GOLDEN


Glitter
 

You thought I’d be away forever, didn’t you? I’m not going to lie to you, beautiful people, I wasn’t sure where I would be after writing that last post. But it has been over a month since I’ve looked at and written a post on Clumps of Mascara and one thing remains – my love and desire to keep this trainin’ a rollin’. My time here isn’t done.

Don’t get excited. This isn’t exactly my comeback. This is just a quick message letting you know that I’m here, I’ll return and that I am attracted to all things GOLDEN. That last bit is random and I can’t explain it but I have fallen for the color gold. I am designing my new office with golden details (including gold curtains. Girl…just you wait and see!) and I’ve discovered gold scotch tape and have decked out every one of my notebooks in gold.

Jill Scott’s Golden plays through the speakers in my car daily. So much so that Baby Clumps (who, by the way, is TWO YEARS OLD next month…) has learned the bridge and sings it to the top of her lungs with me.

Gold is my power color and I am instituting it in many aspects of my life, both literally and figuratively.

I’ve missed you all so much. But I’ve been enjoying and making use of our time apart. Esposo and I got bikes and we hit the bike trail by our home at least 3-4 times a week with Elle being toted behind us in at trailer. It’s 80 degrees today in Florida and I am excited at the thought of hanging icicle lights from our home while wearing shorts. I started a personal growth program today and I’m attempting to live by my  mantra of Living with Purpose, Productivity and Positivity.

Clumps will undergo a redesign and relaunch in the coming weeks and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on. I may have lost some of you and I know the biggest mistake a blogger can do is not blog but….*shrugs* I am grateful to those of you who have stuck around.

 

What’s going on with you? Please tell me!

 

Talk soon,

B

It’s Time

Dear Clumps Readers, Supporters and Fans,

This letter is long overdue. I should have written it a week ago. Or maybe a month ago. I didn’t want to force my words (as I do far too often) but this morning I woke up with a message and knew that today was the day. Can I keep it real with you all? I mean, really real with no filter or fluff? This will likely be a lengthy post so brace yourself…

Blogging is hard work. Yes, I know to many of my readers it may appear that receiving beauty products, the occasional trip and fancy experiences seems like…fun! And don’t get me wrong, it can be. But it all comes with a cost. I have been blogging since July of 2007. I was a college student who would be graduating a month later and then across to country to Los Angeles. I was young and carefree. Clumps was my passenger on this journey. I didn’t make money back then. I didn’t care about money. I just wanted to write. Clumps has been apart of my life for 7 years and together we have gone through…

-cross country moves
-residency at over 8 homes in 5 cities
-working unfulfilling jobs
-loneliness
-heartbreaks
-having the courage to take a different career path
-a relationship that turned into a marriage
-pregnancy and motherhood
-trips around the world
-launching a business
-losing friendships
-gaining friendships
-sudden job layoffs
-health problems
-financial turbulence

Clumps has been there. While I blog publicly, most of what is listed up there was not shared with the world. Even as a writer, I clutch tightly to my personal life. I’ve always been this way.

A few weeks ago I went through a time where I cried every single day. Every day. One morning I was crying before I even opened my eyes. The sadness enveloped me and made it difficult to blog. I didn’t care about a new mascara or NARS new lippies. I began to resent Clumps. I was so upset that my joy of a blog started to feel like an anchor.

I’m not just a blogger, guys. I am a mother first. I am a mother to a toddler and a wife to a man who works many, many hours, some of them out of the state. I am a mother, a wife and an employee at a demanding job where the only solace I get is 1 hour during lunch. I am a mother, wife, employee and do’er. I have to do. Sometimes I feel worthless if I’m not doing something. So I volunteer, I manage social clubs, I do fun activities with my daughter, I overwhelm myself so that I feel purpose.

I have many kinks within me that need to be worked out. I have gone through a stream of self-awareness these past few months and I am realizing that hey, while I want to, I can’t do it all. Someone lied to me. Or maybe I lied to myself. Where did I get the idea that I can do it all? Who said I could a be a wife, mother, full-time working employee, business owner, volunteer, blogger and attentive friend and gym go’er? Despite being a perfectionist, I am okay with failing at the inability to do “it” all. I am scaling back in my life. It is time that I push Clumps to the side.

Truthfully, this breaks my heart. Clumps is my first child. My first business. My partner in crime. My career. Clumps is my longest relationship. Clumps has given me confidence. Yes, I may work for others but Clumps showed me that my true talents and passions are within the written word, helping others and entrepreneurial ventures. But Clumps has also robbed me of something so precious. Something that I can’t get back.

Time.

