box. The idea is that you have access to an unlimited closet and never have to worry about having “nothing to wear.” 

I loooove this idea.  When I was looking at the pricing ($19/month for accessories or $49 for clothes and accessories), I figured, if I can get 3-4 good outfits out of the box and never have to repeat the same outfit twice, then I may finally be trendy! Also, full disclosure, I found a coupon code for July 4th that let me try the first month for 1/2 off, so I was definitely in.  So, how did it pan out?

Let me first say, that having worked at a start-up company and being in love with all things beauty (this includes fashion, although I don’t look it), I LOVE LOVE LOVE this concept.  I think it’s genius.  Unfortunately, that’s where my infatuation ends.  I think this has all the makings of a great thing, but they are still struggling through the “new kid in school” phase.  Here is what I got in my first box after placing my order and making my account and my full experience after 2 boxes. 


The box came in a small cardboard box that says “Hello Gorgeous” when you open it.  Aw, Le Tote, you flatterer you….as I unwrapped the box, I was impressed by the cute patriotic little earring box (I got this on July 3rd) within and how well protected the jewelry was within the box:


But wait a minute….when I filled out my online, I specifically stated that I don’t have pierced ears (I know I do, but I’m soooo tragically allergic to most metals when I wear them as earrings, that I knew it would be a waste to get cute earrings).  I thought that was super strange but disregarded it since it seemed to be a nice little holiday extra.  I moved on to check out the other jewelry and really liked the necklace and bracelet that was provided. 


But I did notice that the necklace was a bit dinged up and looked used.  What’s that you say?  ”BUT IT ISSSS USED, DUMBASS!”  Ok, I realize that.  But, a key part of their business model is that if you like the items, then you keep them and just pay for the piece and return the rest of the items.  You are supposed to be able to get designer pieces for way less this way, but these did NOT seem like designer pieces.  Again, a start-up scalability issue.  I am guessing they’ll start retiring things earlier as they continue, but until then, I’m sure I’ll keep getting scuffed and worn jewelry. Ok, on to the clothing.


First thing you are probably thinking is, “these seem plain”.  They were.  I picked a bunch of stuff from the “closet” to try and give them an idea of what sorts of things I like and what I got back was pretty bland.  I would have been happier just getting the legit combination of clothes from the closet rather than these, but oh well, I thought I’d try.  BUT, as you can see from these pictures, the clothing was SO wrinkled.  I’m talking, shar pei at 150 years old wrinkled.  There was no way that I was going to take an iron to these clothes (because if you break it, you buy it) and I certainly don’t bother to iron 90% of my own clothing so forget it.  I wore the blue shirt and black shirt anyways with the gold leaf necklace. It was a cuteish (but wrinkled) outfit but it definitely was something I could of easily gotten from Forever 21….for less than $49. 

I didn’t even bother to wear the black and white shirt because parts of it were starting to fray and it just looked so worn out. Again, this is not surprising for a start-up who has gotten a lot of attention lately and probably needs time to adjust but overall, not yet worth my $49.  Because I didn’t wear the second outfit, I didn’t wear the bracelet either and didn’t want to wait to try another box just to hold on to the bracelet (you have to send the full box back or buy what you don’t send, you can keep parts of the boxes to send later). 

The last things I’ll mention for this piece is that it came with some instructions on how to return the box as well as a free tote bag and measuring tape.  If it hadn’t have been for these 2 pieces, I would have felt really ripped off with my first box!



I have much more to say about week 2 of the box I got, but stay tuned for that since this has already gotten a bit long.

Stay tuned!  

Testing out a new gloss from lightening whitening in the color “Jewel”. What do you think?

Testing out a new gloss from lightening whitening in the color “Jewel”. What do you think?

The Balm Hot Mama Shadow & Blush Review

Alright all, it’s been a hot minute since we’ve chatted.  My life has been CRAAAZYYY.  A lot is going on with work and basically, I’m now working for a new company, with a new job and about to move.  BUT that’s neither here nor there so sorry about the wait.  I’m sure you have been anticipating my review on The Balm’s Hot Mama Blush that I had picked up awhile ago in a Hautelook haul.


