Amor de Lacquer Debut!


Welcome to the inaugural post from the Amor de Lacquer series! Do yall like that name? It took me ages to come up with something witty, catchy and memorable. Please visit the poll on the left hand side to tell me what you think about this series. I’d greatly appreciate it!

Amor de Lacquer will discuss any and everything under the nail umbrella…and let me tell you, that encompasses a lot. We can talk about upcoming collections, general nail care, what not to wear (neon green polish at an interview? Uhhh…) and even nail news. Like…..fish pedicures and men rockin’ nail polish. Yes, despite what you may think or have heard, nail polish is HUGE. And I’ve got a list of bloggers around the world who would co-sign to that statement.

“But B….I don’t even wear nail polish.”

“I’m a chronic nail biter.”

“Colorful tips and designs are so 8th grade.”

Yeah…I’ve heard it all. No matter your position on nail polish/care, I think you will find some interest in this series and enourage you to send me an email any time you have an idea or suggestion.

So what do you think?

An excited new venture for Clumps of Mascara?
A waste of time?
Don’t care either way?

An Amor de Lacquer post will never be complete without a NOTD (nail of the day). Check out a sloppy application of Zoya’s Kalista from their winter Flourish collection.

Zoya describes this color as “Metallic mahogany brown with gilded sparkle highlights” (source). I would say that’s a pretty accurate description. I only needed two coats and topped it off with Poshe fast drying nail polish.


I used Konad m36 plate for the ring fingers.

You can cop Zoya’s Kalista for $6 at zoya.com. Yes, they are only sold online. And don’t get to gripping. The customer service and shipping is amazingly FAST! And this is coming from a chick who hates ordering online.

Stay tuned….and stay beautiful!

Beauty Review: Dr. Susan Taylor’s Rx for Brown Skin’s Body Butter and Lotion


Yay to finally getting the chance to review products from a line that I’ve been eye-ing for quite some time. In this post I discussed Dr. Susan Taylor’s Rx for Brown Skin line and many of you were excited about it! I, too, get excited about brands made specifically for brown skin beauties….that’s a rarity, you know.

“So, B….tell me a little bit about this brand.”

So glad you asked!

Dr. Susan Taylor’s Rx for Brown Skin is a unique collection of cleansers, toners and moisturizers designed to meet the special needs of skin of color. This includes a wide range of women of heritages including Asian, Latin, Middle Eastern and African-American, among many others. This over-the-counter collection was designed specifically to target a variety of brown skin specific issues such as sensitive skin, easily irritated reactive skin, blemishes, uneven skin tone and most importantly, hyperpigmentation –top concern for brown skin. (source)

My younger sister, Courtney, is a huge fan of the Bright & Healthy line: these products , formulated with Grape seed, Green Tea, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel and Glycerin is for normal, dry or sensitive brown skin. There is also the Bright & Clear for acne prone skin and the Bright & Even for dull mature or hyperpigmenting skin.

Dr. Susan Taylor’s Rx for Brown Skin has recently (as of August 2008) launched their Body Collection and it is available exclusively at Sephora and Sephora.com.

Allow me to introduce to you the Skin-Evening Body Butter and Body Lotion:


Aside from smelling heavenly because of the vanilla citrus infusions, these babies are more than your average ash-bustin’ lotions. Combined, their ingredients do everything from repairing pigmented areas to locking in moisture for 24 hours to even inhibiting melanin formation so skin tone appears more even.

All of that in a body product? Yes ma’am…..and sir. I would imagine that you would have to use these products for a few months to see visible results, and let me assure you….that isn’t difficult at all. I LOVE the way they smell.

Both the lotion (left) and body butter (right) feel divine on the skin.


The butter, I find is great after a bath and before bed. It is wonderful for keeping the ash at bay during these harsh winter months. <--okay, not so harsh for this Floridian, but hey---I'm trying to relate with you snow birds. :) I can't get over the smell! It is rather intoxicating. Imagine a vanilla bean, orange peel and lime swimming together in a creamy butter pool. And it's a long lasting, but no over-powering scent. Look how "illuminated" my skin looks (click pic to enlarge).
The lotion and body butter contain teeny tiny glitter golden glitter stuffs that give a certain “glow” to my skin. Calm down…it’s not at all super noticeable.

