Minimalist Slay: “No Makeup” Date Night Look

Quick and affordable minimalist date night look

I am a minimalist when it comes to makeup. I tried to bake, beat, and slay my face and failed miserably. For me, a slay is having filled brows, full lashes, and a cute nude lip. Sometimes I’ll be adventurous and wear a bold lip. Keeping that in mind I wanted to create a low-cost everyday day/date night/daytime look for my fellow makeup minimalist.You can take away or add depending on the look you’re going for. This is the perfect look for a casual daytime date and can easily be turned into a nighttime look. I did a nude lip but you can add a pop of color if you’d like. The best part is most of the products I used are affordable. Check out how I put this minimalist slay together below!

 

Products used:

Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation in Toffee

NYX Highlight & Contour Palette

ABH Brow Wiz in Dark Brown

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Nutmeg

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Hemp

NYX Xtreme Lip Cream in Skintone

NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator

PUR Miracle Mist Hydrating Spray

Are you a makeup minimalist? What is your go to look? What are your favorite products? Share below in the comments!

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Why You Should Use Groupon for Your Next Date

The Groupon DC homepage
The Groupon DC homepage

I wanted to write about Groupon dates for a while and been putting it off because, well, I’m lazy. But today I found my motivation from where else but Twitter. Please refer to the following screen shot for reference:

 

Now, it is possible this young woman was trolling, as many do on Twitter. However, there were enough people co-signing her statement that made me think, “Wow, people really hate Groupon dates.” Times have changed, including the legitimacy of using Groupon to pay for a date. If you don’t believe me here are 5 reasons you should try a Groupon date:

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5 Must-Have Beauty Products for Date Night

(Left to Right) NYX Soft Matte Lip Creme in Athens, Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD High-definition concealer, Clinique Happy Gelato Cream for body sample size, Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Dear Brachiosaurus Blotting Paper

I love the process of getting ready for a date. Using a couple of coats of mascara to transform from basic to baddie is fascinating. Unfortunately, my transformation doesn’t last long and I’ll need a touchup. Luckily, you won’t need to carry your entire makeup drawer to look flawless throughout the night. All you need five products! Here are 5 must haves to keep in your makeup bag on date night:

Mirror

This one seems obvious, but plenty women (and men) don’t carry a mirror with them everywhere. However If you’re like me, a mirror is a must have in your purse. You never know where you may end up so having one of these handy is helpful. Of course, if you don’t have a mirror you can always use your phone.

Blotting Papers

I didn’t know blotting papers were a thing until I was waiting to check out at Sephora. Honestly, they are one of the best investments I’ve made. Before I’d use regular tissue to remove excess oil ,but it left my skin feeling a little dry and ruined my makeup. Blotting papers remove the excess oil without sacrificing moisture and your makeup. These are a lifesaver in the warmer months. So next time you’re in line at Sephora grab some, these were only $8!

Concealer

Even with the best finishing spray your makeup will move throughout the day. Bringing concealer or foundation with you is helpful for routine touchups to keep you looking as flawless as possible. I prefer having concealer over foundation because it’s easier to apply and less bulky. L.A. Girl Pro Concealer is perfect because it provides such great coverage it I can use it like a foundation and it doesn’t take up much space in my bag. It’s also easy to apply so you don’t have to worry about bringing a brush along with you.

Lipstick

I LOVE dates that involve food but I also kinda hate them because I always sacrifice my lipstick for them. Nothing is worse than seeing your favorite lipstick on your fork after a delicious bite of food. This is why I put my lipstick in my purse as soon as I finish applying it at home. If I’m wearing a liquid lipstick I also pack the liner, but this is optional.

Lotion

This is something to bring with you on a date, to the grocery story, church, everywhere. Lotion should never leave your purse, EVER! Especially in the winter when just walking outside the door causes you to look ashy. Keep a couple travel or sample sizes on hand so you don’t end up like Ashy Larry.

Bonus Item: Mascara, because you never know!

What are your date night must have beauty products? Share below in the comments!

