One of the cool things about natural hair, is its versatility. The fact that strands can go from curly to straight, then bounce back to beautiful curls is pretty awesome.
Recently, Motions contacted me to review their new Straight Finish “Curly to Straight” collection. I’ve heard great things about this system, so I was very excited to give it a try myself.
I used to straighten my hair at home myself pretty frequently. But because it’s time consuming and difficult to get it as straight as my stylist does at the salon, I don’t attempt as often anymore. Call it laziness.
The Straight Finish collection is a three step system providing women with natural curls, the option to straighten their much-loved curls, without losing them forever. (Funny, because I always test a straightening product based on how well my curls bounce back. I’ve been a victim of heat damage and would prefer not to go back down that road again.) The unique, smoothing, salon-tested formulas — with a blend of natural oils and Keratin Protein — PREP, PROTECT, and SEAL natural curly hair, allowing for optimal straightening results.
Motions claims that “the Bounce Back Formula preps, protects and seals your hair so your hair will return to its natural curly texture after one wash.”
Before picture. My curls have been fighting dryness with all this harsh winter air. I’m looking for moisture, protection, and shiny results from the Motions kit.
Take the Straight Finish Cleanser ($6.99) and gently massage it into your hair to create a generous lather. The cleanser will condition your hair making it more manageable when you begin to blow dry. I love that the cleanser includes a blend of Shea Butter, Soy Bean Oil, and Keratin Protein for optimal conditioning.
Talk about shrinkage! Isn’t it crazy how much length you have when your curls are straightened out?
Next I squeezed a thick dollop of the Straight Finish Leave-in Conditioner ($6.99) in the palm of my hand, and applied it all over from root to the end. This adds a layer of moisturizers that protect the hair; including a blend of Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, and Keratin Protein.
I like to use a diffuser attachment on my blow dryer and a paddle brush. I point the diffuser on the dryer downward as I dry my hair and start from the root making sure not to concentrate too much heat on my ends.
Now it’s time to seal the shaft and minimize wiry ends leaving a luminous shine with the Straight Finish Sealer ($6.99). This formula contains a blend of Argan Oil, Almond Oil, and Keratin Protein. Dispense 1 to 2 pumps of serum into the palm of your hand and finger comb through your hair before your start flat ironing or curling. This is the result of my hair after blow drying … and it feels light, soft, and bouncy already!
……… and for the FINAL RESULTS!!
I am so pleased with the final results of my hair! The final review will be the bounce back after I wash my strands next week (I’ll keep you posted on that). The new Straight to Finish line is super affordable with each product retailing for $6.99. You can find them on www.motionshair.com .
MOTIONS STRAIGHT FINISH BENEFITS
*Offers styling versatility to women with natural hair — curly, straight and back again. *Helps alleviate natural hair concerns such as “shrinkage”. *Provides optimal straightening results with a smooth, frizz-reduced finish. *Non-permanent — curl pattern will bounce back immediately after one wash.
I want you to see the movement and body and the full step by step process by watching the video tutorial below! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already!
I love reading a great article to get you motivated and inspired for the week to come. Today I want to share something I read over at Refinery29 titled, “10 Things Not to Say at Work”.
I really enjoyed reading this article because I noticed a few of the “things not to say at work” are or have been things I’ve said at work. 2014 is the year to work on a better, improved you. Why not start with your career? As a woman, we should make our presence known when walking into a room and work on owning our thoughts, ideas, and feedback with confidence. Here are the seven phrases that stuck out to me the most.
1. Does that make sense?
Many women end their statements with, “Does that make sense?” or “Do you know what I mean?”. We do this because we want to make sure we were understood, but this phrasing suggests you think you were incoherent. Instead, ask your listeners, “What are your thoughts?” or say, “Let me know if you have questions about this” instead of the undermining, “Did that make sense?”
"I just want to check in and see…" "I’m just concerned that…" We insert justs because we’re worried about coming on too strong, but they make the speaker sound defensive, a little whiny and tentative. Drop ‘em!
3. Just a minute and Just a little bit
"I’d like to take just a few minutes of your time" or "I’d like to tell you a little bit about our new product." Sure, be efficient and succinct — and don’t take up more time than you need — but drop the apologetic words about infringing on another person’s time. What you have to share is important and worthwhile; convey that, instead.
4. Sorry, but …
"Sorry to bother you but…" "Sorry if this is a silly question, but…" Don’t aplogize for taking up space, or for having something to say.
5. Undermining qualifiers
"I’m just thinking off the top of my head, but…" or "You all have been thinking about this a lot longer than I have, but…" or "I’m no expert, but…" Don’t tell people why what you are about to say is likely to be wrong. Lead with confidence in the knowledge that your ideas and insights matter.
6. Rushing and piling on the words
When we don’t feel we have the right to take up space in a meeting or conversation, we tend to rush through our words. We also tend to pile up phrases into one long string — instead of using concise sentences with clear endings. Short sentences and brief pauses between those sentences connote confidence and sense of comfort in the role of speaker. They also allow the listener to absorb what you are saying and give you a moment to gather a deep breath and collect your thoughts. Punctuate and pause.
7. Shrinking your space
This isn’t about speech patterns, but it does change the way people react to what you’re saying. Notice if the way you sit or stand shrinks the amount of physical space you are taking up. Take up room, uncross your hands or arms, sit tall, and make eye contact. Basically, be noticed.
For the full article on “10 Things Not To Say At Work”, visit the Refinery29 site here.
**photo and article content courtesy of Refinery29**
Which one of these “10 Things Not To Say At Work” will you be working on in 2014?
"I woke up like dis, I woke up like dis … we flawless." Has anyone else been overdosing on the new Beyonce album? Her album has been on repeat in my house since she had me wake up in the middle of the night to download it off iTunes. Speaks volumes doesn’t it?
Just like her album caters to her various personalities, from sex pot to jealous girlfriend, I believe a woman approaches her wardrobe the same way. We dress according to the personality that wakes us up in the morning. This morning, my prepster personality decided to shine.
I appreciate simple style. A great pair of jeans, boots, a casual sweater, and statement jacket looks clean and to the point. Funny because I asked for this trench coat for Christmas when I was in college (way before I knew how to style it, but still style savvy), and this is probably the third time I’ve worn it. Next time I plan to rock it with a fitted dress underneath and sharp stiletto pumps or a sexy sandal when the weather warms back up.