I’m sold! The Skin Evening Body Butter retails for $27 (6.7 oz) and Body Lotion at $25 (8.5 oz). I can’t even pretend that those prices aren’t expensive. But consider how often you need to purchase lotion. I am almost positive that I can get a good 3 months out of these babies here. And besides, should you really put a price on healthy and beautiful skin?

I think not!

What do you think? Would you purchase these lotions? Or buy them for the pretty brown skinned lady in your life?

To my Brown, Black, Indian, Latina, and Asian fam…check out BrownSkin.net. I have had it bookmarked for months and it has been instrumental in keeping me cognizant about all things brown skin.

Stay beautiful!!

Beauty Review: CoverGirl Queen’s Natural Hue Minerals

There is a reason why I don’t do much discussion on foundations/face powders here at Clumps of Mascara.

I don’t wear them. I have no REAL reason for not wearing them. I just don’t.

Recently, I had the opportunity to test drive CoverGirl Queen Collection’s Natural Hue Mineral pressed powder and bronzer. This of course, had me excited because I had high hopes for the popular drugstore cosmetic line made just for women of color!

First up to bat…..the pressed powder.

What It Says
“Mineral enriched formula controls shine 30% better than the leading pressed powder. Provides natural, even coverage that lasts for hours.”

Wow, I concur. This powder is pretty excellent. For one…look how it blends beautifully with my complexion.


Where the little white sponge ends is where I “marked” my face with the powder. You can’t even see it! Which is beautiful because ain’t nothin’ worse than not having a face powder match your complexion. My color for the powder is Ebony Bronze 1.

Here’s how it looks all over.


I am beyond impressed! I found that that the powder was long-lasting and light on my face. The latter is extremely important to me. If I product feels too “heavy”, I just can’t wear it for fear that it will break me out. And I know that using a sponge to apply powders isn’t the best thing but I only used it once. See…..I know. *big grin*

Next up, we have the Bronzer, also in Ebony Bronze.

What It Says
“Get a sun kissed glow without the shine. Mineral enriched formula pampers skin and controls shine.”

I didn’t see much purpose for the bronzer. First of all, it was a little too glittery for my liking. And just a tad bit too dark. When I think of a bronzer of think of a gold-ish color. And I’m not sure I like the application of this baby here too. It took a ton of swipes before I could load it up effectively on my brush.


And even then….I didn’t feel like it complimented my skin well….can you see it?


I would much prefer a highlight than this dark bronzer here.

The final look:

The coverage is fantastic and I don’t even look like I’m wearing make-up which is a huge plus for me. Overall, I absolutely loooove the look and feel of the Natural Hue Minerals Pressed Powder. The bronzer? Not so much as I think I have a ton of great highlighters/blushes that can compliment my skin better. But I am impressed nonetheless and a little upset at myself for not dabbling in these products sooner. Have any of you tried these products?

Tell me what you think!

Stay beautiful!

Sista Show Off: Nail Polish Blogs


It’s no surprise that I have a slight obsession with nail polish. I always manage to slide in a NOTD (nail of the day) or drop the skinny on nail polish collections that catch my eye. Perhaps nail polish and designs are more attractive to me because of the boredom I have been feeling with make-up collections lately. My “slight obsession” with polish is virtually a lifestyle for some ladies out in the blogosphere. Just when I thought that beauty bloggin’ was where it’s at I stumbled across some fantabulous nail polish blogs. “Oh! Em! Gee!” Check out my favorites!

Scrangie


I looove Scrangie’s blog. Just the other day I spent about an hour looking at her archived posts and kept “Ohh-ing” and “Ahh-ing” at everything. Scrangie keeps you up to date with all things nail-related. Designs, looks, newly released collections, colors, finishes, requests? The good ole’ Scrange has it all. Warning…spend more than 5 minutes on her site and you will be coveting quite a bit.

The Nailphile


Talk about crazy close-ups and beautiful nail beds. In my dreams, I would be able to sport nails this long. The Nailphile is one of my favorite nail blogs because I just love the intensity of the colors she swatches. Just beautiful!


The Polish Addict

More beautiful swatches and fabulous designs! Can’t get enough of this site. I blame her for cyber-making me order that bulk of Misa polishes. And she endorses Obama? Heyyyy!!!

I have these blogs and more in my Google Reader. I’ve been running into so many great nail blogs that I’ve created a blog roll over there to the left of my page.

