4.29.2016

What I Wish You Knew About Elle

Hello there blog reading people! I'm A*****.

I'm Elle's MUCH younger and MUCH better looking bff.

When Elle asked me to guest post on her blog, I was kind of shocked and thought it was a dumb idea because SHE'S the beauty expert. That's why we keep her around!

I said I would only do it if could write about ANYTHING I wanted and if she didn't change what I wrote. Since this is her blog, I'll write about her! Here are some things I wish you knew about ELLE!


  • She LOVES her blog and beauty stuff. ALL of it. She REALLY loves it. She creates her own bath products, skin, hair, and makeup products. We are lucky because she gives it to us FOR FREE! And the extra makeup stuff she gets. She will talk about her blog or makeup-y beauty things all day if we let her. Sometimes we have to tell her to chill because she's literally gone on about mascara for like 35 minutes.
  • We all think we're beauty EXPERTS because we've seen makeup videos on Youtube. I pretend I'm one and my kids think I'm crazy. But Elle KNOWS HER SHIT.  I've seen her talk shop with celebs and beauty industry types and she ALWAYS holds her own. She's even thrown them some tips. Blog reader people, she's been published in magazines and helps creates makeup. Elle is kind of awesome. And not just because she knows me! I kid.
  • One of the first times I got the girl to talk was when I asked her to tell me her favorite makeup item. She instantly said, "Lip balm. Because I have over a dozen uses for it." Me, being the smart ass that I am, said, "Name them then." She rattled off TWENTY uses. We've been friends ever since. I never doubted her again. 
  • We call her GOOGLE because she's so frigging smart. Look Elle, I didn't cuss there! Ask her anything about ANYTHING and she knows the answer. Except for sports. And math. Maybe we should rethink this nickname?
  • She's FIERCELY PROTECTIVE of her friends and family. I can BET she's taken my name out of this post, hasn't she. We always joke with Elle that her friends are invisible, and yes I will admit sometimes I want to show up in her Instagram pics. But she explained to me once, "I put myself out there on the Internet. I can't control what happens to my pictures, what I say, or what people think of me. Sometimes they say mean things. I don't want that to happen to the people I love, so I don't really post pics of anyone." I think that's fantastic and I respect that. But I still want to be on her Twitter or something!
  • She's HILARIOUS. She's a silly goober. My kids love her. She's easily one of the funniest people I know. She tends to make hilarious remarks under her breath or quietly so most people miss out.
  • Elle is SO PRIVATE AND SHY until you get to know her. She never talks! She observes. To see her face light up, just ask her about makeup :) She never tells your secrets and never talks about herself. We didn't know for 3 years that she had a blog!
  • She has the KINDEST HEART but she never asks for anything. Always giving. She does a bunch of charity stuff and pays off people's layaways at Christmas. All kinds of amazing shit like that. If you tell her you need her, she's there in a second.
  • She DOESN'T REALLY CUSS yet NEVER judges you for anything. I cuss like a sailor and judge people on the regular. It's my speciality! But she still loves me anyway! If you're a good person and are nice to others, that's all that matters to her. She's one of the most OPEN MINDED people I've ever met. She has friends of all types. 
  • She's a KARAOKE QUEEN. My girl can SANG. She comes to life on a microphone. She is also known to hog the microphone and not let anyone else sing. Maybe a duet.
  • I wish she wasn't so SENSITIVE and would stand up for herself more often. She takes this blogging shit too serious and gets upset when people don't love her blog like she does. Or she thinks some of her readers don't like her, which is crazy. 
  • Elle is one of the most wonderful people I know. I'm glad to be considered her friend. She's awesome. And I hope you already knew that! Thank you for giving me the chance to tell everyone how much your friends love you and how great you are!

4.28.2016

Brush Egg VS. Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette

As much as I love makeup, cleaning my brushes is the absolute least favorite part. Did you see where I shared my cleaned brushes on Snapchat? But it has to be done--I am still shocked how many don't clean them. I've covered lots of techniques and products for cleaning them. I even make my own solid brush cleaner.

Lately, the trend is to use portable raised surfaces to help clean them. I've tried making my own back in the day--using hot glue on an old plate, using a travel soap dish or a silicone oven mitt or mat. The lines, or grooves, on them help to agitate the product on the brush. 

Today I've got 2 brush cleaner helpers: Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette and the Brush Egg. They are both affordable and are $15 and under.

I've used the Brush Egg for about a year and the RT for the past couple of months. I have tested them with a variety of brushes, cleaning products, and makeup products (eye shadow, blush, concealers, foundations of cream, liquid, and mineral, and so on). I had pretty much the same results, regardless of what was used. Today I'll clean two Real Techniques Brushes using a gel cleanser and water. Both brushes used the same cream foundation, which is so hard to get out of brushes. 

  • $14.99, online and in some stores, like Walmart.
  • This silicone palette has a strap that you slip over your fingers. To use, hold your palm face up. Slip the palette over it. Place warm water into the palette and apply cleanser to brush or to palette. Swirl around the palette until clean. Rinse bristles. 
Here's the cleaning in action. It was impossible to take pics with this on my hand, even with a remote, but you get the idea.