I like to invest in pieces that will be timeless. I splurged on these Gucci boots last Fall and absolutely love them. I don’t wear them enough because I don’t want to scuff them up (giggles). The gold studs on the heel add the perfect dose of rockstar edge to my outfits, and the soft burgundy leather is to die for.
I have been having a really great twist out week. My stylist used Ouidad products on my hair this last visit and I loved the results! I’ll be back with more news on what worked out in my hair.
So tomorrow, wake up and be flawless! What’s your favorite song off the new Beyonce album?
Calling all makeup artists. There’s a new product on the market and you may want to add it to your kit for the new year.
The new Make Up For Ever Chromatic Mix consist of six shades of liquid pigments that can be mixed with any type of water or oil based product to create your perfect color. This product is unique and innovative. According to the website, the chromatic mix can be used on any part of the body and are adapted to all skin types. The six colors available are white, yellow, blue, red, brown, and black.
Use these liquid pigments in your existing formula: white to lighten, black or brown to deepen, yellow to brighten, red to warm, and blue to cool.
How to Apply
Mix a small amount of Chromatic Mix with liquid foundation to alter and customize colors. Use oil based chromatic mix with oil or silicone based foundations. Use water based chromatic mix with water based foundations.
For more information on the Make Up For Ever Chromatic Mix, you can visit the website here. Each bottle retails individually at $14.
Balmain has never looked better, tapping Rihanna to be their new face in the forthcoming Spring/Summer 2014 campaign.
The labels creative director Oliver Rousteing describes the rock star at an “icon”, expressing,
"In front of the camera, she makes you feel like she is the only girl in the world. When the woman that inspires you wears your creations, your vision feels complete."
l love that Rousteing chose Rih Rih for the spring campaign. She exudes rock star and has mega sex appeal which is perfectly in line with the Balmain brand. Check out some addition photos below of Rih from the campaign.
Stylish and sexy. Great campaign!
Photographer: Shot in New York by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin Styling: Mel Ottenberg (Rihanna’s personal stylist) Hair: Yusef Makeup: Yadim
Exciting! This is my first tag that I’ve been … well … tagged in on Twitter! Lovely vlogger and jewelry designer, Ambrosia Malbrough (check out her blog here), challenged me to answer her “Sweater Weather” question tag via Twitter.
So here it goes!
Q U E S T I O N S
1. Favorite candle scent?
Recently I bought this delicious candle from Marshalls. It’s by Sensational Candles, called “Intrepid”. It’s a soy candle packed in a beauty black glass jar. I love it, it’s a citrus and fruity blend.
2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
Coffee hands down.
3. What’s the best fall memory you have?
I love fall weekends. I can enjoy sleeping in, being lazy, drinking multiple cups of coffee, and watching bridal shows all morning until I decide to get dressed.
4. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner?
Dark lips all day! Lately black and dark purple have been my go-tos.
5. Best fragrance for fall?
It’s a tie between my Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and Tom Ford Cafe Rose fragrance. Both are so yummy and sexy.
6. Favorite Thanksgiving food?
Don’t judge me … chitterlings.
7. What is autumn weather like where you live?
Currently, in Atlanta it’s cold enough for me to want to stay in my bed everyday and skip going outside to play. I miss Austin weather where it’s 70 degrees in the winter. But right now it’s in the 30’s there too, so I will stay where I am at.
8. Most worn sweater?
Funny because my mother made me throw it away. It was this vintage, cream, wool Dolce & Gabbana cardigan I found at the thrift store. I was in love with it and wore it all the time lol. My mom told me I needed to throw it away because it looked dingy and not vintage. So I did. Toast to our mothers who never steer us wrong!
9. Must-have nail polish this fall?
It’s not so much the color as it is a top coat. NYC Matte Me Crazy is a matte top coat you can buy for $2 at the drugstore and it transforms my nails into a dope matte finish. Love it!
10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?
Football game only if I’m physically at the stadium.
11. Skinny jeans or leggings?
Ooooo tough choice. Right now because I’m all for comfort, I would have to say leggings.
12. Combat boots or Uggs?
Definitely combat boots. I’m about to run my Steve Madden boots into the ground with the way they are looking.
13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?
Chai tea is worth the hype.
14. Favorite fall TV show?
Scandal and Shahs of Sunset.
15. What song really gets you into the fall spirit?
I love reading interviews. It’s always been an outlet where I enjoy peering a little deeper into someone else’s life and thoughts. So, I wanted to share this one on one interview I did with fellow Atlanta lifestyle blogger, Tami, from Talking With Tami.
We talked about everything from how I got started with my beauty blog, to my favorite designers, why I decided to go natural and more. You can read the interview on her blog here.
For Holiday 2013, NARS debuts a new limited edition gift set, based on the exciting, sensual cities top selling shades.
You can elevate any look with four of their evocative hues (Fathom, Kalahari, Daphne, and Cordura duo), and the brands iconic Orgasm blush (my fav) and Laguna Bronzing Powder. All of this is paired with the cult favorite Orgasm nail polish and lip gloss shades.
That matte deep violet “Daphne” single shadow is to die for!
The gift set retails at $75 and is now available to my Miami babes at Bloomingdale’s Boca Raton, Nordstrom (West Palm Beach, Dadeland, Aventura Mall, Boca), and Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway for these Spy Discord Sunnies. For my first giveaway, it was so hard to pick a winner! The whole point of the giveaway was to spread awareness of Breast Cancer and what it personally meant to you. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the entries.
And the selected winner is…..
Please email me at McKenzie@McKenzieRenae.com asap to claim your prize so I can send them your way!
Again, thank you love bugs, and I promise this won’t be the last giveaway!
Hey guys! If you’ve been following me on Instagram then you already know that I have a new do … and I LOVE IT.
It all started when I saw this beautiful photo of natural hair blogger and writer, (with a beautiful spirit may I add), Alex Elle. Click the link and visit her blog, you won’t regret it. I had no idea that you could install faux locs. I was always under the impression that you had to loc your hair and grow them out. I wasn’t committed to that option, so I was more than thrilled to learn that I could opt for the faux option. I also wanted to protect my hair from the elements for a while during the winter season.
