Beauty Review: Illamasqua Iluminator

It doesn’t fail, y’all. Just about every week I get an email from a lovely lady saying that she wants to get into blushes but she is too afraid of color. Instead of responding with a “Are you serious, homie?”-type email, I’m starting to realize that some of us need baby steps when it comes to color on the cheekies.

Enter this cool lookin’ highlighter from Illamasqua…

 I know…it looks like a gloss, uh? Not that you can’t dab it on your lips but it is really intended for the cheeks. Here’s what Sephora says.

“Illuminate your darker side with this intense color that highlights and enhances wherever it’s applied. It goes on wet but dries quickly, leaving a high-shine, reflective finish that lasts all night. Use it on cheeks or on any other part of your body where you want to draw attention—it’s not recommended for those who want to remain in the background. “ (source)

 Three cheers for multi-purposes products. Gotta love that! Let’s take a closer look at this kid, shall we?

This is exactly how Illamasqua’s lip glosses look. It works for this product too. But you have to be careful. One little squeeze and if you’ve got enough for both cheeks.

But if you’re not careful, you may end up with a bit too much. Could you imagine rocking this on cheeks?

Girlfriend, no! You have to blend this stuff. And quickly. I find my fingers work best for this but you can also use a stipling brush for an airbrushed effect.

Stay tuned for how it looks on my cheeks. It’ll pop up in an FOTD Friday. If you’re looking for an unconventional and long lasting bronzer or highlighter, I say give this baby a whirl. It’s Brown girl approved and gives me another reason to change my middle name to Illamasqua. Holla! You can snag the Illuminator in Halcyon  for $20 at Sephora.

This review contains a sample product sent for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy here.

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!

Wednesday’s Sales & Spotlights!-Week of 1/24/10

It’s been awhile but I’m back with some sales and spotlights for you. Enjoy!

Fashion Addiction hosts giveaway!

Three lucky ladies will win fabulous products from Sothys. Click the website to enter. Good luck!

JESMakeup’s Look re-creation contest!

My girl, Jes is giving away some awesome gifts to any of her subscribers that re-create one of her looks. Click the video to get the details. If you enter, let me know so I can support you!

Y’all know I try to stay super positive, right? And not only do I like to live that way, but I like to spread positive vibes too. ThanksForBeingThere gives you the chance to send a “thank you” to a friend, family member, SO, co-worker…anyone! Simply upload a message and photo and viola! The whole world now knows how thankful you are for that someone special. Websites like this and Operation Beautiful show that the interwebs ain’t full of trolls. Guess who I sent mine too? Hehehe….typos and all.

This Week’s Sales at Walgreens
Prices effective from January 24th-January 30th

  • Maybelline foundation, concealer, powder, blush–40% off
  • Neutrogena Cosmetics facial moisturizers or lotions–buy 1, get 1 50% off


This Week’s Sales at CVS
Prices effective from January 24th-January 30th

  • (with card) L’Oreal Double Extend Lash Boosting Mascara, $10.49

Sales are a bit weak this week. Boo!!

Lil’ Kim shows how not to wear blush…

Now y’all know it’s not in my nature to ridicule the beauty and fashion choices of celebrities. Or anyone really. I’m too busy trying to work on my own choices. HA! But Lil’ Kim just makes it way too easy. She is one of the reasons why I think many brown girls don’t think they can wear blush.

Hmmm mmmmm, I’ve heard it too.

“I don’t want to wear blush and look like Lil’ Kim.”
Come on, y’all. One glance at Lil’ Kim’s cheeks and it doesn’t take a professional make-up artist to know that she fails to blend. She applies the blush in a quick strip and moves on. FAIL, my sista. FAIL.
Apply your blush with a light hand and blend blend blend!
It really is that simple. Check out my Blush Application post and video here. And her brows? Well that those bad boys are for another post for another day. Kim? I’m gon keep praying for you, sista.

Have any blush tips? Share!

Beauty Review: Colgate Wisp…

How many times have you been caught with the foul breath right before a meeting or study group or date or _________? (insert very important event in which you’d want fresh breath) Y’all can act cute if you want but I’ve been the victim of tart bref before. Not cute is it? Even worse if you ran out of breath mints or gum. So what’s a gal/guy to do?

Dun dun duuuun….Wisps to the rescue!

These darling little “fit in your pocket or purse” mini tooth brushes are PERFECT for freshening the breath in a pinch. I even keep one in my cosmetic bag nestled safely between the HK notepad and Illamasqua gloss.

I prefer these over gum because chewing gum gives me a head-ache. Yeah, I know….don’t ask. And I never have mints on me. These are better than both because your teeth really feel like you’ve brushed them. Wait…you have! Look how tiny they are…

I don’t know how the liquid filled breath bead works but it does. You don’t even need water. Simply brush the teef like so…

And then you’re off! You’ve got the fresh breath PLUS the “I just brushed my teeth” feeling. And if you’re happy and you know it….smile,

Yay for gapped-tooth smiles! And yay for Colgate Wisps! You can get these babies at drugstores, Wal-Mart and Target nationwide for $2.39 for 4pk, and $7.99 for 16pk. Pretty reasonable in pricing I think.