Check out the looks I’ve been sporting lately…

NYC’s Moten Metal
DESIGN: O.P.I.’s Take Me to the Taj Mahal
and Sally Hansen’s Alchemy

O.P.I’s That’s Berry Daring some
DESIGN: random black and white polishes

O.P.I’s Take Me To the Taj Mahal

I’m finding myself incorporating some funky design to each look I do. While I am currently rocking the latter I can not WAIT until my order of Zoya polishes from the Flourish Winter 08 collection come in. Formaldehyde and DPB free polishes? Yea mon!

Polish pretty!

….and while I’ve officially endorsed Barack Obama a loooong time ago I can’t express to you, my blog family, how excited/nervous/scared/thrilled/proud I am about today. I doubt I will get a wink of sleep tonight. We are watching history and I’m glad to have been able to experience some of it through Clumps of Mascara. Thank you to my readers, fellow bloggers and all of those beauty companiesgetting folx to vote. This election has been more than politics for me. This is a dream that I hope will become reality tomorrow. Enough of the yadda yah! I’ve Ba’Racked the vote and leavin’ the rest up to God.

My Election Day 2008 Reflections Video:


Stay beautiful, fam!!

Beauty Review: Jennifer Lopez’s Deseo perfume

Day 4 of Week ‘O Review! I hope that you’ve enjoyed the week so far. Pumping out reviews is a little exciting so I may make this a trend at least once a month. What say you, people?

Let’s get to the get-down…

Remember my first (uhh…and last) perfume post? The convo was hot and heavy which made me realize that some of you fellow make-up/nail polish junkies also go nuts for fragrances. *looks around* OMG, meee too!!

My latest purchase came a good month and a half ago and it has taken everything in me to not spritz it on my neck every morning. I am that in love with it.


I didn’t want to post Jennifer Lopez’s half nekkie boom boom on my blog but whatev. Her perfume ad does the fragrance some justice.

Dig the fragrance description:
Deseo Perfume by Jennifer Lopez, Developed in collaboration with givaudan perfumers, this fragrance is inspired by a night time walk in a garden, it contains a blend of bamboo leaves, garden yuzu, sicilian bergamot and fresia. Middle notes are star jasmine, pink geranium flower, orange blossom and french mimosa. The finishing base notes include warm amber, oak moss, sandalwood, patchouli and atlas cedarwood. (source)

Finishing base note? Wow…who knew fragrances had their own terminology?

Obviously I can’t do any swatches or this baby here so you will just have to trust me when I say that it is the most amazing fragrance EVER! No, it really is wonderful. If you like that “grown woman” smell. That “boardroom, conference call, meeting in 10 minutes” smell then you will LOVE this. It’s crazy what a fragrance can do to your attitude. I actually FEEL like a grown woman wearing this stuff.

Oh no, I just read a review on this perfume and apparently this fragrance is “intended to appeal to a more sophisticated and mature demographic” (source). That means OLD! Oh well, I’ll take it. It certainly isn’t a fragrance your teenage sister would grab for and as a 23 year old, that means a lot to me. I don’t like smelling likes sugar plums and gum drops.

Eating them, however, is another story…

Yums! J. Lopez’s Deseo is definitely my fragrance of the year. This makes my 2nd fragrance purchase this year and I’m thinking about snagging one more before we see buh-bye to 2008.

What do you have your eye (or nose) on? Luxe Tips says Lancome’s Magnifique is amazing!! I will definitely be checking that one out. I’ll be traveling home to see the family this weekend and instead of toting this enormous bottle with me I have made it into an oil. Any oil fans out there? A few drops (or sprays) of your favorite fragrance mixed with the oil base of your choice (almond, olive…even vegetable!) creates a great “on the go” travel fragrance.

Gotta love it! Stay beautiful, fam!


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Beauty Review: Oyin’s Honey Hemp Conditioner and Juices and Berries

[Quick CoM Public Service Announcement]

-Congrats to my Total Beauty Total Cure-Breast Cancer Awareness giveaway winner: Crissi! She has won a toooon of products from N.Y.C. Cosmetics. Don’t pout. I actually have some more giveaways in store so stay tuned and you may be my next winner.

-By reader request I have created a “TAB” on the menu bar that reads Newbie News. Click this tab and you’ll get reviews, tutorials and read random ramblings specifically for make-up/beauty newbs!

-My profile for Clinique’s Insider Club is up, yo! Go check me out.

[Now back to your regularly scheduled programming….]