Clumps is a full time job with very little pay. Yes, you may see the sponsored posts and ads on the site, but please do not be confused. These do not pay my bills and if they do, only just a small portion. A reader left a comment a few weeks ago and she said, “I miss when all of your posts weren’t sponsored posts.” That hurt my feelings. It wasn’t a mean comment. It was a true comment and it made me feel bad. My voice means everything to me. I don’t want you, my readers, to feel like I’ve lost it for a dime. I looked through my past few posts and yep, most of them were sponsored posts. I tried to justify it.

“Well,” I said…“Clumps is a job. Don’t we get paid for jobs?”

Yes. We do.

“So screw this reader. It’s not my fault that she can’t understand that. She doesn’t know the time and energy I put into this blog. She doesn’t know that even after working 8 hours a day, I go BACK to computer and work again. She doesn’t know how demanding toddlers can be? She doesn’t know how hard it is to run a household without any help because your family is all scattered about. She doesn’t know how hard it is to put so much into a craft and still feel like you aren’t making any steps ahead. She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know my life.”

I became angry. That anger has subsided but what hasn’t is…time. I spend a great deal of it on Clumps. Time that could be spend on being a more hands-on mother. Time that could be spend on be’ing instead of do’ing. I haven’t read a book in months because well, I don’t have the time. When my husband comes home at 10pm, I barely give him a kiss and hello because I’m writing a blog post that needs to be up in time. I only get a 5-6 hours of sleep because I just don’t have enough time in the day.

Do you see this? I do. I want more time. I don’t want my blog to be an anchor with crazy demands. I don’t want to keep being undervalued, ignored or harassed by PR people that want me to write long and elaborate posts on their $20 product. I don’t want to apologize for not tweeting, or Instagram’ing my life or disappearing from Facebook. I don’t want the pressure. I don’t want deadlines.

I just want to write. But somehow, the ease of that has been lost.

And so I feel like I need to back away for awhile. I need this. It’s time. I never truly went on maternity leave. I’ve never really stepped away from Clumps. But I need to.

A blogger friend said to me, “This is such a scary thought, B. What happens if you don’t gain monument when you get back?”

I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Then I will do something else.”

I want Clumps to push through this 7 year itch. But I also want there to be purpose in what I do. Right now I am struggling to find the purpose. What is my mission? What are my goals? I don’t know. And I haven’t known for years. Stepping away for a few months, I believe, will grant me clarity. Maybe I will come back with a fresher look for Clumps. And maybe I won’t.

If I don’t, I will be sad but I will be proud of myself. At almost 30 years old, I have held down a 7-year old job that I created. I launched a business. I branded myself. College didn’t teach me this. I learned this all on my own and I could not be more proud of myself. But right now…life needs me. My family needs me. I need me.

And the money that I make with this blog? I’m turning a lot of it down. Which is a risk but this is why I have never believed in ONE money source. I believe in multiple sources of income. Financially, I will miss some things. But the holidays are coming up and I am so excited about doing Pinterest activities with my girl in our new home. That excites me more than the new holiday beauty collections. My life is shifting. I am okay with this.

This isn’t goodbye forever post. I really think I’ll be back. I’ll be around on social media (sometimes), I’ll be tossing up a post for the Makeup Wars in a few weeks and I’m thinking I’ll do a post a month. Just to say hi.

I love you all. I really do. Thanks for standing by me. Thanks for the encouragement.

Ta ta for now,
B

The Beauty Blogger And Her Intel 2n1 Device

Remember that time I told you lovely people that I got the opportunity to join the Intel Smart Squad and that I would be receiving a 2n1 from Intel to play around with? Well honey…I got it. And it has been loooooove.

Dell Venue 11 Pro keyboard shot

I think the universe was telling me that it was time to convert to PCs because shortly after my entry into the Intel Smart Squad, my MacBook decided to give up the ghost on me. It was a bittersweet end and after cleaning her up and giving her to my sister, I started showing a lot of love to my Dell Venue 11 Pro.

Dell Venue 11 Pro

Beautiful, isn’t she? This tablet (or computer…or both?) is really about 10.8 inches but size wise I found it to be extremely practical for both every day use and while traveling. I am going to break my review up into categories that I think most people would be interested in if they were looking for a reliable and moderately pried 2n1 device. Keep in mind that I am a blogger so my need to ALWAYS BE CONNECTED may be a little different than yours. That said, I think if this device can satisfy my need for speed and portability, chances are it can satisfy yours.

The Outer Feels + Outer Specs

This lightweight 2n1 feels incredibly…lightweight. It is only 1.56 lbs. I preferred this a thousand times over my 13′ MacBook and I appreciated how easy this was to whip out of my bag during TSA’s glorious security checks. The front panel of the tablet felt nice and smooth and dare I say it…slightly toddler-proof. You’ve got a USB port (hellloooo wireless mouse!) and power and volume buttons are easy to press.