I found an amazing stylist by the name of Brittany, at Salon Ramsey on 10th street in Atlanta, to make this style come to life. You can also find her on Instagram (@ilovebrittanykay) to check out her work.
Here is the 411 on the process and maintenance:
I visited the beauty supply store and purchased nine packs of Marley braiding hair. They were $5 a pack. Because my hair is colored, I wanted to follow the color pattern so my locs would blend seamlessly. I ended up getting four different colors, black, dark brown, light brown, and blonde.
She used a yarn technique to make them longer. The process took a little longer than six hours to achieve.
Faux Marley locs can last up to two months if you take good care of them. I’ve had mine in for two weeks now.
1. Morning-To take care of you scalp, spray your scalp with a mixture of water, a tbsp of apple cider vinegar (I got an organic brand from Trader Joes), and a few drops of teatree oil. Shake up the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on your scalp everyday. This regulates the moisture and prevents flaking on your scalp.
2. Night-I tie up my hair in a high bun and wrap my edges with a silk scarf. You want to wrap your hair because the hair is fragile and can unravel if you are too hard on it. Remember, they are faux locs.
3. Washing-Do not wash this hair with shampoo or conditioner, it is not human hair. To wash your scalp, take a hot, wet cloth, spray the mixture on it and wipe up any buildup on your scalp. You can smooth your edges with shea butter or gel to keep it neat. I personally prefer mine a little frizzier to give it a “worn in” and natural look.
I was sooo happy with the final look. Brittany really understood what I was asking for and I brought inspiration pictures to show her as examples.
Here is the finished product!
The cost of your locs will depend on the length and size you want them. For pricing and additional information, you can contact Brittany at firstname.lastname@example.org . Tell her I sent you her way!
18K Followers on Instagram: Frequently Asked Questions
Hey love bugs! I reached 18k followers on Instagram (awesome!) and as promised, I answered the questions for many of your inquiring minds on what you wanted to know about me!
There were many questions, so please bare with me on the responses! Again I appreciate each and every one of you, and I hope that I can continue to inspire you to be great at whatever you choose to do.
On my hair color
I get my hair done professionally at the salon. I have never used boxed coloring nor have I attempted at coloring my hair on my own. If you are thinking about experimenting with color, research stylists who specialize in color so they can maintain the health and integrity of your hair while still providing you with great color!
What do I use to keep my hair moisturized and prevent it from getting dry?
As a beauty blogger, I am constantly experimenting with different products. I haven’t found that “perfect” combination to let you in on, but when I do, please know that I will let you know. Right now I use creamy products combined with a gel to give me moisture and define my curls. Lately I’ve been using a mix of Mixed Chicks leave-in conditioner, African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Bouncy Curls Pudding, and Dr. Miracle’s Strong Hold Gel. Gels alone can dry out your hair as well as shampooing too often. I shampoo my hair once a week, and in between if there is too much product buildup I use Mizani’s True Textures co-wash. Unfortunately when you have color, there’s only so much you can do to prevent it from looking dry because the color naturally sucks the moisture from your strands.
What color is my hair?
It is a custom color job. I’ve colored my hair at least six times, so by now it’s a mixture of everything. But the main colors are my natural hair color, a couple shades of brown, and blonde highlights.
How do I keep the shape of my fro?
If you haven’t noticed, I’m currently growing my hair out from the tapered fro. So it is naturally taking a shape of its own. I keep the back and sides cut lower than the top to give me more height. I get my hair cut, lets say, every three months or so.
What do I do to achieve my hairstyle?
I do a two strand twist out every other night. I take it out in the morning when it’s dry and fluff my roots with my fingertips to blend everything together. Sometimes I will apply a light serum on my fingers as I take them down to give a little more shine. You can visit this post for a pictorial demonstration as to what I do. And this post for how I straighten it myself at home.
"As a beauty blogger, you often receive items for review. Does that occur based on your blogger presence or is it requested by you amongst companies?"
When I first started blogging almost four years ago, I would review products that I liked and purchased myself from the store. Eventually I started reaching out to companies that interested me to review new products. I have received a lot of “no’s” over time due to my follower count not being high enough. But as I gained more of a following on my blog and social media channels, companies started to add me to their press lists to include me on their new product launches and events.
How did I get started with my business?
I started branding Renae Cut Offs two years ago. I wasn’t having any luck finding the perfect pair of distressed shorts to wear during the summer, so I made a pair of my own. I received a lot of compliments and really enjoyed making them, and later started getting requests for orders. So I decided to turn my “hobby” into a business and take the first step of making everything official by creating a logo and applying for a business license to make my company into an LLC. You have to take a leap of faith and for lack of a better phrase, “put yourself out there.” Not all of my ideas have been successful, but it is continuing to be a valuable learning experience.
Will I ever grow my fro out?
Yes! I am right now, and I might cut it right back off later. I love playing with my hair, and it grows back just fine. Have fun with it and make it unique to fit your own personality!
What are my favorite hair products?
Mixed Chicks Leave-In and Deep Conditioner, Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum (when I wear my hair straight), Elasta QP Mango Butter Moisturizer, Dark & Lovely Au Natural 10 in 1 Gelee, and Carol’s Daughter Split End Sealer … for now.
What are my favorite clothing stores?
I love to thrift shop (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc)! I’m also a frequent shopper at Zara, Forever 21, Nasty Gal, H&M and local boutiques.
Who is my fashion icon?
I love love love Rihanna’s versatility when it comes to her wardrobe. She clearly can’t be defined and you never know what she is going to serve us day to day. I also gain a lot of style inspiration from every day street style. There’s nothing like seeing how “regular people”, meaning non-celebrities, translate their style from trend inspiration on the runway.
What are your five must have hair products?
See above in “what are my favorite hair products.” It’s so hard to choose just five especially when I’m always trying something new.
How did I go about applying and looking for jobs in my field after college?