Per usual there is a SUPER cute cover and retro-vibe to the packaging.  I really like the magnetic closure of the blushes because I don’t have to chip a nail (or a tooth, yes this may or may not have happened in the past…) to get them open but they stay securely closed and I haven’t had any issues with them popping open.

As for the color itself, I struggled with this at first. image

As you can see, it’s a light pink but what you can’t see well in photos is that its’ SUPER gold and shimmery.  It’s a light peachy/pink/gold that shimmers like nothing else I have previously owned.  So, obviously being so dark skinned and working in a day job (rather than a cough::cough night job) this super shimmery glittery pale blush seemed to be a product fail.  That is until….. I started layering and realized this is the BEST highlighter for dark skin the summer!


You can see here just how gold and peachy this comes across (compared to another pink/plum blush on top) and how “light” it would look as a blush.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the intended use that I forget that makeup is meant to be experimented with and come on, highlighter is NOT a different use than blush really, but when I thought about layering, it finally clicked. (Also, just realized thebalm’s website does say it makes a subtle highlighter, although subtle is NOT how I would describe this). 

I use this on top of my NYX blush in cinnamon which is a beautiful orange color and it gives me just the most glamorous high shine glow.  I still don’t recommend this for a casual work day because it is still pretty intense but for a summer brunch, or of course a night out, it’s PERFECT for making you look positively radiant!

All in all, I give this two thumbs up as a highlighter! 


This would look great on brown eyes too


This would look great on brown eyes too

Photo Wrap Canvas DIY

After my wedding when I got my photos back, I knew I wanted to get some of them printed on canvas to create a collage on my bedroom wall. 


I had seem how beautiful the photo canvases looked and started looking into ordering a bunch but realized that they can be SO expensive (i’m talking hundreds to do just a few). Of course, Pinterest came to my rescue!

After reading tons of different blog posts, each a bit different, I came up with a scenario that worked for me. Here’s my recap of what to do with some additional tips and tricks that I learned along the way. 



  • Photos (I prefer to print them on matte paper to look the most realistic). I printed mine as 8x10 but whatever size you want them to be for your wall
  • Canvas of the same size (I got 2 packs from Walmart for $5 each)
  • Mod Podge Matte
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Foam Paint Brushes
  • Newspaper
  • Box Cutter


1. After printing my pictures from Walmart, I needed to slightly trim all the edges of the photos.  Even though both the photos and the canvas were 8x10” the photos were slightly too big.  I used a pencil to mark the back of the picture and trim with a box cutter on a cutting board.  A few posts recommended doing this after you have everything glued down and dried but I DO NOT recommend this.  It leaves you with ragged edges and if you try and sand them you can end up ripping or damaging the photo.  It’s much easier to just trim it down before hand.  Also, err on the side of slightly too small rather than slightly too big.

2. Use the foam brush to paint all the edges of your canvas black or whatever color you would like.  You can buy black canvas but it’s way more expensive than just buying some paint and painting it.  Make sure you “cut in” on the front of the canvas so that if you picture is slightly smaller, you can’t tell or see any peaking white space.

3. Once the black paint is COMPLETELY dry, lay down a thick layer of Mod Podge on the canvas. A lot of posts recommend a thin layer but given how thick photo paper is, I recommend doing it a bit thick. You don’t want it to be gloppy, but you do want it to be pretty substantial.  Also, try and make sure the layer is even from edge to edge.

4. Lay your photo down, position it and lightly rub it down to the canvas.  Do this with all your photos and canvas and let them dry.

5. Once they are fairly dry, you’ll lay on another layer of Mod Podge. This layer should be much thinner.  It’s really just to seal the photo and give it the painted look.  If you aren’t sure you applied enough, let it dry and go back with another layer but chances are one thin layer will be enough


Lastly, let everything dry overnight and then you are ready to hang them up!  I arranged ours over our bed and found this really cute wall quote on Amazon. I hope you all enjoy this little DIY and feel inspired like I did!