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7 Ways to Describe Black Love

February is my absolute favorite month. Although it’s the shortest month of the year I feel like it’s jam packed with the most celebrations. Not only is February my birthday month, but the Super Bowl, NBA All Star Game,  and Mardi Gras happens during February. February is also Black History Month and the Month of Love thanks to Valentine’s Day. For all these reasons, I love February and try to celebrate it like it should. It’s now been 1 week since Valentine’s Day and we’re 21 days into Black History so I’ve decided to celebrate it through my now annual post on Black Love. Last year, I tried to be very philosophical but this year, I’ve decided to show what I think Black Love is instead of trying to dissect it. Black Love is a lot of things to many people. Here are just few of the things Black Love is to me.

Black Love is familiar …

These two are celebrating 27 years of love and marriage today #happyanniversary #blacklove #reallifecosbyshow

A post shared by Vanessa Alexandra (@thequeenvey) on

The first place you learn about Black Love is in your home. This can be your grandparents, parents, cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles. You go from saying ewww every time you see adults showing affection to wanting that love as an adult.

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Your Priceless Guide to Restaurant Week in Washington, DC

Restaurant week is almost here! The biannual promotion featuring 250 restaurants is a foodies dream. It is also great if you’re like me and balling on a budget. Restaurants offer a three course prefix menu for lunch and brunch for $22 and dinner for $35. Considering a nice dinner out in this DC can be $200, this is a steal. However, if you aren’t careful you could still end up paying $200. No worries, I got you covered.  Here are my tips to get the most out of DC Restaurant Week.

steak, steakhouse, charlie palmer, restaurant week
Grilled New York strip loin with oxtail turnover, braised swiss chard, smoked potato puree I had at Charlie Palmer Steak last year during Restaurant Week. AMAZING!
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Why Belize is the Perfect Priceless Vacation

Happy New Year! Last year, I wrote about the baecation goals PJ and I (really just me) had set for us. Those goals were to take a road trip, fly to another US city, and travel internationally. I’m happy to say we accomplished this goal with our last trip of 2016 to the beautiful Central American country of Belize. Rather than insulating ourselves from the Belizean culture by staying on an island resort we chose to stay on the mainland at a resort off Hopkins Village, a quiet fishing town near the beach. Here are some highlights from our trip:

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5 Items on Bae’s Winter Swipe List

It’s finally winter here in the south and I’ve come to inform those who are booed up that after cuffing season comes swiping season. Have you ever heard the phrase “what’s yours is mine, and what’s mine in mine”? I’m sorry to inform you but this doesn’t just apply to married people and their belongings. and your hoodies aren’t the only thing on Bae’s Winter Swipe List .

Check out the album below to see the top 5 coveted winter items that will now belong to bae this winter

Long sleeve t-shirts/Button-downs - For one, hopefully, you're bigger than bae and this shirt will fit like a baggy sleep shirt. This bagginess will come in handy when the bra has been retired for the night and bae needs something to hide the fact that it's no longer there. You can pick up this shirt and many more items on our list at http://www.thesneakerlounge.com/Extra thick socks - Who needs house shoes when I can I just wear your big comfy socks. Also socks, carpet, and annoying bae = a great time on our end.  Check out these socks from the Alabama sock queen at https://zkano.com/Sweat Pants - your basketball shorts will now only be worn to bed as bae steps out to run errands in your favorite sweats.  Check out this sweatsuit from Splashed by DKG at http://splashedbydkg.tictail.com/Head gear - True, we've been wearing your fitted caps on bad hair days for months but winter brings in even more options. Skullcaps, beanies, and trappers, Oh My!!!!  Here's a sneak peak of the Skool Clothes line beanies coming out in 2017. Check them out on FB or online at http://www.skool-clothes.com/Hoodie/Sweatshirt - This should be expected, I have nothing to explain.  You can find this crew neck at https://www.hypkreationz.com/

 

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8 Takeaways From Insecure Season 1

Insecure

Its been two days so I’ve had time to process everything that happened in the Insecure season finale. All I could say after watching was “WOW!” Issa Rae has created a true gem. This show has some of the most relatable characters on TV that I haven’t seen in a long time. Over the course of the season you see these characters handle different relationship situations that many of us experience in our own lives. Here are 8 things I took away from this season of Insecure.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