I have a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and believe it or not, I was only offered one job after graduation. To be an assistant manager at Abercrombie & Fitch. But my plan was bigger than that. I wanted to relocate to Atlanta after graduation, so I took the job after a phone interview and made my way to the A. I figured I would figure out the rest once I got here and I started to make a name for myself and get acquainted with media figures to begin the branding of McKenzie Renae. I still applied to positions in my career field while at A&F, and a little short of a year, I was hired by Rolling Out Magazine to be their new Beauty Editor. Since then, I’ve stepped out to begin branding myself and the McKenzie Renae brand! I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Ok, I’ll probably do this again because it was fun! Maybe when I reach 20k! If you aren’t following me on Instagram, you can now —> @McKenzie_Renae . Don’t be afraid to say Hi!
Giveaway For A Cause: SPY Discord Sunnies: Breast Cancer Edition
As I mentioned in my previous Threads of the Day post , Breast Cancer hits close to home for me. My grandmother passed from the disease when I was very young, and I’ve always been sad that I didn’t get to create more memories with her. But I rejoice in what I do remember and the beautiful woman that she was. She shines through my mother, and I only hope to be half the woman she is.
The SPY brand was kind to gift me with a limited edition pair as well as an additional pair to give to one of you. Yay!
Not only are they stylish and fun, but they support a cause, which is always amazing in my eyes. On the inside it reads, “I love boobies. Keep a breast”.
I’m going to keep this giveaway simple. Tell me in the comments below, what breast cancer awareness means to you, and why you should be the winner of these SPY Discord sunnies!
I’ll choose the winner on Wednesday (11/20), so get to commenting!
Threads of the Day: Spy Discord Sunnies + $6 Jumper
I feel like winter just snuck up on us. What happened to fall? I should probably blame my feelings on being spoiled by perfect Texas weather. Le sigh.
I found this white cotton jumper at Goodwill this summer for six bucks. Score! But I never had a chance to wear it, so I thought, what the heck, and whipped it out to sport in a winter fashion. There are very few summer pieces that can still translate well in the winter without looking completely out of season. I believe this jumper is one of them.
Sometimes all that is required to throw on is a funky leather jacket, a pair of worn in motorcycle boots, simple accessories, and a great pair of sunnies.
Jumper: Goodwill Leather jacket: Zara Motorcycle boots: Steve Madden Accessories: Forever21 Sunnies: c/o SPY Discord (Breast Cancer edition)
Although Breast Cancer Awareness month is over, it’s never too late to support and contribute where and when you can.
Breast Cancer hits close to home for me because my grandmother passed from the disease. Thank you to the SPY brand for not only gifting me with a limited edition pair to support the cause, but also for giving me an additional pair to gift to one of my followers.
I’ll be doing my first giveaway with the SPY Discord sunnies pictured, so stay tuned!
Find Your Lip Magic With New Maybelline Color Elixir
I don’t know about you, but my personality can change at the switch of a lip. I received product to try for review purposes from Maybelline’s newest lippie out from the Color Elixir collection. Let me share the greatness!
The new Color Elixir line by Color Sensational features 20 high-shine, super saturated gloss shades that give the color of a lipstick yet a feeling of a moisturizing lip balm. The applicator is easy to work with and best of all, it doesn’t leave a sticky residue rim along the inside of your lips. Don’t you hate that?
(L to R: (020) Signature Scarlet, (075) Fuchsia Flourish, and (030) Raspberry Rhapsody)
It’s funny because a new lip color can bring out different personalities in each of us. Red can make you feel sultry, pink can make you feel fun and flirty, nude can bring out your sensual side, and a deep purple can make you feel powerful and in charge.
Lip colors are easily the finishing touch to complete an outfit before you head out for the day or night. It speaks to others and gives off a message as to how you feel at that particular moment.
Signature Scarlet made me feel sultry and sexy…
Fuchsia Flourish brought out my flirty side, making me feel a bit vulnerable…
And Raspberry Rhapsody had me feeling just plain silly and fun!
The Color Elixir glosses retail for $8.99 each. You can check out all of the shades here.
What personalities do your lip colors bring out of you?
*This post was sponsored by Refinery29, however all thoughts and reviews are original, honest, and my own.* #MyLipMagic
Are you following the Renae Cut Offs Instagram page (@RenaeCutOffs) ? If you aren’t, you should be! Our Instagram page will notify you of all new inventory and any seasonal sales or promotions for the month!
I always pay attention to detail when shopping. I love the surprise open back of this tank that you can wear with a sexy lace bra. Every woman should own at least one. The fingernails are even in a leopard print, so cute.
You can’t forget about your beauty essentials! An effortless look like this deserves to be paired with a bold lip, my personal favorite “trend” for fall.
New Movie 'About Time' Gives A Fresh Perspective on Living Life to the Fullest
Recently, I was invited to a movie screening of the new film, About Time. A film from Richard Curtis, the creator of Love Actually, Notting Hill, and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
About Time tells the story of a young man whose gift allows him to go back and relive any moment of his life. But instead of making every moment perfect, he learns that life and love are most extraordinary when you embrace all of their imperfections.
I enjoyed the film for a number of reasons, the most notable of them being that I was served a gentle reminder to stop sweating the small stuff and actually live life and enjoy its present moments.
I remember being so excited for my 25th birthday this year! I wanted it to be the most unforgettable, fun filled week and weekend spent with my closest friends celebrating this milestone year of my life. Let’s just say, my birthday extravaganza didn’t go as planned. The original venue fell through at the last minute, some close friends couldn’t make it, and I couldn’t piece my birthday outfit together to save my life.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. Although my birthday extravaganza didn’t go as planned, my friends really showed their true colors in a strong effort to make my birthday as amazing as it could be. I realized how much I cherish my family and friends who were able to make a rabbit appear out of a hat despite the constant disappointment of events. Eventually, I decided to go with the flow, stop worrying about everything that was going wrong, stop sweating the small stuff, and let go and actually enjoy the moment! Just like Tim said,
"Try to live every day and enjoy it as if it were the full final day of your extraordinary life. Do your best to relish this remarkable life."
In the movie, Tim’s father proposed two choices to Tim as his rules of happiness:
1. You can live life every day like you usually would. OR…
2. You can life live and actually notice everything around you.
This is what makes life so beautiful, and I think often times we can forget that by living in such a fast paced world. We are never promised the future of tomorrow, so why not just live life and actually notice what’s going on around you in the present moment? Stop trying to change or live in the past, and instead, embrace the present.
