Lip balms=love

Have I told y’all how much I love lip balms? They are such staples for me. And I have them everywhere. In every purse. In my car. In my office. In the medicine cabinet. You won’t catch me anywhere without them. 

Lip balms do something that most glosses and lipsticks can not do…moisturize. And for that, I can appreciate them. Very rarely will you see me applying a gloss or lipstick without having applied a lip balm first. Many moons ago I reviewed MAC’s lip conditioner here. As you can see, I am still faithfully rocking it. But it’s not my favorite.

My favorite would be Korres’ Lip butter in Jasmine.

Oh.mi.goodness. I have been using this paraben-free $10 lip butter for months. And look at that….I still have quite a bit left. I love the way it smells and it feels just divine on the lips. And then there’s Burt’s Bee’s lip balm..

I’ve purchased about 3 of these. For under $3, they aren’t bad at all. Another paraben-free lip balm that delivers but I hate the packaging. It is SO hard to open. But The Merry Hempster’s lip balm isn’t.

This vegan lip balm so rocks! The peppermint flavor lasts for hours as it conditions. You can find more about this brand (sold at Whole Foods) here. They have so many different flavors. Must try them all! When I’m in the mood to be the little bee that I am, I am all over Oyin’s Honeystick.

This is my third tube. I literally ate the first two. Nah, I’m kidding. But aside from loving to support wonderful Jamyla and family, I just love the way the Honeystick feels and tastes. And when I want people to give me the double look and ask “WTF is that?” I pull out this kid.

The organic EOS lip balm in its spherical wonderment just looks cool, uh? One glide and I can conquer both the top and bottom lips at the same time. It is shea butter based and was a gift from Mommy.

Lip balms made it in my Top Products of 2009 video for a good reason. Ain’t nothin’ sexy about chapped lippies. 

Do you wear balms? Which one is your favorite?

Beauty and…Male: Men and pedicures?

I’m not sure how it happened.
It caught me by surprise.
The feeling was so nice.
It about brought tears to my eyes.
Ok.  Now, let’s remove your mind from the gutter and follow me as we approach the final frontier for ‘Beauty and the Male’—the male pedicure.  The sad story is that men rarely pamper themselves.  Most of your husbands or boyfriends wouldn’t know the word “pamper” if it wasn’t on your baby’s diapers.  Now, I do consider myself a ‘metro” guy but this is just one thing I have never given on.  But thanks to some encouragement from good friends, I got over it and to my surprise—loved it.  So, how did they convince me? Here’s several ways to get your man to the salon with you for a pedicure:

1)      Start with telling him how awesome his looks already are.  Many guys just need that extra push and there is nothing that beats hearing that from your woman.  Once you gush a bit about how fine and sexy he is….
2)      Offer to go with him and treat the two of you.  Many men think this costs a bunch of money but you can take that argument out of it by offering to P-A-Y.  Most gentlemen are used to paying so its nice to be treated some of the time!  Now that he is considering it…
3)      Find a place that won’t intimidate him and make the appointment.  If there are flowers and pastels on the wall, keep looking.  Any place where he might be seen by his boys or coworkers is out of the question.  Search your city for places that have a more masculine feel to them.  Now, after you have the place selected….
4)      Choose a time when there will not be a lot of folks there.  You can even earn bonus points if you can manage to ask the salon to schedule you both when another guy already has an appointment.  Private booths can help ease this anxiety too since he won’t want everyone staring.  The icing on the cake is….
5)      After the service is done, you must tell him how great his feet now look and feel.  Offer to take him with you four times a year (at the beginning of each season).  Encouragement is just part of the ego thing.  Accept it; deal with it;  and use it to what will ultimately be your advantage—after all, those feet will be rubbing against your feet tonight!

Yes, its hard to be a man
‘Cause pampering can be a sin
But once you get that pedicure
You’ll be headed back again.
Until next time, Clumpers….

More about Kenneth:

Kenneth D. Pratt Esq. is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travel, and sports.

New York Fashion Week: the Vessel by Lois

MOJ and COM team up for Mercedes Benz New York Fashion WeekRemember when Meryl Streep was in The Devil Wears Prada? To be more specific? When she was explaining to Anne Hathaway how designers and the fashion industry as a whole contribute to her decision of even a belt? That’s how I feel sometimes when I’m at these shows.

the Vessel by Lois is a great collection of womenswear with a masculine twist. Tailored to a T, the dresses and suits combine the angles of menswear with just a smidge of a feminine touch. Let’s just say this is what I would consider the difference to be between going into the Men’s Wearhouse and getting myself a men’s blazer in my size, and getting a similar blazer with bold shoulders and lines, but tailored with consideration to the female body. We have fabulous curves for a reason you know.

This show started on the first day of the forsaken snowstorm. It was actually a shame that many people lost the opportunity to witness this show in person. But at the same time – my socks were drying for half a day after my adventure to the venue, so if they stayed warm as an alternative? God bless ’em.