  1. Fight Through the Relationship Rut

In the first episode we meet Issa and Lawrence who are in a long-term relationship that is going through a bit of a rut. Issa is so bored with Lawrence she is considering breaking up with him. A relationship rut is bound to happen no matter how much you care for the other person. The longer you’re together the more comfortable you get. Instead of looking for a way out, Issa should have worked to get the relationship back on track. Maybe if she did, she wouldn’t have cheated with Daniel. Speaking off cheating…

  1. Be Honest

One of the shows biggest plot twists was Issa succumbing to (fine ass) Daniel and cheating on (also fine) Lawrence. We see Issa feeling guilty and unable to stop thinking about what she did. Instead of telling Lawrence as soon as it happened she let him find out through other means. You have to be honest in a relationship no matter how bad the truth hurts. Something as big cheating needs to come from you and not a third-party.

  1. You Can’t Avoid Temptation

No matter how hard you try you cannot avoid temptation. In the age of the Internet and social media temptation is literally everywhere. Social media is where Daniel and Issa first reconnected. There is nothing wrong with have a quick chat with someone, but make sure you resist falling for the bs. Issa did not resist and ended up crying on the bouch with Molly.

  1. Manage Your Expectations

Molly, Issa’s best friend, is a smart, beautiful, successful attorney but her love life is trash, and its all her own fault. Molly is looking for someone who looks good on paper and is quick to dismiss anyone who doesn’t fit into her perfect picture. This is a common mistake many women (myself included) have made when dating. The issue with looking for a “perfect” partner is that you can miss out on some really amazing people. We saw that when Molly dated Jared, a guy who didn’t attend college and works at Enterprise but treated her well. While it is important to have standards don’t have so many that you disqualify someone who is worth your time.

  1. Keep an Open Mind

Although Molly is smart, she is still ignorant. Her ignorance came out when Jared shared he had a sexual experience with a man, similar to Molly’s girl on girl experience in college. Unable to get past this Molly ends things with Jared. Initially, I sided with Molly until I gave it more thought. You meet a lot of people dating. In 2016 it isn’t crazy to meet a man who had a same-sex experience. Everyone has a past, and if they are willing to share details about that past with you it is important not to judge them.

  1. Do Not Rush the Relationship

I won’t lie, when I first meet a guy I fantasize about our future together. It’s natural to wonder if the person you are casually meeting for coffee could end up being the one you spend your life with. What you don’t do is act like you’re in a relationship with someone after a couple of dates. Molly, more than once, made this mistake. Just let things happen naturally and you will save yourself some embarrassment.

  1. Your Friends Aren’t Always Right

One thing that got on my nerves watching this show was how much Molly let her friends influence who she dates. Molly dumped Jared twice because of what her friends thought of him. Yes, your friends can give some helpful dating advice but they can also project their own ignorance into your situation. So when you meet up with your girls for drinks and share dating stories just remember not all advice is good advice.

  1. Don’t Stay in a Bad Relationship for the Sake of Being In One

Some people’s fear of being alone outweighs their need to be happy. This might be the case for Issa and Lawrence. They may right for each other but after 5 years it’s hard to move on. Starting over is scary, and dating is NOT easy. But wouldn’t you rather be happy looking for someone you’re meant to be with instead of settling?

What did you think of the Insecure season finale? What are your predictions for season 2? Share below in the comments!

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How to Survive Being Single During Cuffing Season

stocksnap_cm9w9uhkkkHalloween is over and the temperature has dropped below 60 degrees, meaning we are at the beginning of “cuffing season.” If you are unfamiliar with cuffing season here is the definition according to Urban Dictionary:

During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.

If you find yourself uncuffed, don’t worry! Here is how you be unapologetically single during cuffing season.

  1. Practice Self Care

If you find yourself feeling more down than usual this time of year, you aren’t alone. Being single during the holiday season is tough! No matter what, you can’t avoid the cheesy holiday movies or the Kay Jeweler commercials with happy couples. Add nosey family members asking about your relationship status in between bites of turkey and you have the perfect mixture for a stressful holiday season. That is why it is important to use this time to focus on your mental health. Get a massage, take a yoga classes, start journaling, anything to keep your spirits up!

2. Join a Gym

Speaking of self-care, cuffing season is the perfect time to work on your fitness. Regular exercise helps improve your mood while getting your body right. Many gyms offer promotions for new members leading up to New Year’s so you can get a head start on your “new year, new me”. So start following some IG fitness gurus, set a goal, and get started on your fitness journey.