Check out the trailer of About Time below, starring Rachel McAdams (Mary), Domhnall Gleeson (Tim), and Bill Nighy (Tim’s father).
About Time is a comedy about love and time travel, which discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all. I highly recommend you go see this movie with your loved ones. You can’t help but gain a better perspective on life!
About Time will hit theaters November 8, 2013! For more details about the film, click here.
“Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Universal Pictures through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated to write a post about About Time, all opinions are my own.”
Review: Murad's New Pore Reform Line (For Oily Skin)
It’s official, I love Murad products and Murad products love me. The Summer season is over (le sigh), which means brisk breezy weather is on the horizon. Just like you adjust your clothes to fit the season, you should do the same when it comes to your skin care products.
If one of your skin care concerns is dealing with large pores or oily skin, then I just might have the solution for you.
a targeted skin care system with scientifically advanced products formulated to physically reduce the size of pores and combat the appearance of blackheads.
Let’s dive in!
Daily Cleansing Foam: $28
This is a dual action cleanser that cleanses and tones at the same time. I like to use it in the morning because it’s light and fresh. It also removes any dirt or oil that may have been left over from the night before when removing my makeup.
Clarifying Toner: $22
Now this isn’t included in the Pore Reform line, but it’s still a great toner! I miss more makeup than I think even after removing it with a makeup wipe, and cleansing after. This toner tingles a little (which I love because it makes me feel like it working lol), and controls an oily t-zone and shine for ladies with oily/combo skin. I’m not too keen on the smell, but it gets the job done for sure.
T-Zone Pore Refining Serum : $42
This serum helps normalize oil production so skin looks and feels soft, not slick. The glycolic and salicylic acids encourage cell turnover for a refined complexion. After using the Cleansing Foam, you follow up with this t-zone serum prior to applying your moisturizer. Be sure to wait a couple of minutes before you moisturize, to really allow to serum to penetrate the skin for optimum results.
This two-step treatment helps reduce blackheads and seals pores for the ultimate protection against pore clogging impurities.
When I say AMAZING … I mean AMAZING! I have blackheads around my nose in those annoying little crevices that makeup can get stuck in. After I used this, just on my t-zone (nose, around my nose, forehead, and chin), and followed up with Pore Refining Sealer, my blackheads were noticeably smaller! The consistency is like a thick paste. I loved it!
Balancing Moisturizer with SPF 15 : $35
Y’all know how I feel about my moisturizers … they MUST have sunscreen in them because I don’t like two steps. I love this moisturizer because it is lightweight and also helps control oil production while delivering powerful antioxidant protection. Use this moisturizer as your last step and you are set to move on to your makeup … or just a clean, fresh face.
I am definitely on the right track to controlling my combo/oily skin! I’ve already noticed results in the smoothness of my skin and I’ve been using these products consistently for about two weeks now.
You can pick up the Murad Pore Reform line at Sephora, Ulta, and Murad.com.
I always approach style as being effortless. You shouldn’t have to think too hard or try too hard, it should come naturally to you. It starts with knowing yourself and staying true to yourself, no matter what that truth is. One of my favorite quotes is,
"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn." -Gore Vidal
There’s no problem with dressing how you feel that specific day and not being attached to a “style”. Style is whatever you want it to be. More ladies should understand that you don’t have to reveal it all to be sexy or noticed.
Black Mob tee- thrifted Leather teardrop skirt: Nastygal Silk shirt: Karen B (from Macy’s) Boots: Steve Madden (worn in just how I like them) Shades: Dior Bag: Boutique in Austin Accessories: Mostly from Forever21
You should be comfortable shopping wherever. If your thing is designer threads, then go for it. It it’s from Forever21, go for it. It’s all about how you piece your outfit together … which should be effortlessly.
The key is to mix and match high and low end gear. Feel comfortable in what you are wearing that day, and OWN IT! Because if you’re uncomfortable or fidgety in your outfit, it’s noticeable.
Follow me on Instagram for style inspiration, or whatever else you want to follow me for ;)
Can you believe holiday collections are already surfacing? Can we slow down for just a second? I just tucked my bikini away!
OPI is already on it with their holiday gift sets. Matte nails are a huge trend for fall, so the new "Top This!" gift set will be perfect for your talons. The set features the signature ProWide Brush with the Top Coat, Matte Top Coat, and Snowflakes in the Air.
For the second holiday gift set, OPI intrudes the "Take Ten" collection consisting of a spectrum of ten hues, ranging from soft hues to creamy reds to rich burgundies. All of these lacquers are in mini sizes. Too cute.
(From L to R: Pirouette My Whistle, Alpine Snow, Bubble Bath, Tickle My France-y, You Don’t Know Jacques!, Cajun Shrimp, Big Apple Red, German-icure by OPI, Malaga Wine, and Lincoln Park After Dark.)
Take Ten and Top This! will be available October 2013 at professional salons, Dillards, JCP Salons, Trade Secret, Regis, ULTA, and ulta.com. Take Ten retails for $24.95 and Top This! retails for $27.00.
Sometimes I think people can forget the power of basic pieces. I don’t have a lot of prints in my wardrobe, because I’m always wanting to get the most out of my clothing. So unless I’m feeling adventurous, if I’m holding up a black top versus the same top in a mutli-colored pattern … odds are I’ll choose the black because it’s more versatile.
Today was one of those days where I was in a chill mood, but still wanted to feel stylish. I love the denim on denim look, and because Summer is winding down, I still have a little time to rock more of my “summery” items a couple more times.
With a casual cool look like this, your makeup and hair should be effortless. I love big messy hair, there’s just something so imperfect about it. Like you gave a sh*t that day, but didn’t really give a sh*t.
This look can easily be paired with heels (I would say nude or black…something to keeps things simple and effortless) or even some cool white sneakers. Casual to dressy just like that!
These heels make me super tall (I’m already 5’8), but they make me feel so sexy because of the high arch. The blush color of the wedge is a fresh alternative to nude (which I never find a nude that matches my skin tone anyway).
What do you think about bringing things back to the basics?
It all started when I saw these SICK black textured sandals in a winter issue of Marie Claire Magazine last year. I had to have them! The price tag was $49.95 (score!) and were listed as heels from Shoedazzle.
