New Year, New Me!

We make resolutions every year to be better in the coming year. “New Year, New Me” can be heard for miles and across hemispheres as we all declaire to be improved versions of ourselves. This 2017 my girl Kiyomi Lee, of Cakes & Concealer, teamed up to put our best faces forward in creating looks which reflect how we want to not only ring in the New Year, but step up our makeup game for 2017. Check out our collaboration videos, you can find mine below and Kiyomi’s video here, to see how we interpret the expression “New Year, New Me”.

Influenster: Erno Laszlo Review

img_0074-editedLast month, Influenster sent a VoxBox to me, sponsored by Erno Laszlo and #thepoweroftwo campaign, for review. I am a big fan of skin care, so I was very excited to try the new cleansing duo. There are four versions of the cleansing duo for four different skin concerns: Detox, Sensitive, Hydrate, and Firming. Since I wear makeup regularly, and have oily/combination skin, I was given the Detoxifying cleansing duo. I reviewed the product for two weeks using it in my morning and evening cleansing routine.

My skin isn’t exactly predictable lately. While I am somewhat sensitive, I have noticed a change in my skin now that I’m in my 30s. I went from being completely oily, so oily/combination. So now I have normal skin on most of my face, and I’m only oily in my T-zone. Also, my pores aren’t as a big of an issue as they used to be. So, after taking the Influenster quiz, I was given the Detox version of the cleanser, but it was way too strong for my skin.

I experienced purging almost instantly and it lasted the entire two weeks I used the product. It wasn’t until I switched back to a more gentle cleanser, that my skin returned to normal. So I concluded that while Erno Laszlo’s Detoxifying cleanser duo left my skin soft and very clean, it was far too strong for my skin type. I gave the duo to my husband, who loves it, so it wasn’t a complete fail.

You can check out my full review, and final thoughts, on #thepoweroftwo Erno Laszlo duo in my YouTube review below. Special thanks to both Influenster and Erno Laszlo for entrusting me to give an honest, unbiased review of this product line. I am looking forward to trying the sensitive version very soon.

Hubby Meals: Cajun Curry Shrimp

img_8676Solomon and I are seafood lovers. We’ve enjoyed fusion food as well. So I chose to mix the flavors of the Southern/South-West and the Middle/Far East with a dinner of Cajun Curry Shrimp with Jasmine rice and roasted Jalapenos. Talk about fusion, right? It was absolutely delicious! Not only is this meal very easy to make, it takes less than 30 minutes from prep to serve. My husband really enjoyed this meal. Just look at his face! He eats a lot, so I think this recipe could serve up to 4 people. It all depends on what you serve with it and how hungry your guests or family are.

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  1. 1 Bag of Jumbo Shrimp (26-32 count)
  2. Basmati Rice
  3. Red Kidney Beans
  4. Cajun Seasoning
  5. Red Pepper Flakes
  6. Jalapeno Peppers (max 2)
  7. Curry Powder
  8. Coriander
  9. Ginger Powder
  10. Minced Garlic
  11. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  12. Butter
  13. Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • Thaw Shrimp for at least 2 hours (overnight preferred)
  • Peel and devein shrimp if necessary
  • Prepare riced based on your own preference or boxed instructions
  • Rinse and add beans once rice is fully cooked
  • Heat EVOO in pan on medium heat
  • Cook Garlic and Jalapenos until tender
  • Season shrimp before adding to hot pan
  • Cook shrimp for 3-4 minutes or until opaque
  • Melt butter into cooked shrimp
  • Serve with rice and optional lemon/lime

Hubby Meals: Lumberjack Breakfast

My husband, Solomon, is a Nigerian, 6′ 4″, 215lb former soccer player with a big appetite and a love for all things spicy. I’ve really enjoyed introducing him to more American style food while keeping it within his palette preference. So one day I prepared a lumberjack style breakfast for him. I used beef sausage (my hubby doesn’t eat pork), fried eggs, homefries with Scotch Bonnet peppers, onions, and fresh minced garlic. I finished off the plate with toast smeared with garlic and herb cream cheese. Needless to say, my love devoured his meal. I wanted a bite, but cannot handle that level of heat. Below you’ll find the full recipe (minus measurements because I don’t measure when I cook) I hope that you and your S.O. will enjoy this meal as much as my hubby did.

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  1. Hebrew National Beef Hotdogs
  2. Organic Eggs
  3. Whole Wheat Naan Bread
  4. Philadelphia Garlic & Herb Cream Cheese
  5. Yukon Gold Potatoes
  6. Red Onion
  7. Scotch Bonnet Peppers (2)
  8. Minced Garlic
  9. Cajun Seasoning
  10. Parsley
  11. Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  12. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Start by Prepping your potatoes and onion. Cut them to your desired size and shape.
  • Crack your eggs into a bowl, season with S&P, then set aside.
  • Pre-Heat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176.7 degrees Celsius)
  • Use EVOO to cook hot dogs in a pan under medium heat.
  • Once your hotdogs are finished, use the same oil to cook potatoes, peppers, and onions..
  • Once homefries are done, toast naan bread in the oven.
  • Clean pan, add more EVOO, and fry eggs.
  • Once eggs are finished and bread is toasted, assemble your plate and enjoy!