Being that the fashion industry is a bit ahead of the commercial industry, these presentations are a year ahead. This is where trends start to surface, along with what your favorite stores choose to purchase for the following seasons. The slightly less than year in between? Spent on ordering, producing, shipping, marketing, and selling. Fall 2010 so far has been true to autumnal nature. Earth tones, knits, high collars, heavy fabrics (tweeds, wool, etc.), and of course, layering.

MOJ and COM team up for Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week

Before the show

Check out after the jump for more pictures and the makeup details.

MOJ and COM team up for Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week

After the show

My humble opinion? I really liked the line. It didn’t veer too far from the safe side (but then again, not everyone is Lady Gaga in their day to day life), but it still had plenty of personality to distinguish it from every other line with a blazer or a suit in their collection. The black coat on the right (above) was my favorite piece, and there was a similar one in purple. Made me think of a grown up Red Riding Hood – you know, when she leaves the forest and enters corporate world. My other favorite? The diversity of the models. Beyond that, the fact that every model had strong features that made you notice them, instead of dismiss ’em as a walking hanger.

MOJ and COM team up for Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week

The designer (middle) posing with models.

MOJ and COM team up for Mercedes Benz New York Fashion WeekThe hair and makeup teams for the show were Cutler and Youngblood, respectively. I have to admit, yours truly, the Yayameister came a little too late to catch the details about hair. There was much snow in the way of my advance arrival. I did get a chance to speak to the Creative Director of Makeup (and fellow blogger) for the show, Felicia Walker Benson of

Felicia described the look as “traditional” and consistent with the mood of the line and the past collections. Clean with a masculine influence. Being that this season’s presentation was for fall, the colors were amped up a bit and shades customary to autumn, like purple and berry were used. To recreate the look, check out the following eyeshadows: halo, alabaster, storm, bordeaux (pressed shadows), and heather smoke (mineral shadow). The lip was created by using the color bistro as a stain. The brow artist set was used to finely craft the brows, and a heavy contour was used to sculpt the face. Instead of blush, splendor was used as a highlighter on the face. To be true to the “clean” look, no lashes were used for this look.

Want to recreate the lip stain look? Use bistro, or your favorite cranberry color on hand to apply freely to the lips (make sure to moisturize and prep lips first). Blot the color with a tissue (blot not wipe) or a makeup sponge, and apply mineral powder over it to mattify the color. If you choose to leave out the last step, or add clear gloss, you will have created three versions of a traditional, but always appropriate fall look.

Like this review? Want different coverage? Lovin’ Lois? Spill!

Beautiful Bee-ing Me: Amy goes to the Zulu Ball

Beautiful Bee-ing Me in the reader/fellow blogger photo showcase! It is in this series that you can show off your hair, fab new outfit or make-up look. Wanna show off your new hair cut? That lipstick you’ve been rocking for a month? Show off on Clumps!

There is something special about New Orleans. There is NO place like it. From the food to Bourbon Street and the residents’ strength despite adversity, I can’t help but love loooove NOLA. Will definitely be planning another trip (Essence festival anyone?) there soon.

Last week I got an email from my totally awesome and beautiful friend Amy. She was prepping up to go to the Zulu ball and wanted to get some ideas on how she should wear her make-up. She told me that was would be wearing an olive dress. And so combined with a few of my ideas, her skills and stunning features, here’s what she came up with!

Hit the jump to see the rest of her look!


How gorgeous is she? I love how the subtle green eyeshadow makes her eyes pop but don’t take away from the dress. A light blush application brings out her cheekbones and freckles and I could not have chosen a better lipstick and gloss. That’s Revlon’s Airy Fairy lipstick paired with E.L.F’s Airy lip gloss.
And hmm, is it just me but….
Both Princess Tiana and Amy are in New Orleans. And both went to a ball wearing green. How cool!
Amy, please tell me you noticed that too or else I am going to feel like an oversized kid. HA!

Mascara Monday: Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash

Time for another review of a highly requested mascara. Out of nowhere, my inbox was slammed with a ton of emails about this mascara. Those of y’all that have tried it swore it was the best thing ever. Did I agree? Hmm…

Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash

Price: 2 out of 5 (I got it for $22 at Sephora)
Packaging (Brush Wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What it claims:
“A mascara that gives the lashes curl, volume, length and intense pigment” (source)

The truth: It don’t do all of THAT but it’s a pretty good mascara.

What I loved about it: I reallllly like how black it is.

What I didn’t like: It tends to flake toward the end of the day. No me gusta!

Overall: I freakin’ love Make Up For Ever. I can’t deny it. Yeah, I know I complain about the price. But I’m always complaining about the price of something. That’s just the life of a cheaparina. LOL! I always feel ambivalent when I hit a check-out line with a luxury mascara. Is it worth the price? Will I fall in love and end up having to always spend a grip on it? Hmm…

Smoky Lash surprised me. I can totally see why so many of y’all love this Sephora exclusive mascara. Let’s talk about the wand.

It’s pretty cool. Not my favorite but it isn’t bad. It takes some work when trying to get in the inner corners. And it may give smaller lids and lashes ladies some issues. Tiny thin strokes is the key with a brush like that. I used the root-to-top wiggling method and it worked just fine.