Back in January, I conducted a mini experiment via Twitter, asking my followers if they had ever purchased any shoes from Shoedazzle. I saw the commercials on TV, I noticed the ads in magazines, but I never heard any conversation from friends about their latest score from the shoe destination.
So I posed the following question, “Any of my followers ever ordered shoes from Shoe Dazzle?” And below were some of the responses (mostly consisting of no’s due to the quality of the shoes).
When I tell you these sandals were a deal steal, I mean it. So I had to find out for myself.
I wish I could remember the name of these lil bad boys, but I do remember that when I signed up for my first Shoedazzle purchase, I received a $10 credit. Making my total a sweet $39.95! Thank you Shoedazzle!
What I love most about these heels is the texture of the leather. It’s similar to croc skin…but faux lol. The laces criss cross and tie up to the ankle, with a mean five inch heel that makes your legs look so sexy!
On Style: I love how “expensive” these heels look. The faux leather croc material and zig zag side pattern make these show stoppers even more interesting. I’m always looking for the smallest details that can make something special and again, look more expensive than it really is. That’s a steal in my eyes.
On Quality: Aside from the laces which could be a little better quality, I was pleased with the make of this shoe. The laces are a minor detail that can always be switched out if I wanted to … can you imagine how fierce these would look with a gold chain as laces?
On Comfort: As I mentioned before, these sandals are a mean five inches high and barely have any platform. So no hurrying or rushing for me. Someone is just going to have to leave me behind lol. Are they the most comfortable heels to walk in? No. Are they unbearable? No. These are the kind of heels that you wear to look cute in when you’re sitting down, or only walking short distances. If you catch my drift.
On Price: Cha-ching! For $39.95 … it was money well spent.
I can’t speak on other shoes or items from Shoedazzle, but my first experience has been pretty pleasant. I’ll be back to try something else in the future! Starting with these! lol
Have you shopped with Shoedazzle? What was your experience like?
What did I do to deserve the constant torture Nasty Gal puts me through? The “Nasty Gals Do It Better” brand (along with Zara ::le sigh::) seem to frequently rob my wallet blind. But do I mind? My fellow fashionistas already know the answer to that question.
Let me introduce you to the Nasty Gal 2013 Fall Collection:
From harnessed miniskirts to leather bustiers and voluminous moto jackets, we carefully designed every piece to make you stand out.
I love how visually stimulating the concept of the shoot is. From the holographic backdrop panels to the 80’s themed soft pastel lighting. It’s the perfect contrast to the structured and textured details of the clothing.
Here are some of my favorite pieces from the collection!
Nasty Gal Collection Oil Slick Skirt, $130
Nasty Gal Collection Luminate Silk Dress, $140
Nasty Gal Collection Lucid Crop Tank, $80
Shoe Cult Outlaw Buckled Boot, $190 (Can’t get enough of this color!)
Nasty Gal Collection Hover Moto Jacket, $260
Nasty Gal Divert Leather Moto Jacket, $400
Nasty Gal Collection Visionary Velvet Dress, $110
You can check out the rest of the Nasty Gal Fall 2013 Collection here.
Are you excited about the Fall Collection? Which pieces are your favorite?
I know I can’t be the only one who’s been paying attention to this new and fashionably improved Nicole Richie comeback. She’s come a loooong way since her Paris and Nicole “The Simple Life” days. Y’all remember that show? Comedy.
Every time I see one of her street style snapshots or appearances on the red carpet, my jaw drops with awe. I’m so inspired by her effortless style. She makes a statement every time she walks out of the door … without even trying.
I perused through a few layers of her style archive, and here’s what I gathered:
1. She kills the jumper game.
Who can make a jumper look so polished, chic and sexy at the same time? Nicole can. She’s mastered her sex appeal by knowing what works for her petite frame, and more importantly, she sticks with it. By revealing a little cleavage paired with minimal makeup and tousled hair, she kills it every time.
2. She’s fun and feminine.
I love how Nicole switches it up from semi-androdgynous to girlie and feminine. It shows again how versatile her look and style is. She appreciates a bold, colorful print as well as simplistic separates. Are you catching on to her signature pose yet?
3. She serves us “tomboy chic” with a vengeance.
This is where my jaw drops. Totally my style! Pay attention because Ms. Richie is giving us style pointers when it comes to the classic boyfriend jean, leather pant, and skinny jean. Never underestimate the power of a crisp white blouse, a structured bag, and multi-toned kicks.
4. Crop tops have never looked so good.
I love crop tops! They can easily be dressed both up and down. These two looks are another prime example of how Nicole dresses for her body type. The detailed tops paired with long, high waist trousers, elongate her legs making her look taller. Let’s not ignore that fierce bob hunny!
Are you digging Ms. Richie’s new transformation? Which one of these looks are your favorite?
Let's Get Personal: Your Beauty Questions Answered
Q: “Hey love! I was wondering what do you do to pull your curls out and to make your hair look bigger? I hate shrinkage! :-(“
A: I use my fingertips and fluff my hair just from the roots (almost in a gentle pulling motion). Don’t play with it too much while styling, or you could cause more frizz.
Q: “Hey I want to big chop, but I’m scared of how it will look on me. I have a round face and a pretty big forehead (in my opinion) how did you decide you wanted to cut your hair?”
A: Believe it or not, my hair took a style and shape of its own. I initially cut it into a short pixie cut because at the time I was wearing my hair straight most of the time. So I took an inspiration photo of the cut I wanted to my stylist and just went for it!
Q: “Hey McKenzie, I know you probably get a ton of questions about your hair, but I have to say the cut you had in your sidebar photo (on your profile) is like my current hair inspiration. So I’m very curious how you went about getting it shaped or cut like that, and how long it took to grow it long enough to style?”
A: Hi! Read above for the first part of your question. My hair was a little longer than shoulder length before I cut it, so I was lucky to already have the length at the top. But as I continue to cut it to maintain the shape, it takes about a month for it to grow a couple of inches or so.
Q: “Could you do a post on transitioning clothes from summer to fall???”
A: I’ll add that to the list!
Q: “Hi McKenzie!!! I’m a beginner at thrifting and I love the excitement of it all. Do you have any tips or suggestions to get the best results?? P.S. Your style is super dope, you killin em mama.”