Classic Face with Red Lip

Most days, I like to keep my look simple. Why? Because I love to switch out my lipstick when recording videos for my YouTube channel. It makes it so much easier to choose a lip color when the rest of your face is classic/neutral. With my classic face I paired a red lip this time. I used a combination of Vino Lip Pencil from Mac, Spiderweb Lipstick from Urban Decay + Gwen Stefani, and topped it all off with Burberry Lipgloss in Military Red. The combo made for a juicy candy apple red lip that popped beautifully against a neutral canvas of browns on the eyes and a golden highlight with muted blush and fluffy false lashes. You can watch me get ready in the video below and check out the list for a full description of the products I used to achieve this beat.

Primer
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer http://seph.me/2cfjjm2
MUFE Step 1 Equalizer in Mattify http://seph.me/29mqObE
Smashbox Photofinish Undereye Primer http://seph.me/29uXE8G
NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base http://seph.me/2aO7mSQ

Foundation
Hourglass Vanish Stick Foundation in Almond http://seph.me/2cGKiqY
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Caramel http://seph.me/2cjF0iD

Powders
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder http://seph.me/29fwh18
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Deep http://seph.me/2cjsZg9
Mac Mineralized Skinfinish in Dark Deep http://bit.ly/1QFOS4a
Face
ABH Contour Powder in Carob http://seph.me/2c3N6ye
Mac Blush in Adobe Brick http://bit.ly/2dnjiQl
OFRA Eyeshadow/Highlighter in Bliss http://bit.ly/2bD9Xjs

Eyebrows
ABH Brow Wiz in Ebony http://seph.me/2cULVnz
ABH Tinted Brow Gel in Espresso http://seph.me/2dmFjy2

Eyes
Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Melrose SOLD OUT
Elf Cosmetics + Jackie Aina Shadow Palette SOLD OUT
Maybelline Master Kajal http://bit.ly/2d4R0YO
Mac Gel Liner in Black Swan SOLD OUT
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara http://bit.ly/29QBey1
Velour Lashes: Fluf N’ Thick Collection in Trust Me, Try It! http://seph.me/2dnvo7k

Lips
Mac Lip Pencil in Vino http://bit.ly/1Ml7YfQ
Urban Decay + Gwen Stefani Lipstick in Spiderweb http://bit.ly/2dxPv6l
Burberry Lipgloss in Military Red http://seph.me/2dxPfnN

Finish
Smashbox Photofinish Primer Water http://seph.me/29er9NP

My Top 8 High End Lipsticks

img_7517I’ve been kicking my favorites series into high gear on my YouTube channel, but this topic in particular is my favorite of the favorites. If I had to choose one makeup product to wear exclusively, it would be lipstick. I usually wear it when I have to run out of the house really quickly and simply add a pair of oversized shades to my look. I love to play with color, but of course I never pass up a good everyday nude, a pretty pink, or a classic red. The following are my top picks for lipsticks:

  1. Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme in So Rouge 240 (VIB Rouge Exclusive)
  2. Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick in Punk’d
  3. Mac Matte Lipstick in Taupe
  4. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Bette
  5. Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick in Violine Precieux
  6. Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Pandore
  7. Colourpop Ulta Matte Liquid Lipstick in Chilli Chilli
  8. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Vintage

I use all of these lippies frequently and I find that each of them serve me for different occasions. I also feel that these colors are very WOC friendly, so my brown beauties, take notes and click links, because these are hot! Below is a video featuring my favorite lipsticks with different formulas, shades, and finishes. In the video, I swatch each lipstick so that you get a feel for the formula as well as my color choices. Hopefully you find a new shade and brand to fall in love with. Let me know which lipstick brands and colors are your favorites and why in the comment section. Also tell me if you’ve used any of these brands before. I love to get to know more high end makeup snobs! Until next week, loves, stay fabulous! xoxo

DISCLAIMER: This post is pre MJ foot-in-mouth gate. I have since sold my MJ Beauty products.