Now don’t let the claims fool you. I don’t think ANY mascara can give you length, volume AND curl. If I am so desirous of all three, I find that layering is the best way to go. I think that this mascara is better with lengthening than anything else. The volume is so so but what really makes it stand out is the black pigment. It gives my lashes tons of drama. And that’s with one coat. One coat is where you should stay because two or more MAY give you some problems.

The biggest problem I had with Smoky Lash was the flakiness. It was pretty bad at one point. I always assume that flaky mascaras are because (1) the mascara is older or (2) I’ve applied too many coats. The latter was the case with Smoky Lash. Three coats=flakiness galore, one coat=a bit of flakiness but not too bad.

Otherwise, it’s a pretty good mascara. Go MUFE!!!

Lashes without mascara
(did not curl lashes)

Lashes with 1 coat of mascara

Would I recommend it?: Sure would…it’s a nice mascara if you feel like splurging! 

Go MUFE, it’s ya birthday!!! Who likes?

A crazed mascara reviewer,

Clumps of Mascara goes to NY Fashion Week..sort of!

MOJ Covers Mercedes Benz Fashion WeekIf the Miss Clumps can’t come to the mountain, then in a perfect world the mountain can come to her right? Well this world ain’t so bad so Miss Yaya of – your guest fashion writer on COM has brought the mountain to y’all Clumpheads!

So while the weather may be frightful (that image is the morning shot before starting my travels to the shows), the reporting will be delightful. Especially for Miss Britt who is enjoying her warm weather (and don’t think I don’t know some of y’all are enjoying the sun too!).

What might I be talking about? I forget sometimes that people like to forsaken New Yorkers occasionally… us being New Yorkers and all :)~ so here’s the golden nugget:

This Fall and Winter 2010 presentation is the last of its kind. This is the last season at Bryant Park. Next year? At Lincoln Center! Click here for the official schedule and give Britt a shout for which shows you’re dying to hear about. Want to know something specific? Nails? Hair? Ethnic diversity? Colors? Shoes? Let it out and the mountain shall come to you!

MOJ Covers Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Disclaimer: This is a real car (thus the secretive license plate). This car also neither belongs to myself or Brittany… but now they know where to surf. :)

FOTD Friday: Matte pink on the lids and eggs!

Happy Friday!

I really wanted to do a  light pink eye look but uh…that so didn’t happen. Sketch eyeshadow apparently becomes purple when blended with pink. No me gusta. I need some make-up inspiration because lately I’ve been cranking out the same boring looks. And I’m making silly mistakes with simple techniques. Like…how BAD is that liner application.

Wowzers. I think I need to work on my skiils.

What I used…

MAC Studio Finish concealer in NW45
MAC Sweet As Cocoa blush

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
L’Oreal HIP cream paint in Witty (lid)
Light pink shadow from Coastal Scents palette (lid)

MAC Sketch (crease and outer-V)

NARS Edie eyeshadow (between crease and brow)
NARS Albatross highlighter
Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Zero
Maybelline Lasting Drama gel eyeliner in Black
L’Oreal Voluminous

MAC Lipliner in Vino
NYC Cosmetics lipstick in Garnet


Random: Every day I make the same critical decision. One that will determine how the entire day will go. Will I wear the purple frames?

Or the aqua frames?

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. But I always have to eat it on the go.

Two over easy eggs on whole wheat bread. Who likes eggs? If they didn’t have that cholesterol issue I would eat them every day!

Me and my Inspector Gadget trench coat.

Ah well, darlings. Off I go to find some inspiration. Maybe I need to spend more time playing in make-up. Most days I either don’t wear it or rush to do a look for a FOTD. HA!

Have a fabulous weekend,

Beauty Bee-haviors: Why we DON’T need make-up…

Welcome to another post from the Beauty Bee-haviors series. In this series we have open discussions about any and everything in the beauty world.

This edition of Beauty Bee-haviors was inspired by an 10 year old reader. That’s right…Clumps tries (operative world is “tries”, ha!) to be curse-free because I know that we have baby readers out there and I don’t want them to think cursing is cool.

Even though it was when I was 10 but I digress..

The young chick-a-dee was telling me how she just adores make-up and that without she doesn’t feel pretty. She said she’s tried 4 different brands of foundations and still hasn’t found the perfect primer. I didn’t know what primer was until I was like…23!  My attempts to tell her that make-up is SOOOO not needed at that age meant nothing because she was still desirous of a tips and tricks; not big sister-ly advice.

Oh well, my prepubescent pretty! You’re going to get more advice anyway because I’m a bossy big sister and that’s just how I roll. But now it’s you all’s turn. Help the baby Clumps readers understand 

Why we don’t need make-up…

I think it is SO important to empower and motivate younger girls. They look up to us. Some read beauty blogs and look at magazines and assume that make-up is needed to feel beautiful. In fact, there are young adults and older women who feel this way.

Speak on it, y’all…

(photo source)