Celebrating My 32nd Birthday

Celebrating My 32nd Birthday

Last week I celebrated my 32nd birthday. Birthdays mean a lot to me and I usually take time to reflect on my life, my goals, and my desires around my birthday. This birthday I felt incredibly grateful, I feel incredibly blessed in too many ways to count, and I thank God everyday for that. I remember a time in my life where I felt pressured to meet certain milestones within a specific period of time.

Read More

My Everyday Makeup Look for Work

I wear the same makeup to work everyday with  a few adjustments here and there. I always go for neutral eye makeup, a pretty pink blush and a soft pink, peach or nude lipgloss on my lips. I leave the more dramatic makeup looks for the weekends or special occasions. Sometimes, I change the nude eyeshadow I wear or my lip color. Otherwise, my look is pretty consistent. Below I outline my everyday makeup routine.

I start with moisturized skin, then prime my face with Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. I then fill in my brows with a brown eyeshadow or pencil. Next, I apply Mac Mineralize finish foundation in NC 45. I like that this foundation gives my face a dewey finish. For eyeshadow,  I used the taupe color (third from right) from Lorac's The Stylist Palette, but my favorite nude eyeshadow to wear on my lids is Bobbi Brown Shimmer Eyeshadow in Beige. A few strokes of mascara and Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner in black (this is the easiest liquid eyeliner to apply...ever!) and my eye makeup is done. If I am not wearing my all time favorite blush, Mac's Fluer Power, then I mix Mac's Raizin with another blush. I find that Raizin looks a little heavy on my skin tone for everyday wear so mixing it with a more muted color softens the look. Next, I use a little concealer under my eyes to highlight. I recently bought  L.A. Girl's Pro Conceal HD Concealer and so far, I like it. Finally, I apply a lip moisturizer (good old blistex does the trick) and my choice of lip color. I'm wearing  an L.A. Girl lip paint in the photos below.

Cheers,

Nika

Styling a Pixie Cut at Home

I've been wearing my hair in a pixie cut on and off for the past 10 years!!! While I love the pixie cut and have enjoyed having fun with my short do, it's not always easy styling a pixie cut at home. As a result, I turned to YouTube tutorials to help me out. I credit YouTube for teaching me everything I know about  makeup and felt that it could also help me learn how to style my pixie cut. I was right!

My YouTube search led me to Malinda Williams' channel. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when I found out that the Soul Food star and one of my short hair inspirations had a YouTube channel. As a visual learner, I loved her succinct and informative tutorials and found them and found them easy-to-follow. Below I'm sharing a few of her videos, there are many more on her channel. Check them out!

Cheers,

Nika

Naturally Glam: Smokey Eye + Wash and Go

Smokey Eye Makeup and Natural Hair Look

Here are photos from a fun weekend makeup and hair look that I did for a friend's birthday party in early February. I listed the products I used below.

Makeup

Foundation: Mac Studio Fix  Blush: Mac Fluer Power Concealor  Mac Highlight/Contour: Sleek highlight/contour kit

Hair

Leave-in: Oyin's Frank Juice & Carol's Daughter Maguerite's Magic  Curl Definer: Eco Styler Gel
Sealant: Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey

Settling in at Home

Two years ago I made a brave decision to move to the West Coast. It was only supposed to be for a brief year, but it turned into two years of tremendous growth. The people closest to me jokingly call me "Miss Independent," because in a lot of ways I've always done things my way. As a result, I've grown accustomed to a "me, myself and I" mode of living. I love my family and close friends dearly, and in hindsight I appreciate their support as I pursued spontaneity, adventure and autonomy in my life.

Interestingly it took moving away to see the real value in staying connected to my support system. At this point in my life, being  in close proximity to the ones I love means a lot to me. I don't know if it has anything to do with turning 30, but since living in four cities in my 20s, I'm finally ready to settle into a city I can call home for the long-term. Yet it's not so much a place, but the people.

Two years without the harsh East Coast winters means that I'm dreading the cold. Yet I've always loved Fall & Winter fashion and beauty products. I'm currently wearing Essie's Partner in Crime on my nails, it's a jewel-toned teal color that's perfect for the cooler months.

I'm all (well mostly) moved back to the East Coast. Although this move evokes excitement about new possibilities, parts of it has also been unsettling. Slowly, though tentatively, I'm learning to lean into the unknown with strength that I gather from my faith.

As I resettle at home, I'm happy; and as life unfolds, I'll enjoy it along with the things and people that makes this place home.