Milani Lipstick Dopeness: Sangria and Violet Volt

Milani Color Statement Lipsticks: Sangria and Violet Volt

Milani lipsticks are dope. I keep featuring them on the blog because I like them so much. They come in various finishes and glide on like a dream. You also can’t beat the price for the quality of these lipsticks. With that said this is Violet Volt and Sangria.

Violet Volt and Sangria Swatch on dark skin
Top: Violet Volt Bottom: Sangria

Violet Volt

This pinky purple has a metallic finish. Violet Volt stains but I think that’s the nature of purples.

Milani Violet Volt Lipstick


A deep berry colored lipstick in a matte finish that isn’t drying.

Milani Sangria Lipstick

Milani Color Statement Lipsticks ($5.99) are available at and drugstores.

5 Ways to Know It’s Holy Grail

There comes a time in every beauty lover’s life that they hit the jackpot with a product or brand. The skies open up, the seas part and harps play for your discovery. Some of us call it the holy grail or HG for short. This is 5 reasons a brand/product is considered holy grail.

It causes you to rethink what you knew about makeup.

NARS Exhibit A made me realize that after years of saying I couldn’t wear blush I actually could and should.

NARS Cosmetics Exhibit A
Nars Cosmetics Exhibit A Blush

You keep coming back to it.

I’m not talking about a rut. I’m talking about trying different things only to end up reaching for that familiar product whether it’s budget friendly or not.

You’re hoarding it.

You have a stash of products waiting for the day you get the awful news it’s been discontinued. You love the brand so much you feel like you must have everything.

NARS Cosmetics is my Holy Grail Brand
And I still want more…

There’s an emotional attachment.

There are products that work better but you can’t see yourself using something else because it not just about the product. It’s about the feeling you get when you use it.

And finally, There’s no real explanation, you just love it.

So which brands or products are your holy grail and why?

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara $4.99)

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara Review

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara $4.99)
Milani Grandissimo Lashes ($4.99)

I’m a big fan Milani lip products, however, I’ve been slacking on checking out their other products. I decided to pick up Grandissimo Lashes Mascara to rectify that. Michelle at said it was similar to an expensive favorite of mine and that was all I needed know. I think it lives up to that comparison. I won’t get into which favorite it is just know that it’s popular.

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Brush
Big brush, big volume
bare lashes
bare lashes
Milani Grandissimo Lashes
w/ Milani Grandissimo Lashes

Grandissimo Lashes has a huge brush. I tend to lean toward the plastic comb-like brushes and yet I didn’t mind this one having bristles. I liked the way my lashes looked after 2 coats. It gave my lashes curl. It gave my lashes volume. It gives the $20+ mascaras a run for their money and at a bargain price. It also smells like chocolate.

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara $4.99)

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara is $4.99. It’s available in drugstores nationwide and

Zoya Pixie Dust in Carter($10)

Zoya Pixie Dust: Carter Make Ya Twankle and Glisten

I ended up posting my usual Wednesday post a day early. I forgot what day it was and scheduled it like I normally do, only to realize that it wasn’t my posting day. Que será, será. However, in the interest of consistency I’m posting today and will have a Friday post as usual.

This is Carter from the 2013 Zoya Pixie Dust Collection.

Zoya Pixie Dust in Carter($10)
Zoya Pixie Dust – Carter ($10)

Carter is a gorgeous textured royal purple with magenta sparkle. Carter took about 3 coats to get the look I wanted. I’ve tried Pixie Dusts with and without a base coat and didn’t notice much difference. You can use a top coat but I prefer them matte.

Zoya Pixie Dust Swatch - Carter
Ooooo, baby! I love glitter!

I love these so much that I haven’t tried the textured polishes from other brands. That may change and that may not.

The Fall 2014 Pixie Dust are coming soon so check out Glitter Gloss Garbage for a look. I’ve got my eye on all three because I’m a hoarder.

