Swatches! I am Ready To Wear OCC’s new Lip Tars!

This kinda blew my mind when I saw that this was coming out! Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics has made their name in the beauty industry off of tubes of lip colour called Lip Tars.  These are heavily pigmented, vegan lip colours in squeezable tubes made to mix and match.  A myriad of gorgeous and unique colours but dammit they were always leaking everywhere! I have Lip Tar stains in my handbags, in my kit, on my clothes…Even when they changed to the needle-nosed tubes, it made life a lot better but when I make a colour mix on a client, I always have trouble telling them how to replicate it.  For the beginner or the on-the-go girl, the tubes were not the best to throw in your bag.

OCC has just taken 25 of their top shades and created Lip Tar Ready To Wear.

OCC’s Lip Tar RTW

Same amazing, minty formula but now housed in a regular cylindrical tube with a doe-foot applicator. SO…EXCITED! These colours are still available in their original form for the makeup artist, but this new version is great for the average consumer.

I received a couple of colours to try. I think you can totally guess which one is my favourite! :-)

A note: these Lip Tars have a long drying time.  They take more than a minute, which gives you enough time to mix other colours.  When they dry, the finish is matte, but not the desert dry of your typical liquid lipsticks. They also dry down to an opaque finish.  Because of that, I would suggest pairing with a lip liner to help prevent bleeding. In these pictures, they look shiny as they had not dried fully.

Here is what they look like.

OCC Lip Tar/RTW

I love the packaging! The tubes look like syringes!  The applicator is you typical doe-foot and you can control the amount of product on it using the wiper on the inside of the tube.

Click here for the swatches!

SHOP: My new beauty shopping addiction in Harlem – Vivrant Beauty!

Hello!

This product junkie has been made very, very happy! I am sooooo excited!

Vibrant Beauty, Harlem, 2015

Vivrant Beauty is a brand new boutique that opened about 3 weeks ago. Located on 121st and St. Nicholas, Vivrant curates skincare, haircare and cosmetic products that cater to all skintones and hair textures.

This upscale, gorgeous beauty oasis is bright but calming and peaceful and is nothing like your typical beauty supply store. Vivrant’s owner Desiree Verdejo has carefully selected brands that are black owned or carries an extensive colour range. Many of these brands or sold online or in a limited number of brick-and-mortar stores. Some of them I had never heard of.

Click here for more pictures!

LOTD: Summer pink and Met Gala-inspired makeup!

Hey all!

Earlier this year, fellow Caribeña, Afro-Latina and model Joan Smalls gave all kinds of face with this look for the Met Gala.

Joan Smalls, Met Gala 2015 via The Zoe Report

I was immediately smitten! Very dramatic and smokey for evening, but quite bright and definitely a great look for warm-weather evening. Joan is a brand ambassador for Estée Lauder, so her makeup artist used all Lauder products, but I used what I had available, mixing and matching when needed. If you love a look, you certainly don’t need to go out and buy the exact makeup to make it work. I also took the opportunity to try out the brand new, 4K/UHD compatible foundation from Make Up For Ever. I will be writing a separate review on this one. I also got some new shadows recently, including my first taste at the Makeup Geek eye shadows. I have been a fan of Marlena for years and I am really happy to see her being so successful with her line. She is very smart and knowledgeable and I love that she has a serious love for makeup and even though she has her own line, she is all about great makeup from any brand.

Anyways…here is what I came up with.

It is actually quite a simple look, just lots and lots of blending to get that swept look. All details of the products used are below and remember to substitute your own products when needed.

Click here for all the details!

New Product Launches: NARS Audacious Mascara & Kohliner info and review

NARS Audacious Mascara and Kohliner

We are fast approaching New York Fashion Week and the upcoming season, so there are tons of new products coming out, which makes me very happy!

Over the past 2 years or so, NARS has been quietly reformulating and repackaging their entire lineup. And the results have generally been amazing! I love the sleekness and sophistication of the line!

So Francois Nars and his team have added to their Audacious line with a brand new mascara and kohliner. By the way, if you have not read my review on the Audacious Lipsticks, here you go! It is one of my favourite formulas ever!

According to NARS, this new Audacious Mascara will replace all their currently existing mascaras and they have removed them from stores and counters.

NARS Audacious Mascara

For the Audacious Mascara:

The wand, exclusively designed with over 200 molded bristles and lengthening hooks evenly grips and coats lashes from root to tip while simultaneously separating, lengthening, and amplifying with every stroke. Our first-to-market formula is long-wearing and stays soft and flexible, lending itself to maximum buildability. 

Click here for more details and the review!

I finally tried Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil line! What did I think?

Shea Moisture came out with the Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) line late in 2014. I wasn’t really keen on trying it out, because I have always shied away from using castor oil as it is one of the heavy, ‘greasier’ oils and has a noticeable smell.