Such must haves. HOWEVER, don’t try to use them in lieu of an actual toothbrush. Something tells me that if these were out when I was a kid, my sister and I would so “wisp” our teeth instead of actually brushing. Kids, I tell ya!

So…how cool are these?

Fresh breath kisses,

The Colgate Wisps samples in this post were provided to me for post consideration. But er uh…I like these things so much that I’ve already purchased them. Twice. Holla!

Sales & Spotlights: 12/3/09

It’s been a minute since I’ve hit y’all with some sales and spotlights in the beauty world. Looks like there are more “spotlights” this time around. I mean, my goodness…haven’t we all been inundated with Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales? HA! Enjoy….

T.J. Maxx=cheap beauty finds

I tweeted that this past weekend. I saw SOOOO many higher end brand products just chillin’ on shelves at a T.J. Maxx in Tallahassee, Florida. I’ll be stalking quite a few of them here in the Metro Orlando area. If you find some deals, let me know!

Ohmigoodness….I can’t believe that I am JUST now sharing this amazing website with y’all. I am obsessed with healthy and clear skin and it’s great to come across a site that understands that and sends me production recommendations and regimes specifically for my skin. Hence the name! One thing—this site is INVITE-ONLY. Clumps readers can bust down the doors by using this code: clumpsofmascara. You will love this site!

Lancôme’s Holiday Beauty Bonanza

Ahh yess….this brings back memories of me trying my first Lancôme products. I hauled the beauty set from last year and I have been a Lancôme girl ever since! This pearly white reusable train case is filled with $330 worth of Lancôme makeup and skincare essentials, including deluxe samples. Spend $36 on any combination of Lancôme products and you’re eligible to snatch it up for just $52. Of course I want it!

Coastal Scents 88 Piece Makeup
Palette giveaway

Why….you remember this, don’t you? I reviewed it here. The lovely Danielle from Project Danielle is giving one away. Show some love and enter!

It’s like a salon online! Salon Experience serves beauty needs from hair care, to nail care, to bath and spa products. And not only that…..if you’re in need of advice on choosing the right product, they have stylists available who can assist you. Lord knows I have some questions. Like….do I have a problem if I’ve colored my hair 3 times in 2 months? *gulps*. Salon Experience also has a blog. Check it out here.

Your turn! If you have any other spotlights, giveaways, contests are sale alerts, let a sista know!

Giveaway Winner! Stila’s ‘Step Out & Shine Kit’

Thank you all for your entries and for checking out Even if you don’t win, I BET that you’ll be heading back that site to snag some of your favorite beauty goodies on the low. Sign up for the newsletter like I do. You’ll get one email a week telling you about the newest products on the site. Loves it!!

I got a good 130+ entries for this giveaway. But only one can win. Drumroll please….

And the winner iiiiiis……


Congratulations, darling! Email me stat so we can get your kit out to you. Don’t fret non-winners. I have not one, not two but THREE more giveaways coming up.

Stay tuned and enjoy the weekend!

Midweek Sales & Spotlights: Week of 11/15/09

Got some good spotlights this week.


Okay, so how cool is this? Simply enter in your zip code and this website will tell you where you can find FREE beauty events in your area. Click here.

Urban Decay 30% off!

Okay, so I’m totally late but what a deal!! Use the code FNFW1 . You have until Friday, November 20th. I’m thinkin’ of grabbing some more pencils. Like I really need more though. HA! Click here to start shoppin’!

Z Palette has new palettes!

Remember when I reviewed and fell in love with Z Palette here? They have palettes with different designs! Including the fabulous zebra print you see. And also in pink….loves it! I am so snagging that zebra one. Click here to visit the site.


This Week’s Sales at Walgreens
Prices effective from November 15th-November 21st
  • L’Oreal HIP–buy 1, get 1 free <----YAAAAY!!!
  • Maybelline Cosmetics–buy 1, get 1 50% off
  • Neutrogena Cosmetics and Skincare–buy 1, get 1 50% off
  • Studio Tools applicators, implements and brushes–buy 1, get 1 50% off
  • Sinful Colors Nail Lacquer–buy 1, get 1 free <----HOT DEAL!

This Week’s Sales at CVS
Prices effective from November 15th-November 21st

  • (with card) CoverGirl Simply Ageless blush–$10
  • (with card) Buy 1, Get 1 50% off Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear, Insta-Dri or Hi-Definition
  • (with card) Buy 1, Get 1 Free off of L’Oreal Cosmetics


Anyone know of any other sales out there? Share ’em! Help a sista save a dollar!

Happy shoppin’!