2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

Like many others, if there’s one thing you can not and will not get me to stop doing, it’s screaming, hollering, and generally being obnoxious about the products that I LOVE… or hate for that matter! But, when I love a product, I am generally loyal unless, the almighty dollar is at stake and I find something, not just comparable, but better.

So here is where I tell you that I love, love, love Smashbox Photo Finish Primer very much! Because it’s a new step in my process personally, I almost always forget to put it on after my moisturizer and before my foundation, yet I always put it on clients. Weird, huh? You don’t need much of it, just a pea-to-dime sized amount and it covers extremely well, fills in pores and fine lines, and allows the foundation to glide on effortlessly. And for all of those fabulous traits that I just mentioned, there is a catch. PRICE. When you put things in perspective in the following way, Smashbox doesn’t seem that bad. Hourglass’s Veil Mineral Primer is $52.00 per ounce, (OUNCE,) and $72.00 for two. So when you place that besides Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer at $36.00 an ounce and $49.00 for 1.7 ounces, you think you’re doing A-okay. That is, until I tell you that a dupe exists and that you could save $30.00 or more. Yes, I said it.


Monistat, yes those fabulous guardians and protectors of all things vaginal, have a product called MONISTAT Chafing Relief Powder-Gel Skin Protectant. It is very similar if not an outright, dare I say it, DUPE for the Smashbox primer. I know what you’re thinking and it goes something like, “Alia, am I really supposed to put a Monistat product on my face?” To which I would reply, “Girl…if you don’t believe me, just watch!”

Smashbox Ingredients:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Trisiloxane, Silica, Dimethicone/ Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Extract, Propylene Glycol, Water (Aqua, Eau), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Cola Acuminata Seed Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract.

Monistat Ingredients:



So, there you have it folks. Here’s the best part, wait for it… The Monistat only costs $5.98 instead of $36.00. Go ahead and say it, you love me. You really love me.


Urban Decay…indeed

In this blog post, I want to talk a little bit about Urban Decay. Urban Decay cosmetics are loved deeply in makeup circles for a variety of reasons. I happen to love them best for the formula of their eyeshadows and because they are extremely pigmented. Depending on your eyeshadow primer (which Urban Decay is almost supreme in manufacturing as well,) and the base that you apply, you can get an amazing result out of your UD shadow.

As I was tweeting about my application for the UD Pro discount in hopes that I could get some great product for my clients, a sorority sister of mine commented and told me that Urban Decay, while promoting the work of some beauty bloggers, has not been particularly encouraging or supportive of bloggers of African descent. That’s my way of saying, that if you’re black, don’t expect UD to show you any love. Now, at first, I refused to believe this because UD looks so great on black people; that’s why we buy it and that’s why we blog about it. I wanted proof before I just went in on Urban Decay on twitter, (which is my standard M.O. when I have a grievance with a company because I typically get a response.

(Have you noticed that a lot of companies take Twitter super seriously these days? Because you never know when a tweet can go viral.) I took to UD’s reinstated Facebook page, which they had to fix because they were hacked, and looked at all of their photos, out of 216 photos, only 5 black people appeared. On IG, I made a more shocking discovery, out of 469 photos posted (as of the time of publishing,) there were three pictures with black people in them and that was including the photo of the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair that finally put Black people on the part of the cover that doesn’t get folded up. My next Instagram discovery about Urban Decay inspired the following tweet:


Yes, you read that right, there are more pictures of dogs, actual canines, than there are black people of any kind featured by UD on Facebook and IG combined. As of today, the company has not responded.


The Humble Beginnings of Blackface

I was reluctant to start a makeup blog at first because, I figured, “What do I know?” I’m just a Barbizon graduate, for what that’s worth, and a part-time makeup enthusiast. But, here’s the thing, everyone has to start somewhere and I might as well start here. I love make up and I thoroughly enjoy learning more about my craft as time goes on. The definition of an artist is as follows:

Artist /ˈärtist/ (noun)

 Noun: artist; plural noun: artists
  1. A person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.
  • Synonyms: designer, creator, originator, producer; More old: master “a mural artist”
  1. A person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker.
  2. A person skilled at a particular task or occupation.

“A surgeon who is an artist with the scalpel”

  • Synonyms: expert, master, maestro, past master, virtuoso, genius; More informal: pro, ace “the surgeon is an artist with the knife.”
  • Antonyms: novice

There are some MUAs out there that really get upset when someone perceived to be a novice appropriates the title of Makeup Artist for themselves. I can understand that; I get upset when just anyone thinks that they can refer to themselves as a singer because, and I mean this, everyone is not a singer and everyone is not a performer. But, in time, you will see that not only do I love my craft, I got this.

I have prevailed upon my friends to both a. be my models, and b. be my shot at fun this month for a photo shoot that I want to have. I am so excited that they consented to let me do their makeup and create a fun experience for all involved. I really wanted a director’s chair so that I didn’t have to bend and stoop to do their makeup and Target came to my rescue! Is this chair not awesome? I am going to have the back of the chair embroidered with my name perhaps. I can’t wait to buy it.

*UPDATE* GARDEN RIDGE came to the rescue and I found THE perfect chair. I call it the smooch seat, so come and book your appointment and have a seat!

photo 3


I am going to upload some face charts of the looks that I am going to do on my lovely models. It is going to be a great day!

Products, Regimen, Skincare

Underneath It All—Instituting A Skin Regimen


I think that makeup is a fabulous tool. It can cover up a plethora of issues and, when applied correctly can really make you shine (both literally and figuratively.) it’s one of my favorite things, obviously.

What people fail to realize is that you must take care of the skin underneath and that involves instituting a skin REGIMEN, (not regime,) that works best for you. In my case, I use a variety of brands and products to take care of my face from day to night whether or not I am wearing or wore make up that day.

photo 2Swear By Products (1)

When makeup remover is necessary for hard to remove product, I use Mary Kay Oil-Free Makeup Remover (fig. 1-A.) When it comes to face wash, I love Olay Regenerist Exfoliating Scrub (fig. 2-A) because it helps to remove makeup and exfoliates my face. Sometimes, I’ll use Mary Kay’s Timewise Cleanser beforehand to remove foundation or oils.

I have normal/dry skin, depending on the season, and I always follow my face wash with Timewise Moisturizer (fig. 1-D.) and the day/night solution depending on the time of day, careful to avoid my undereye area because I use Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm (fig. 2-B) underneath my eye to prevent fine lines/wrinkles as well as to hydrate.

Twice a week, I use a Clarisonic Aria (fig. 2-D) to truly exfoliate my face and neck area. It was a Christmas gift, and I love it.

Last, but certainly not least, I use Smashbox Photo Finish Primer under foundation to create a smooth finish. It glides on effortlessly and covers well with a pea to dime sized amount. It was a great purchase and I know that it will last a long time.

Your face is the canvas, you owe it to yourself to take care of it! Works of art, if properly cared for, will hang in the Louvre for centuries! Remember that and institute a skincare regimen! What products do you swear by?!