A: Aww thank you! Location is a big part of thrifting. If you aren’t finding any decent Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. stores in your area, travel out a little further into “upscale” areas that may have a better selection. Always ask about discount days in the stores. Most stores have discounts on items with specific tag colors on them, and Salvation Army does 50% off on clothing on Wednesdays. Most importantly, be patient, take your time, and go in with an idea of what you want so you don’t get lost in the racks!
Q: “Hi Honey, Do you color your hair yourself? if yes, what brand do you recommend? thank you! I love your blog.”
A: Hi & thank you! :) No I don’t. I get it colored and cut professionally at the salon :)
Q: “I LOVE LOVE your blog and your hair!! I want to start a blog do you have any advice yours seem very successful and you’re doing what you love!”
A: Thank you girlie! I just did a post on beginner blog tips that you will definitely find helpful. Check it out here » 5 Tips For a Beginner Blogger
Q: “Do you wash your hair and do your two strand twists everyday? If not, how do you preserve your hair over night?”
A: Oh no no no. I wash my hair once a week or so and do my two strand twists every other night. Sometimes I’ll go days without twisting it and it just appears a bit bigger and slightly frizzier. I also sleep with a silk bonnet covering my twists as well as a satin pillowcase (for added protection because I’m a wild sleeper lol).
That’s it for this week ladies! We’ll be catching up again next week!
LeToya Luckett Hosts Indique Hair Atlanta Boutique Grand Opening
I hope everyone enjoyed their lazy days during the Labor Day weekend! I spent some of my time at the grand opening of the Indique Hair Boutique located right here in Atlanta.
Singer, LeToya Luckett was the guest host of the event and brought out ladies from all around the city with a desire for long, luscious, playful locks. And guess what? The first 50 lucky ladies at the door received a free bundle of hair! Nice.
Indique co-founder, Ericka Dotson, pictured below during the ribbon cutting ceremony.
In case you’re new to the brand, Indique Hair is one of the leading premium hair extension brands in the United States. The new Atlanta boutique is an addition to their locations in Brooklyn, Soho, & Little Neck in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and South Africa.
My girlfriend Ella and I arrived in chic black and white threads (not planned … great minds think a like lol).
The grand opening showcased the entire Indique line including the BOUNCE Collection, a collection of steam permed virgin Indian hair, the SEA Collection, a collection of South East Asian hair, the HYSTERIA Collection which features colored Indian hair, as well as the companies flagship line, the PURE Collection.
Check out some more highlights from the event below:
Got a couple of quick flicks with the gorgeous LeToya Luckett.
Me and Erika Dotson, the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Indique Hair.
Ran in fellow bloggers Mattie and Tami at the event. Looking cute as usual :)
Indique hair models modeling some locks from the new collection.
DJ Princess Cut on the one’s and two’s.
To check out more about the Indique Hair line, you can visit their website here.
The new Atlanta boutique is located at:
312 N. Highland Ave. NE Suite C Atlanta, GA 30307 404-974-4680
Singer Ciara is all dolled up on the latest September cover of Paper Magazine. So adorbs! She is making some bomb hair cut and color decisions lately, and the new dark do is a perfect style transition for Fall. Not to mention, a necessary separation from Baddie Bey’s new chic, blonde bob.
Lately we’ve seen CiCi in a plethora of Givenchy menswear inspired looks to compliment her rapper beau Future. She tells Paper Mag:
I don’t wear a dress regularly, but even if I do, you have to put some attitude into it. I like a leather skirt, which gives you some toughness, but a feminine touch too. I like the androgynous thing with a hard edge: I make things rock ‘n’ roll — but still pretty.
Come to find out Ciara was born in Austin, TX. I had no idea! Y’all know that’s where I’m from right? Well, if you didn’t, now you do.
In her interview, she talks about her fifth album, Ciara, in which she describes as being “tough yet pretty” and “light and upbeat…with a lot of heart and passion.” She also gives the inside scoop on her relationship with Future and how compatible they are together. That’s so sweet :)
I love Ciara’s new image and I love the opportunities she’s been taking advantage of to remain in the spotlight. But something is missing. I don’t think she seizes enough of the right moments to really make a statement to her audience. She’s a beautiful woman who is coming into her own image and style, but she’s still trying to show us who she is. Why don’t we know by now? I hope this new album, relationship, and image give her the platform to really show us what she’s got … outside of just her looks. Give me more CiCi!
I love the styling from the feature. She should definitely look back into modeling. To read the full interview you can visit the Paper Mag site here.
What do you think about Ciara’s new look? Do you think she’s made the right statement or is she still just kind of “around” ?
Every now and then, I challenge myself to straighten my hair all on my own. I used to do it all the time when my hair was longer, but since chopping it off into the pixie cut (which has since grown out into a bob), I leave the task to my stylist.
Lately I’ve been a little bored with my hair, so I decided to dedicate nearly an entire night to straightening out these strands.
Let’s jump into it.
These are the styling products I used: Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner, Carol’s Daughter Monoi Split End Sealer, Jane Carter’s Nourish & Shine pomade, and Biosilk silk therapy serum.
My trusty wooden paddle brush, my boar bristle brush to smooth down these edges, a skinny comb, and hair clips.
Love this HANA air blow dryer. I use it with the detachable diffuser and a paddle brush when blowdrying my hair.
My friend who is a hair stylist recommended I try the Nano Titanium flat iron by Babyliss PRO. Let me warn you, it gets VERY hot, but it definitely gets the job done. There are heat settings you can adjust from 1-50, so you still have control.
I started by washing my hair in the shower, then applied my leave-in conditioner and split end sealer to the ends of my hair. I detangled in sections with my paddle brush, making sure my hair was damp but not soaking wet while working section to section.
Next I blow dried slowly using the diffuser and my paddle brush. As I moved section by section, I applied a little serum to each area to protect my hair from heat damage.
The shrinkage shocked me! My hair was a lot longer than I thought once blown out. Because I love to color my hair, I go the extra step in a final blow dry all over with the cool setting to seal the moisture and shine in before flat ironing.
I didn’t get a chance to capture the flat ironing step by step process, so here is the finished result! I still ended up adding a touch more serum to my hair even after blowdrying, because color sucks up moisture and can look dry and frizzy if it’s not moisturized enough.