Zoya Pixie Dust are $10 and available where Zoya is sold and

OCC LipTar - Black Metal Dahlia

OCC Lip Tar Black Dahlia and Black Metal Dahlia Photos+Swatches

When I think of liquid lipsticks Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar is what I think of first. Coming in at $18 they’re a little bit more expensive than other lipsticks yet low enough in price that you probably won’t experience sticker shock. They’re vegan and cruelty-free so you don’t have to worry about that issue. They’re pigmented. They last forever. You can wear them as is or mix them together to create your own unique lip look. Today’s post is about two that have similar names but different finishes.

This is Black Dahlia. It’s described as a blackened blackest red.  It’s a matte finish and a great addition to your fall lipsticks if you don’t already have it or want another dark red.

OCC Lip Tar - Black Dahlia
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – Black Dahlia($18)

OCC LipTar Black Dahlia

Similarly named is Black Metal Dahlia. It’s a blackened burgundy with red pearl. It’s slightly redder than Black Dahlia with lots of sparkle. It’s on the outer edge of being vampy to me but deep enough for fall.

OCC LipTar - Black Metal Dahlia
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – Black Metal Dahlia

OCC LipTar Black Metal Dahlia

These are highly pigmented so it doesn’t take much to cover your lips. A lip brush comes with each lip tar, however, if you’re in pinch you can use your finger. Exfoliating your lips will help with a smooth application. You can use a primer or dab a bit of lip balm on before you apply it as well.

Black Dahlia and Black Metal Dahlia Swatches
Left: Black Dahlia Right: Black Metal Dahlia

Do you own any Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars?

OCC Lip Tars are $18 and come in an assortment of colors. They are available at and at Sephora.

For Your Consideration: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade- Dark Brown
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade ($18) Also pictured: Brush #12 ($18)

Anastasia Beverly Hills is THE name in brow grooming so when the Dipbrow came out I knew I had to have it. I went through a process of trying to guess which color was for me along with a Sephora cast member. At that time 5 shades(there’s 8 now) were available so my choices were between Dark Brown and Ebony. I landed on dark brown because it was closer to the brow powder I was already using.

This creamy, multitasking product glides on skin and hair smoothly to create clean, defined brows. The standout formula works as a brow primer and provides color, sculpture, and shading. It is ideal for oily skin and in humid climates.(

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade - Dark Brown


I get home to use it and I’m at a loss. I don’t understand it. It doesn’t look right. So I toss it in my drawer fully intending to return it but never do. Fast forward some months later and I find this video:

A light bulb went off. I was trying to paint the brow on(if that make sense) instead of using a tiny bit and blending it into the brow. Once I corrected my mistake I realized the pomade is actually a great product.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow - Dark Brown

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade Swatch - Dark Brown
Anastasia Dipbrow – Dark Brown

I followed the instructions, applied it, and VOILA! happy brows. I never liked the look of pencils because they rarely gave me the result I wanted. It’s the main reason why I stuck to brow powders, but this is making me rethink that.

Using Anastasia Dipbrow - Dark Brown
This was a mascara and gloss kind of day with soft brows.

Dipbrow truly is smudge-proof and it held up on my oily skin. With brow powder I can practically rub it away with my finger, but the Dipbrow stayed put. Trust me, I rubbed my brows trying to see how much of it transferred to my fingers and barely anything did.

Have you tried Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade? Love it or hate it?

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade is available in 8 shades for $18 at Sephora, Ulta, and whereever Anastasia Beverly Hills products are sold. Brush #12 is also $18 

Dancing Their Way Out of Gentrification: Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo

Disclaimer: While this isn’t beauty related I hope you’ll give this and the reviews that are part of the 1984-athon presented by Forgotten Films a shot.


Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo picks up not too long where the original Breakin’ left off. Kelly(Lucinda Dickey) is still dancing, but fed up with being in the chorus. Her father still wants her to give up her dream of dancing professionally and go to Princeton, but seems to tolerate her dancing as long as she’s not hanging out with those “street people”. Of course Kelly is still hanging out with those street people, namely Turbo(Michael ‘Boogaloo Shrimp’ Chambers) and Ozone(Adolfo ‘Shabba-Doo’ Quinones).

We meet Turbo and Ozone cleaning their garage apartment in anticipation of Kelly’s arrival. Ozone tries to downplay the effort while Turbo insists that they don’t clean like this for other girls. When Kelly shows up it’s obvious that Ozone and Kelly have some type of thing going on because they share a kiss that doesn’t happen between people who are just dance partners.