Day 3 of Week ‘O Reviews! Are you enjoying it so far? I’m just going to pretend that yall are nodding your heads out there. :) We’ve covered a mascara and finger nail polishes. Let’s talk hair! I try to make hair a regular here at Clumps of Mascara but the truth is…I don’t spend much time on my hair. I very rarely purchase products and now that it’s shorter, I seriously just wash and go—if I even wash. LOL! My belief is that if and when you find good products, you don’t need to spend a grip (and check the stats, us women spend millions on haircare stuffs!) on products.

I recently purchased Oyin Handmade’s Honey Hemp Conditioner and Juices & Berries Nourishing Herbal Leave-in. I did a mili-second review in THIS YouTube video of mine and since then I have gotten a few requests asking for a more in-depth review. So here we go!

Honey Hemp Conditioner


ingredients include:
purified water, organic aloe vera gel, behentrimonium methosulfate (a veggie emulsifier derived from colza oil), raw honey, hemp & coconut oils; veg. glycerine, hydrodolized silk extracts; citrus essences, fragrance; optiphen (preservative); and love.

What Oyin Handmade sounds says about the Honey Hemp Conditioner: A creamy rinse-out conditioner has been an often-requested product at Oyin. We are very proud of the Honey-Hemp Conditioner – a light, penetrating, silky blend enriched with aloe vera gel, hemp oil, honey, and hydrolyzed silk protein, it’s got nice detangling slip and serious moisturizing power. It rinses cleanly and also makes a nice pre-shampoo deep conditioning treatment. It can even be used as a creamy, nourishing leave-in! (source)

The verdict: Ohmigoodnessthisstuffissogood! Wow! I mean….wow! First of all, the smell is intoxicating! It is simply divine. While it works as a great rinse-out conditioner, I actually prefer it as a leave-in and for several reasons. (1) That yummy honey smell lasts longer, (2) my hair is smoother, and (3) my curls POP more! I just love products that make my 4A curls pop. BTW, to get more information about “hair types”, check out this link.

Look how creamy HHC is…

Oookay, that looks strange. HA!

For $9, you will get a healthy 8 o.z. bottle which I find is a reasonable price for such a great product. I love that it doesn’t have parabens, harmful sulfates or any cones. I may not spend a ton of time on my hair but I am very picky about what I put on it and usually only deal with natural products. Honey Hemp Conditioner is ideal for short-haired naturals, loc’ers or even relaxed ladies needing extra moisture. And check this—it works as a WONDERFUL shaving cream too. Oyin Handmade’s Honey Hemp Conditioner gets an A+ from me!!

Juices & Berries

ingredients include:
purified water infused w/ horsetail, lavender, nettle, roses & chamomile; organic flaxseeds; organic aloe vera juice; vegetable glycerin; essences of lavender, sweet orange, & ylang ylang; grapefruit seed extract; citric acid; fragrance & love.

So can I be honest, kids? I initially only purchased this product so when people asked what I put in my hair I could say, “Just juices and berries, “

*crickets*

Doesn’t anyone remember Eddie Murphy in Coming to America?


What Oyin Handmade says about Juices & Berries Nourishing Herbal Leave-In:
The therapeutic effects are the same as for Greg Juice – spring water, strongly infused with a variety of herbs known to help stimulate the scalp and encourage hair growth; vegetable ingredients for detangling, moisture and suppleness; vegetable glycerine for humectancy and shine; and an essential oil blend nutritious to the scalp. (source)

The Verdict: So yeah….I can dig Juices & Berries. The smell is amazing and long-lasting. What turned me on to it is the fact that it is oil free. Most of the products I put in my hair (wet or dry) have some type of oil. As long as I have some glycerin in my products, I’m great! I find that Juices & Berries works well on my dry hair as it doesn’t seem to do much for my wet hair. It is a great refresher and seems to wake my hair up when it becomes dull and I start to loose some of my curl. I don’t think it’s a NECESSARY product considering I make a glycerin/olive oil/water blend but the smell is so wonderful that I love incorporating it in my hair regime when I can. Snaps for the Juices & Berries!

Richeau on YouTube has phenomenal reviews on most of Oyin Handmade’s products.

She is a beautiful sista and gives amazing and HONEST reviews. Gotta love it! Keep in mind that if you do order from Oyin Handmade, the products will take up to 3 weeks to be delivered. The reason for this is because they are made to order. Which frustrated me at first because I’m an impatient little thing; hence why I hate ordering online in the first place. But it makes complete sense since the ingredients they use should be at their freshest!

Have any of you people tried Oyin Handmade products? Good experiences? Bad experiences? Let me know!