Brush Egg
  • Online here
  • 3 colors 
  • $8, but I have purchased another one from Born Pretty for $2.99
  • Slip over two or three fingers, and following the same instructions as for the RT, clean the brush.
The bumps at the top are for creating a lather. The ridges are for cleaning and agitating the dirt.

Here's the before and the after. RT is on your left. BE is on your right. As you can see, the BE didn't clean the brush as well--there's still some foundation at the top.

I did a bacterial culture to also test if one cleaned better than the other. The results were very similar.

Overall, while I liked both, they each had things that I didn't love. I don't think either are necessary for brush cleaning, but it makes me feel like maybe my brushes are cleaner by using them. Sigma offers a cleaning mat and glove that work really well. There are other brands too that offer similar products.

Brush Egg Pros and Cons:
  • I love the Brush Egg for cleaning eye brushes the best. It's very thick and durable, which means you have to wear it on your fingers when using it.
  • It is compact for travel.
  • You don't get to choose the color--not a big deal for me.
  • It took longer to clean face brushes.
  • It is impossible to keep clean (when using with foundations), which I why I ordered another one for pictures.
RT Brush Cleansing Palette Pros & Cons:
  • Large surface area for cleaning
  • Easier to use since it doesn't have to be worn
  • I think it's overpriced.
  • Sometimes, I've had the palette kind of warp on me. Once dried, it goes back to it's regular shape.
Do you use something like the products above to help you clean brushes?

Extra Elle:
  • Happy 21st birthday to my baby sis!!!
  • I'm currently on a spray painting kick of painting everything copper. I've been sharing some of it on my Snapchat (add me here).

4.26.2016

4 Ways to Pamper Your Hair for Spring

“This post was sponsored by Madam C. J. Walker Beauty Culture, all thoughts and opinions are my own”



Okay, y'all--it is high time that we get our hair back on track from the winter months. Winter is always so harsh on hair. I'm talking super dry, frizzy, and dull hair. Spring is the perfect time to give hair just a little more TLC to bring it back to life. 

And I've got a plan!

This year I wanted to mix it up a little as far as my hair treatment routine goes--I got a chance to try the newly-released Madam C. J. Walker Beauty Culture. This is launching in select Sephora stores (and online) to help nourish, condition and restore the appearance of hair.

The Madam C. J. Walker Beauty Culture line consists of 4 collections that address the cleansing, treatment and styling needs of all hair textures:
  • Brassica Seed & Shea Oils Collection (Smoothing/Style-Extending)
  • Coconut & Moringa Oils Collection (Frizz Fighting/Humidity-Blocking) 
  • Jamaican Black Castor & Murumuru Oils Collection (Curl-Defining/Moisture- Sealing)
  • Dream Come True Collection (Scalp & Strand Nourishing)
A little more about the ingredients:
1. Dual Encapsulation Oil Technology – Our Dual Encapsulation Technology infuses hair with two natural oils – one reparative, the other, style-enhancing – delivering nourishment exactly where hair needs it most. These tiny microspheres infuse hair with targeted, time-released nutrients to rapidly boost conditioning benefits.

2. Natural Silicone Alternative – Brassica Seed Oil’s excellent antioxidant profile results in a natural shine, smoothness and silky softness without the potential for buildup.



The problem: very dry hair
The solution: Deep Conditioning Masque

I got to try some of two of the collections. First up is the Wonderful Deep Conditioning Masque. You only need to use it once a week, for just 15 minutes for hydrated hair. If you color your hair, you'll love this. Sometimes I'll apply it and leave it on for longer while I'm cleaning the house, for example. No parabens or sulfates. It has a lovely vanilla and white flower scent.




The problem: rough-textured hair
The Solution: Brassica Seed & Shea Oils

Next up are three items from the Smoothing/Style Extending line. Let's go from your left to right:
The Silkening Leave-In does just what it says--a liquid leave-in treatment. This liquid leave-in doubles as a nutrient-rich conditioner and is the perfect prep for smooth heat styling without buildup. Hair is left nourished, detangled, and soft. Dual encapsulation technology ensures a smooth finish as tiny microspheres deliver fast-absorbing brassica seed oil, a natural alternative to silicone!

The Silkening Blow Out Creme is what I use before blow drying my hair. It's protected from heat without buildup. 

The problem: dull hair
The solution: Brassica Seed Oil

Finally, the Brassica Seed Oil--Scent and shine in a bottle. No more dull hair! I add just a drop or two in my palm, rub my hands together, and run it through my hair. Instant shine. By the way, all of the products from this line smell like spun sugar and red velvet cream. YASSSS!



Hair problems solved! Now, WHERE TO PURCHASE PRODUCTS: The line is NOT available at all Sephora stores (I have seen it in Atlanta though!), so please use the store locator found HERE: http://mcjwbeautyculture.com/ as well as Sephora.com.


Have you tried Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture yet?

Disclaimer:

All products mentioned are purchased by me unless stated.
All pics, thoughts, etc, are mine unless otherwise noted. Publishing or redistributing any content from this blog is strictly prohibited. Please seek permission first. Thank you.




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