This is when we get introduced to Miracles, the neighborhood community center, where Turbo and Ozone teach breakdancing children and teens. We meet Byron the head of Miracles and see that it’s not just community center but a second home to all of the people who go there. However, Miracles is in trouble. A developer wants to build a shopping center where Miracles stands and the gang has to come up with $200,000 to save it.


Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo is one of those movies that hit me hard on the nostalgic tip. The songs in the music montages, the dancing, and less than stellar acting are part of my childhood. My perspective on it has changed though. Breakin 2 is a typical underdog story, but it’s also a story that’s timely especially in these times of gentrification and people being priced out of their neighborhoods while Whole Foods and Starbucks spring up around them.

It’s a story about classism and racism because the people in the neighborhood surrounding Miracles have to contend with people who have more resources and believe they know what’s best for them. They’re also up against people who don’t think they deserve compassion or help because of preconceived notions steeped in stereotypes. And yet it’s still a fun movie.


There are dance battles and jokes. A love triangle between Ozone, Kelly, and Ozone’s ex Rhonda. Turbo gets to shine a bit. He gets a love interest and there’s a silly exchange between Ozone and him while Ozone tries to show him some moves to get the ladies. Turbo is also the star of a scene where he dances on the ceiling. (sidenote: It turns out Turbo was dancing in a rotating room that was used in “A Nightmare On Elm Street”. Freddy’s glove is hanging on the wall as a thank you). He also adds a bit of drama with a near catastrophic injury while taunting the construction workers and by putting his body on the line, after a daring hospital escape, when bulldozers come to tear down Miracles.

At the conclusion of the movie the Ozone, Turbo, Kelly, and the community organize a final show to help raise the money to save Miracles. There are costume changes, mimes, dancing, and mascots. They get the attention of the media and are able to raise 100K on top of the 50k they raised before the show.


Since the media is covering the show Kelly’s parents see the show and the effort they’re putting in to save Miracles and essentially their neighborhood. Seeing this causes a convenient change of heart in Kelly’s father so he and Mrs. Bennett head to Miracles. Mr. Bennett realizes that everyone has to live their life the best way they know how and that includes Kelly so he writes a check for $50k and saves Miracles.


I want to thank Forgotten Films for including me in the 1984-athon. Be sure to check out the reviews of other bloggers participating.

1984 A-thon

Let This Be Your Best Friend: Freeman Diamond Mineral Rinse Mask

I picked up another Freeman Feeling Beautiful product. This one is the Diamond Mineral Rinse Mask.

Freeman Beauty Diamond Mineral Rinse Mask
Feeling Beautiful Diamond Mineral Rinse Mask($1.99)

The last mask I reviewed was the Rose Brightening Paper Mask. I like it and I like this Diamond Mineral one as well. This one is a clarifying clay mask with the antioxidant Sparkleberry and perfect for all skin types. It’s also paraben-free.

All Skin Types Diamond Mineral Mask

paraben free Freeman Diamond Mineral Mask

Diamond Mineral Mask ingredients
Diamond Mineral Mask ingredients

The first thing I noticed about the product is the fragrance. It’s light and pleasant. I can’t place it but it’s not overwhelming.

The texture of the product is thick and creamy with fine pumice in it. If you haven’t figured out your exfoliation level go easy with it. Don’t damage your skin being overzealous.

I liked massaging my face as I rinsed it off rather than massaging it then rinsing. I went for the gusto and used most of what’s in the pack so the thickness of the product may be playing into that preference. Next time I may go a little easier and see if my preference changes.

Diamond Mineral Mask Boosts Radiance

After I rinsed it off, my skin felt really soft and cool. The mask has diamond flecks in it so some of them were left behind on my face but most of it rinsed off. No disco ball face here.

I think if you want to shake up your exfoliation routine and try something new, the Diamond Mineral Rinse Mask is worth a shot. I’m always here for bargain skincare. The only drawback for me is that this isn’t in a full size like some of the other Freeman Beauty masks because I’d happily buy it.