Stay beautiful!

Support my Total Beauty family and our Total Cure Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative! Mischo Beauty and The Beauty Alchemist are having giveaways today. Submit a Breast Cancer Awareness fact and press your luck to snag those goodies.

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Beauty Review: Sinful Colors nail enamel

Welcome to day 2 of Week ‘O Reviews. I have dedicated this week to providing your reviews in all areas of beauty….face, hair, and nails!

My love for nail polish and at home manicures and pedicures continues to grow. I can’t help it! Growing up I always had a nice little caboodle dedicated to nail polishes. 60+ polishes later and I am often found with polishes in my purse, applying top coats in my office and moisturizing my cuticles during traffic. I just love nail care and design. And I love doing it myself!


One of my favorite nail enamel companies is Sinful Colors; a brand found at your local Wal-greens. When I tell you the performance of these polishes is amazing….I mean it! They come in a variety of colors, have seasonal collections and check this….they are only $1.99 a bottle! And sometimes you can catch a BOGO! Can’t be that with a stick, as my Mommy would say!

For these polishes to be so cheap, they certainly have fantastic staying power. I’ve been wearing Purple Diamond for 3 days in this picture.

Wait…pause for the cause—I looooove this color. I’m not a glitter fan but the finish of Purple Diamonds is fantastic!

Of course the number of coats is dependent on the color and finish (cremes, glitters, opalescent, etc) but either way, I am always impressed with the initial application. I can’t say how great they are with touch-ups because I am usually changing my nail color every 3-5 days. Are they comparable to the O.P.I, Essie and China Glaze? Absolutely! Here’s my SC family…


(from left to right)

-Coco Diamond (Lumines Que Collection)
-Burgundy Apple
-Purple Diamond (Lumines Que collection)
-Bahama Sunset
-Black On Black
-San Francisco
-Pink Diamond (Lumines Que collection)

-The Lumines Que collection is currently in Wal-greens’ beauty department. However, you won’t find them by the regular stash of Sinful Colors. Check near the door where the “new collection docks” are. <--former Wal-greens employee here, trust me on this, lol!) Online shopper? They do have a website but the polishes run $2.50 a pop. Oh no, I don’t THANK so. ;)

I give Sinful Colors an A+!! Have any of you purchased some of these polishes? Your favorites? Any recs? Oh–while you’re exploring SC, check out cosmetics from Jordana. They are usually located right by Sinful Colors. Jordana has the cheapest liners/glosses ever and they are amazing!

Stay beautiful, fam!

Support my Total Beauty family and our Total Cure Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative! Miss Whoever You Are and DivaDebbi are having giveaways today. Submit a Breast Cancer Awareness fact and press your luck to snag those goodies.

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Brown and Blushin’ Series: Petticoat MSF

Good day, beautiful people! I bring to you a requested post from a reader who was just dyiiiiing to get my opinion on one of MAC’s newest collection. Obviously, I’m being dramatical again. :) MAC Cosmetics just recently released a collection called Sheer Minerals; a collection that I really had no interest in. Until of course I visited my girl Safia (MAC Pro Orlando, holla!). She sneakily slid the Mineralize Skinfinish in Petticoat ($25) in my hand.

“Um, what is this?” I inquired.

“You’ll love it,” she exclaimed.

LOVE is an understatement. As I watched her apply this velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish (source) on the BFF’s cheek bones, I knew I had to have it.

This baby just look amazing and I love it just as much if not more than my Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick in Brownie.

Petticoat is to the left, Bobbi Brown’s Brownie to the right.

Petticoat, still with its subtlety, manages to bring out a certain “POP” on my cheeks. And not with chunky glitter stuffs either. Here’s where I place it.

Yes, that’s an eyeshadow brush….and what? LOL! Yall know I keep it real.

Petticoat brings out those high cheekbones that I thought I DIDN’T have. It truly is amazing.

And yall just KNOW how I feel about multi-purpose items. I can see myself using this as a highlight and even a lid color. Definitely something worth checking out.

And in other news….look who has been inspired to some nail designs. This one’s for you, Nikki! China Glaze’s Avalanche is a fun gunmetal lavender and the crazy black swiggly lines give the nails some character.

Stay beautiful, fam!!

Support my Total Beauty family and our Total Cure Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative! Skin Deco and Beauty Logic are having giveaways today. Submit a Breast Cancer Awareness fact and press your luck to snag those goodies.