3. Solo Travel

Have you ever wanted to travel? This is your time! Many women have embraced taking solo trips around the world as an opportunity to grow and embrace new cultures. You can find some pretty good travel deals this time of year so take advantage of them.

4. Date yourself

Who says you have to be cuffed to have a date night? TREAT YO SELF! Take yourself to the movies, have a steak dinner with dessert, anything you want because it’s all about YOU.

5. Don’t look for a relationship at all

Usually when you aren’t looking for a relationship you end up in one. Or at least you meet some cool people. You may make some connections, you may not, but it’s ok! Dating is a process you need to let happen organically, don’t force it. If you focus too much on looking for a relationship you will end up settling for something you are not ready for. Enjoy being single!

Have any cuffing season survival tips? Share them below in the comments!

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10 things to do in Birmingham this Autumn

fall-1072821_1920

In the south, it’s time to dress for fall in the morning, summer by midday, and fall again at night. It’s finally getting darker earlier which means it’s most definitely almost my least favorite time of year. While I’m not a big fan of the sweater weather, I am a fan of these fun events that you can only do in fall.

1. Attend a haunted house – It’s October and Haunted Houses are now open on every corner, not literally but it feels like it. My local favorite is Sloss Fright Furnace which now has a zombie section. If zombies aren’t your thing, don’t worry. They still run a traditional haunted house and play your favorite horror movies all night long. FYI, Sloss furnaces is rumored to actually be haunted and has been featured on a few of your favorite paranormal tv shows.

2. Find a Fall/Harvest Event – This is the more family friendly October event. There are usually corn mazes, hay rides, pumpkin picking, and carnival rides. You will have to travel 30+ minutes out of the city limits to enjoy this type of event but it’s worth it. 

3. Attend a college football game – In the South, college football is life. I honestly could have made this 3 events on its own because there are three very specific college football games you should attend. #1 You should attend a Homecoming Game. Whether it’s your Alma Mater or just your favorite college team, homecoming is an experience you don’t want to miss. It can turn any sleepy town into the place to be. #2 An SEC game duh, and living in Birmingham means that an SEC game is 45 minutes to 3 hours away. #3 An HBCU Classic is something everyone should experience. It’s Homecoming on steroids but with better food, drinks, tailgating, and events for all ages. Honestly, HBCU Classics are a lifestyle. 

4. Go ice skating – I know this pick surprises you since I live in a city that shuts down for a dusting but hear me out. There is an indoor rink located in Pelham and tickets are usually bogo all year long. But where you should really consider skating is Railroad Park this winter. They are getting their own outdoor skating rink similar to the one at the Rockefeller Center in NY.

5. Attend a Gala or Ball – It’s officially ball season!!!  Support your local non-profit causes and dress up for a night on the town all in one event. It’s also an excuse to wear that bridesmaids dress you loved but thought you’d never wear again.

6. Go to a drive in movie – If you’re looking for a cuter version of netflix and chill, look no further than your local drive in. The colder weather gives you an excuse to cuddle up close together and keep warm. The drive-In in Leeds has double features for $5 a person.

drive-in

7. Wacky Tacky Christmas Tour – I was introduced to this hilarious Christmas tour through my job and our partnership with Fresh Air Family. FAF literally looks for the wackiest tackiest Christmas decorations in the city then lead the best adult school bus tour ever. The tour starts at Avondale brewery, you can also bring your own cooler of beverages on the bus. There are a few family friendly tour slots available.

8. Christmas Tree Lighting – DC and NY aren’t the only cities with Tree Lighting ceremonies. You should really check out your local tree lighting ceremony this year. If you don’t live in your state’s capitol but live close by consider driving up for it’s tree lighting. There’s usually more fanfare and local celebrities at the capitol ceremony.

9. Galaxy of Lights – The Huntsville Botanical Gardens has this amazing display of Christmas lights that they do every year. There’s an option to walk their trails and view or or drive. I’m definitely making the drive up this year.

10. Star Gazing – It’s finally getting dark earlier giving you plenty of time to star gaze. If you live in an urban area dense with nighttime light, search for a local planetarium. Most planetariums also host special Christmas viewings.

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