Freeman Beauty Diamond Mineral Rinse Mask
Feeling Beautiful Diamond Mineral Rinse Mask($1.99)

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Diamond Mineral Rinse Mask is $1.99 and available at many drugstores and online at   

L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara Made My Lashes Pop, Severely

L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara
L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara ($7.99)

I purchased L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara awhile back and just wasn’t impressed. I tossed it in my mascara drawer and forgot about it. Today I decided to revisit it and found out that sometimes first impressions aren’t always the most accurate impression. This is actually great mascara.

The L’Oreal Miss Manga  in Blackest Black gave me some serious length and volume and is super black. It didn’t give me anime eyes, but it definitely defined my lashes and gave them more dimension.

The brush is a cone-shaped 360° flexor brush that amplifies the top lashes, while maximizing the bottom for the ultimate wide-eyed manga look.

L'Oreal Miss Manga Brush
360° Cone-shaped flexor brush

The brush is very flexible. I’m not sure if the flexibility made a difference with application though. I really didn’t notice much movement as I used it. That didn’t surprise me because I was gently putting mascara on my lashes and not painting a house.

bare lashes(which were curlier than usual)
bare lashes(which were curlier than usual)
Lashes w/ Miss Manga Blackest Black
With Miss Manga – Blackest Black

The formula is on the thick side and could clump with multiple coats. I put on the first coat and squealed a bit because I thought my lashes looked so nice. When I went for the second coat I realized that one may be enough. My best advice is to play around with it to see what look you like the most.

I’m so glad that I decided to revisit this mascara so now it can get put into the rotation of mascaras that I like.

L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara
L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara ($7.99)

Have you tried L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara?

L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara is $7.99 and available at drugstores and online. It also comes in Black and Black Brown. 

Bargain Sheet Mask From Freeman Beauty

Sheet masks are kind of a big deal in skincare. While sheet masks originated in Korea, they are in worldwide use now with varying ingredients and price points. For those that don’t know, a sheet mask is a cotton or fiber mask infused with a serum that adheres to the contours of your face that usually comes in a single use packet. You leave it on for a specific amount of time, peel it off, and pat the excess serum into your skin. I happened to find the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Facial Brightening Rose Paper Mask at my local Wal-Mart for two bucks.

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Rose Paper Mask
Freeman Feeling Beautiful Rose Paper Mask($1.99)

The Freeman Facial Brightening Rose Paper Mask is a “serum-infused paper facial mask with Rose Extract that illuminates dull skin. White Tea and Licorice help reduce age spots for more even-toned skin.” There is also Lactic and Glycolic fruit acids that help reveal a smoother surface. Sidenote: when using alpha-hydroxy acids use sunscreen and limit sun exposure.

Freeman Rose Paper Mask Ingredients

I’ve used this mask twice and I like it a lot. After using it my skin was supple and brighter looking. I enjoyed taking the 5-10 minutes to just let the mask do its job. With all things that are going on in our lives, sometimes taking a moment to just breathe and relax is beneficial. However, there are some drawbacks to this mask.

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Rose Paper Mask
Here’s the mask. As you can see there are holes for the nose, eyes, and mouth.

The mask is a little tricky to maneuver. It’s folded on a liner inside the single use packet. Once removed you have to unfold it and peel it away from the liner. The peeling away is where it gets tricky. The liner is what’s holding the mask in shape so once you peel it away it wants to fold in on itself. Since it’s soaked in serum it sticks together easily. I didn’t experience any dripping from the mask once it was on my face, but be careful with the packet. The excess serum could fall out and make a mess. Another drawback may be the mask’s size.

Wearing the Freeman Rose Paper Mask
The makers of this mask weren’t thinking about folks with big foreheads.

My eyes may be set too wide for the eyeholes of this mask. I have to stretch the holes for the eyes a bit to get it on my face comfortably. However, there is the risk in ripping the mask because it’s just a thin sheet. It also doesn’t cover my whole face, so keep that in mind big face people.

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Rose Paper Mask
Freeman Feeling Beautiful Rose Paper Mask($1.99)

Even with those drawbacks I would totally use this mask a few times a week and at the very least make it part of my spa day routine.

Freeman Rose Brightening Facial Paper Mask is $1.99 and is available at Wal-Mart and

An Ode to Gorgeousness


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,426 other followers