Keep up with me on social Media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (Vikeejeah)

The Casual Bride: I Eloped!

img_9042I’ve been gone for a while, enjoying my new life as a wife to an amazing man. And while I have neglected my blog, I have not completely forgotten about it. I am back and scheduling posts for all of my followers. I missed yall, a lot. I wanted to catch my JeahBaes (that’s what I call all of you) up on my makeup looks and fashion. So  for my special day, I decided to give myself a timeless, fresh, goddess like beat. My foundation was a mix of Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme in Sienna and Hourglass Immaculate Liquid to Powder Foundation in Chestnut. My lip was Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Tulle. And the highlight was a mix of Champagne Pop and Pearl from the Champagne Glow Palette. And I wore a Grecian inspired maxi dress from Ashley Stewart as my wedding gown. Less than $30, y’all! (photo credit: ADOS Photography)

My hubby and I eloped in a park by the water near our apartment. We had our ceremony under a stone gazebo, just the two of us. It was so romantic and casual. We had brunch at a local diner and just enjoyed ourselves without all of the commotion of traditional wedding receptions. When I saw Carrie finally wed Mr. Big in the Sex and the City movie, I thought that she settled and that Big had once again short changed her in a selfish manner. But the older I get, the more I realize that all he wanted was to be with the woman he loved. That was it “Just you and me. Just us two” and it makes sense to em now. I didn’t miss any of it. I didn’t need an elaborate multi thousand dollar dress that I’ll never wear again. I didn’t need a 200+ guest list, tons of flowers, bridesmaids, and all the other stuff. I just needed him.

When I looked into his eyes, as his eyes were welling with tears he tried to hold back, I realized that this was all I needed. The man I love, a photographer to capture the moment, and an officiant to seal the deal. Since we’ve married, I have spoken to married couples who’ve eloped and they are also glad they did it. Someday Solomon and I will have a wedding for our family to participate in, but we are in no rush. Instead, we’re happy being newlyweds and getting to know one another as husband and wife. I’d love to read some comments from all of you on your wedding days and what you enjoyed about it. Until next time, JeahBaes, Love ya and stay blessed.

Wedding Guest Fashion

img_9386My hubby and I dressed to impress for my cousin Jasmine’s wedding last month. I wanted to wear something that would be memorable in photos but wouldn’t outshine the bride. I have a few dresses that I keep for occasions like this. It’s something I believe is important for every woman to have in her wardrobe. Dresses that can be worn for semi-formal occasions such as a holiday office party, an upscale brunch, or a wedding. Once we pass the 25 year mark, these types of events will become more common for us as we adult (lol).

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I chose a gold and black paisley patterned sheath dress, with pockets, from Lane Bryant and paired it with gold and black strappy wedges from Torrid. I love these shoes because they are very comfortable, have a low heel, and can be worn with semi-formal to casual looks. I finished off my look with my fave nude bag and some gold costume jewelry from JustFab. For details on my makeup and hair, check out this tutorial from my YouTube channel.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Foundation Sticks

img_9677Shoutout to Anastasia Beverly Hills for their most recent foundation release! The latest foundation stick release is not only for my skin type (combo/oily) but it also includes a shade range that is on par with NARS and Becca. 28 shades y’all, 7 of which are darker than mine! When I tell you that brown girls can bronze, highlight, AND contour…WOOHOO! I am over the moon about this product launch and I haven’t been able to put down these sticks for weeks. My foundation color is Chestnut, which is described as medium deep skin with warm undertones, is spot on! I also have Almond, which is described as dark-medium tan skin with warm neutral undertones, as my highlight. My contour shade is what I originally chose for my foundation shade which is Cocoa, described as deep skin with red undertones. I have three video dedicated to demonstrating these foundation sticks for my brown beauties, so check them out below for details on how to mix them as well as use them multifunctionally for a flawless face.

Why I Will No Longer Support Marc Jacobs

img_7540When I tell y’all I am so ready for designers, actors, singers, dancers, and media personalities to STFU and just do their job…WHY DID MARC JACOBS HAVE TO OPEN HIS MOUTH?! WHYYYYY THOOOOO? Ugh! Now, look, I am not going to waste a ton of font explaining what I have already said in the video below, I will just say the following:

  1. I have enjoyed MJ Beauty for at least 2 years so far and I find his work to be of great quality. I have raved about his work on my channel and many of his products were Holy Grail status for me.
  2. Assimilation is defined as the process of adapting or adjusting to the culture of a group or nation. Native Americans, African Americans, and other groups of POCs have been historically forced to assimilate, both by law and by societal pressure, in the United States throughout history and into modern times. Keep that in mind.
  3. Appropriation is defined as the action of taking something for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission. Now while one cannot ask permission of an entire culture or racial/ethnic group, please remember that these two words (assimilation and appropriation) are not only completely different, but have different effects on the groups they affect.
  4. I cannot support anyone who is purposefully obtuse, racially insensitive, or colorblind (which is a crock idc, idc, idc). I don’t care about his PR apology, I don’t care about how much I paid for his products, I care about what so many seem to dismiss, the dignity, wellbeing, and love that my people deserve.

There’s too many black women walking around with no edges, hysterectomies due to uterine fibroids (many cases linked to the use of relaxers), scalp burns, and more trauma that extends beyond external, for me to shrug off his statement about black women straightening their hair as a response to his dreaded models for his Fall 2016 show. It’s just not worth it to me. I’ll find another quality brand to support.

Some commenters on my channel have argued that Marc wont miss my money, or any other black person’s money for that matter, and my response to that is “Well, I guess that’s a win for both of us then”. No love lost on either side, right? Duces!