For my edges, I took a little bit of the Jane Carter nourish and shine pomade, dabbed it on my edges, and took my bristle brush and smoothed it down.
And le back…
If you’re wondering how I maintain the look at night, I wrap my hair and tie it up with a silk scarf. In the morning, I brush it out and just flat iron sections that are a little limp on a low heat setting.
Well how do you think I did? lol I think it turned out pretty nice!
Itching For A Short Cut? Enter The Cut Life's Contest
So I follow this super dope page on Instagram, called The Cut Life. It’s an inspiration board all about short hair. You’ll find everything from edgy color to chic cuts on their page (as well as some of my favs in the collage above).
If you happen to be in Atlanta and are itching for a fierce short cut, The Cut Life has a contest going on right now that could possibly fulfill your dreams.
They’ve partnered with Beautiful Textures and all of the deets are below.
-Upload an InstaVid telling them why you need and are ready for a haircut and the celeb that most inspires you. -One winner will receive a FREE cut by Celeb Hairstylist Erica Hudson LIVE at her Salon, The Shoppe, on August 28th, 2013. -Applicants must be in Atlanta, GA. Contest ends midnight August 23rd, 2013 (this Friday) and the winner will be announced August 26th, 2013 (next Monday). -Applicants must follow and tag @TheCutLife and @LovinMyTextures in their video.
Good luck gals, you have until Friday to get your submissions in :)
It was like a scene of the cut heard around the world yesterday, as social media networks everywhere went bananas after the debut of Beyonce’s new do.
King Bey, Baddie Bey, Queen Beyonce … her fans or stans if I may, go crazy over virtually anything Beyonce does, says, eats, or wears. Beyonce gained all of my love after watching her HBO documentary where I felt as though I got a glimpse of who she is as a person as opposed to just an icon and entertainer. So I’ve been keeping my eye on her ever since.
Yesterday, my jaw dropped after seeing the second new chop! ::Insert emoji face with the heart eyes here::
So as a newbie Beyonce “stan”, here are five things I learned after her fabulous bob debut:
1. Remember the first chop? Her stans almost dropped her from their roster after Bey went a little too short for their liking. It’s a good thing she added some extra length for them so they would continue paying her bills! Close one Bey.
2. All jokes aside, Beyonce knows what works for her and what doesn’t. She’s played in the safe zone (when it comes to her image) since parting from her Destiny’s Child days, with her signature long, tousled, blonde locks. I appreciate that she’s becoming more of risk taker. Not to mention, she loves shopping at Topshop!
3. Does anyone even remember Ciara’s fierce blonde bob anymore? I loved it, but it seems as though Queen Bey wiped that afterthought to the left.
4. Not only is she a pro at giving us tons of face, but this fresh bob draws even more attention to her enviable curves. Bey, if you’re reading this, could you spare five minutes to teach a gal the secret to your perfect pose?
5. Roots are in! What used to be seen as tacky, is now trendy. One in half inches of dark roots are now acceptable before making your next appointment for a color touchup. Unless you’re going for the ombre look of course. Just make sure you get your color professionally done so it blends seamlessly.
How many screenshots do you think were taken yesterday of the new do?How many of those screenshots do you think will make it to the hair salon just in time for Fall?
I’m more than positive blonde bobs will be seen walking down the streets in no time. Messy or straight … Bey gets two thumbs up for her fresh, grown woman, effortless bob!
This is bound to be one of those “TMI” posts, so let’s get cozy together shall we?
Summertime equals poolside weekends and swimsuit destinations, making proper body grooming of the utmost importance!
I was really excited to receive the Nad’s Bikini & Underarm Wax Strips because I’ve never attempted to wax myself at home lol. I usually prefer to take the professional route and visit the salon to let the pros handle everything. But heck, I’m a beauty blogger and part of my job is to test out what’s on the shelves and share with you ladies. So here it goes!
These Nad’s wax strips are created for sensitive areas of the body. The ingredients included a gentle formula containing honey and chamomile with a new and improved soft fabric technology.
Let’s look at what’s inside the box!
-There are two different strip sizes that total up to 24 strips. -14 underarm (7 double sided) -10 bikini (5 double sided) -Plus x2 Nad’s Post Wax Calming Oil Wipes -Plus 15g (0.53oz) Nad’s Moisture+Soothing Body Balm for after hair removal.
The directions instructed me to test out an area of wax on my legs first since I was an unexperienced waxer. But because I convinced myself that I’m a G and I don’t need practice, I went straight for the underarm area.
I thoroughly cleaned the area and made sure there was no left over lotion or deodorant residue, then proceeded to let the area dry.
You’re supposed to take one of the wax strips and rub it together between your palms to get the wax on the strip warm and ready for use. After warming it up, I peeled the strip apart and placed in on my underarm while rubbing it gently into my skin three or four times.
I pulled my skin taught, then YANK!
Now let’s fast forward…
I love how the kit is easy to use, has simple instructions, and comes with the oil wipes and moisture balm to relieve pain. Because boy did I need it!
Did it hurt? Yes! My pain tolerance is very low. But I think either my underarm hair was too coarse for the strips to pull out or I didn’t pull hard enough because I was anticipating it. I just didn’t have very good luck with many hairs being removed. Someone with finer hair strands would have better luck with their underarms.
Now on to the bikini area. I repeated the instructions above and had more success on my bikini line than my underarms. The thiner strips were useful for just the bikini area, but if you want a little more hair removed, then the bigger strips would be best. I liked that the strips were reusable up until the wax no longer stuck (I used one wax strip 2-3 times before it didn’t stick anymore).
Overall I would definitely say that the strips work, but they are not for me. I probably won’t attempt to wax my bikini area on my own again. I didn’t pull hard enough which caused me to have to wax the area again. Let’s just say it was uncomfortable. But thank goodness for the calming balm, because without that my skin would have been extremely irritated.
For you ladies who have a moderate to high pain tolerance and want to save a little money from going to the salon, I say go for it! It just personally wasn’t for me.
Price tag: $7-$8 for the kit available at Walgreens.
Totally worth a try for that price.
Have any of you ladies ever tried the Nad’s Bikini & Underarm Wax Strips? What was your experience like? Did you get the results you were looking for?