Dell Venue 11 Pro ports

Dell Venue 11 Pro keyboard

And uh… every laptop and desktop should have a touch screen. I find myself randomly going from touching the mousepad to touching the screen…just because I can. Did I use the 2n1 without the keyboard? Not very often. Holding the tablet in my hands was a bit cumbersome and I really only found it useful for when Elle and I snuggled up to watch a movie.  I do wish this baby had a charger cord that was longer. It’s about 3 feet long which I think is about the same length as an average cell phone charger. Womp.

Dell Venue 11 Pro charger

This charger was painfully short and made plugging in public areas (hotels, bookstores, coffee shops) almost impossible. But the good news is the battery life is pretty fantastic. I found it lasted an entire day off of one charge. The optional keyboard also has a built-in battery, which was definitely useful!

Windows 8

Okay, so I know this is a review about the computer, not the operating system but this is my first time using Windows 8 on a tablet and while I know many aren’t a fan of how it works on a desktop, I think it does beautifully on a tablet. With the Venue’s 1080p display, colors are sharp and bright and browsing is niiiiice.

Dell Venue 11 Pro screen

Productivity

As a blogger and social media manager, I spend a ton of time emailing, using Microsoft Word, Photoshop and web browsing. I do occasional downloading but really I don’t need a ton of memory as this isn’t my primary computer. While the system runs well, it isn’t made for hardcore jobs. In fact, I noticed things got bogged down a bit while opening too many windows of Chrome. Opps. My web designers, graphic designers, musicians and other creatives may need a device that accommodate their workloads. However, for bloggers, casual web browsers and students, I think this device is more than perfect.

Do I need the optional keyboard?

Well hmmm, let’s see…YES! Dell sells this keyboard for about $150 but you need it. While about 1.7 lbs, this keyboard weighs more than the tablet but it takes your productivity to the next level. After all, while the Venue is considered a tablet, I’m thinking that if you would spend this amount of money on it, you would want to use it like traditional computer. The screen is responsive, but the keyboard is a dream and really makes using the Venue that much more pleasurable.

Dell Venue 11 Pro keys

Plus, the built-in battery in the keyboard gives you an extra 50% of battery life. I do wish the keyboard had a backlit display because I know I’m not the only one who likes to browse makeup videos do work in the middle of the night.

Overall

I love this computer/tablet/2n1 so so much. I never got the appeal of these smaller devices but they are so practical for the lifestyle of busy folx. I guess you could argue that after spending $499 on this and then another $150 on the keyboard, you could have just purchased a regular sized laptop, and actually…you would be correct. But if you’re looking for something impactful that won’t take up too much space and can play nicely with your other gadgets, the Venue 11 Pro is it. This and my iPad mini are the perfect travel companions.

Dell Venue 11 Pro iPad comparison

I also went and purchased a little case for this baby because while it is incredibly durable I’m just clumsy and oh yeah, I live with a toddler. Have you ever tried an Intel 2 in 1 device? What kind of computer are you using these days?


 

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

My Sally Hansen Pamper Party!

Well my loves, I had a fabulous Pamper Party + going away party for my good friend Su and I had it all documented via photos until, guess what? My camera decided to do some crazy stuff and I ended up with only TWO pictures of the almost 20+ that I took. My heart is broken but luckily my girl Nidia let me borrow some of her pictures. So…yeah.

DSC_0933

Nidia, Su and I got gathered at a swanky hotel downtown where I chatted to them about Sally Hansen®’s newest nail polish. Have you heard about it? I’ve purchased several bottles of these already and when I got the opportunity to host a party with some gal pals to share my love of this newest line, well, I couldn’t pass it down. Baby Toddler Clumps came with me and was such a sweet girl coloring while Mama “worked”.

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Sally Hansen® Miracle Gel™ promises to give you long-lasting nail color and shine for up to 14 days. The formula makes it so that you don’t even need to use a lamp. This alone is a home run for me because that means I don’t have to spend any extra time or money sitting at a salon every few weeks. There aren’t any tricks to applying this either. It applies  like a traditional nail polish and only has 2 steps.

Step 1: Apply Gel Color
Step 2: Apply Gel Top Coat

That’s it, girlfriend. No UV/LED light needed, no having to wait an hour for  1 coat to dry. None of that. This stuff is practically made for women like me who want lovely nails but don’t want to invest a ton of time in achieving them.

I love how the line has ton of different colors to fit just about everyone’s style and personality. Su loved B Girl, Nidia rocked Mad Woman but really my favorite of the collection is the burgundy goodness that is Wine Stock.

Sally Hansen

I rocked that with some of those Sally Hansen nail strips some months ago and I’m thinking about recreating that look because I LOVED it. Now in terms of longevity, I’m going to keep it real with you gals…these won’t last for 14 days. At around 8 days, I noticed both Mad Woman and Wine Stock chipping on me.

Sally Hansen

My belief is that no gel nail polish (that doesn’t require a light for hardening, that is) can last for 14 days. And this is coming from someone who cleans the house and washes dishes wearing gloves. Still, getting a good week out of nail polish from a drugstore brand is practically unheard of so I think these are stellar.

Also, the polishes don’t dry that quickly. Nidia noted that after applying her top coat, she managed to bump her nails after about an hour of application and smudged the polish. Womp. Still, I am finding these polishes are so so practical for gals who like to go some days (and maybe a week) in between applying nail polish. The shine seriously doesn’t budge, and that my girls, is awesome in itself.

Have you tried these polishes yet? Oh! But wait…Sally Hansen® has an incredible sweepstakes going on right now. My Instagram girls will love this one because all you have to do is snap a look of your current mani and you have the chance of winning the top 10 Sally Hansen® Miracle Gel™ polishes. Weee!

Sally Hansen® Miracle Gel™ At Last!
Gel without the light!

 

Sally-Hansen-Logo

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Sally Hansen® via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sally Hansen®. Click here to buy more products.

My Dirty Child and Beauty Tips for Busy Mamas

This morning was a rough one for our household. Elle used to be such a morning person. She would wake up babbling and singing and was always so pleasant. But honey…those days are over. This girl is so anti mornings. She’s like her Daddy in that regard because me? I’ve always been a morning person. This morning she cried when I woke up her. She cried on the potty. She cried when I wiped her face. She cried when I brushed her teeth. She cried when I looked at her. She cried when I stopped looking at her. She cried while eating. She cried when I put her shoes on. She cried when I wouldn’t let her carry my laptop bag.

Toddler

It’s true, y’all. By the time I get to work I am just…emotionally DONE and I’m in that Watch what you say to me mode.. But, I can’t let it show because I don’t ever want to be “The Mom” in my office. I’m a business woman and don’t let the stresses of my crazy toddler get to me at work. Gotta keep it professional, baby. Can’t let ‘em see you cry.

My Experience With Warby Parker

So I’ve changed my hair…again. I blame almost 30-hood. Don’t worry. I’m not one of those women who freaks out over getting older. I am excited to kick rocks to my 20’s because I feel like 20’s has just been one big dress rehersal for my life. 30+ is where it’s really at. But wait, where was I?

Oh yeah. My hair. I chopped it off (again) and got a blonde taper. Which I’m lovin’. I’m also thinking of going jet black at some point, doing purple tips and maybe a gray streak. Just because. Gotta keep it cool, ya know? I hate when my hair is boring and for the past few months, it has been just that. I’ve also been wanting some new eyeglasses. A ton of my fellow beauty bloggin’ gals recommended Warby Parker and so I looked them up.

Need A New Hair Style? #UrsulaforMotions Has Us Covered

It’s a been a lil’ minute since I’ve talked about hair care. Many years ago, I started a blog called Loc Rocker and it was all fun up until I went and chopped my locs off in postpartum rage. And since then I’ve been rockin’ several different styles of short cuts. But when I think about Motions, I think of the good ole’ days. I rocked Motions back when I was in high school and college. I was in Walgreens a few days ago, sniffed a bottle of their shampoo and giiiiiiirl, the memories started a flowin’. Since Motions has just gotten back on my radar, it appears that I have been living under a rock because they’ve done some amazing things to their products since I last tried them.

Wags1
I’m a girl who wears her hair naturally but I am far from a product snob. If it works for my hair, I’ll use it and it’s good to know that Motions caters to women of all hair types and textures. They also have products for every part of your styling and maintenance routine. From shampoos, conditioners, oils, sprays and holding products, Motions will keep you covered.

5 Reasons Why Darshana Hair Oil is the Only Oil You Need This Fall

Oh hey! It’s me again. Don’t mind me. I’m just over here bragging about Darshana Natural Indian Hair Oil. Yes again.


Darshana
I’ve covered this oil on Clumps of Mascara before but I recently purchased more bottles and it’s as if my love for this oil only magnified. I won’t rehash what I’ve already said how great it is but instead I will give you 5 reasons why you may want to purchase this liquid oil now that we’re in Fall.

And seriously? How is it already Fall? OMGGGahhhh!