Fast forward to this year and I was looking for something new to try. I have been using my usual routine for ages.

I ended up buying the JBCO Strengthen, Grow & Restore w/Shea Butter, Peppermint & Keratin Shampoo, Treatment Masque and Leave-In Conditioner. The packaging is a bright, buttercup yellow, which makes it easy to see on a shelf and all the products have a faint, butter smell that is quite pleasant. These products are formulated for natural, chemically processed, colour treated or heat styled hair. And for those concerned, the keratin in this is hydrolyzed protein which is a larger protein chain that has been broken up in to smaller pieces so that it can fit into the cracks of the hair shaft therefore strengthening the hair. The problem with the Brazilian or keratin smoothing treatments found in popular salon treatments is that there are ingredients other than the keratin that contain formaldehyde or produce formaldehyde gas when heated.

The Shampoo.

JBCO Shampoo

It is a clarifying shampoo that is sulphate-free and all natural. It contains apple cider vinegar that clarifies the hair as well as balance the pH, which in turns strengthens the hair. It comes with 25% more product (16.3 fl. oz.) than their normal shampoos. It colour is light brown and is extremely creamy and moisturizing. I was surprised at how lovely it smelled and it did not have the heaviness of castor oil. It lathered quite well, was moisturizing and it did not dry out my hair at all. My hair did not feel stripped. It contains peppermint, but I did not feel the typical tingly-ness or burning.

Click here for the rest of my review!

“Whey de lime” Fridays! The summer music edition!

Hey!

One of the things that I promised myself is to do as many activities that I can this summer and stop putting it off until ‘later’. Summer officially starts in a few days and with that NYC starts jumpin’!!

I am so excited to see Ms. Lauryn Hill at the Louis Armstrong Wonderful World Fest in Queens. I love her and I am so happy that she is back in the game! She visited Trinidad in the late 90s and she was amazing! Check out the fabulousness below!

Video via official site and YT.

Annnnnd, I am also planning to see French/Cuban/Yourban duo Ibeyi at Central Park SummerStage! Check out a vid from their debut album.

A full day of music and culture! A few weeks ago, I saw Angélique Kidjo, the African diva and she was amazing!!!

So what’s going on with you this weekend? Anything exciting?

Laters!

LOTD: Glowy, bronzed summer look!

Summer glow!

Hey! I did this simple look a while ago when I was in Trinidad. It’s the look that I also wearing in my latest video (check it out here). This is a great look for warmer weather. Let’s face it, no one wants to wear a lot of makeup when it’s hot, but you still want that glowy, bronzy, sun-kissed look!

There are a few keys to getting this effortless look. First start with good skincare and good skin. The better the condition of your skin, the less product you would have to use. Definitely treat your skin with the utmost care, start with the basics, drink lots of water and wear sunscreen. Even if you don’t have amazing skin, you can still get this look. I know the trend now to pile on the foundation and to have super heavy contouring but this is a no #cakeface look. Pick the lightest coverage that allows you to even out your skintone. If you have eruptions or texture due to acne, you can’t really cover that up with foundation without looking overtly made up. So just pick something lightweight.

Click here for the details on this look!

Summer 2015: Island Fun & Paradise Sun – Zoya Nail Polish

From PR:

Introducing two new Zoya Nail Polish collections for Summer 2015, Island Fun & Paradise Sun. All in the Big5Free* formula Zoya is famous for.

Zoya Island Fun collection

ISLAND FUN (creams)

Ready for an island vacation, these playful creams embody a tropical getaway! They are strong in color to balance the brilliance of the summer sun, with a flawless cream formula.

  • Jace– Modern tropical green in a full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula. A green that is more muted than lime and surprisingly wearable!
  • Cecilia– Classic teal in a full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula.
  • Talia – True turquoise in full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula.
  • Serenity – Summer purple in a full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula. Reminiscent of beautiful blooming irises, a harbinger of summer!
  • Nana – Deep summer fuchsia in a full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula.
  • Demetria – A vibrant poppy red in a full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula.

Zoya Paradise Sun collection

PARADISE SUN (metallics)

Click here for more details!

When your hair hands you lemons….make lemonade!

Hey!

I recently went to The Makeup Show NYC and I wanted to try a new hairstyle. You know I live in twists and this time I wanted to try Bantu knots. I was looking for a looser, fluffier texture.

Actually Bantu knots are not new to me. Wore them a bit growing up along with canerow. Anyway, I have not tried this in a long time and this is the result.

My Bantu knot out!

Not bad, but not the best. I was looking for a smoother finish, but I love the volume I got. This was actually the second time that I attempted this. The first time was on damp hair, and even though I left the knots in overnight, it still was not dry and everything fell. The next time, I did about 10-11 knots on dry hair.

A different angle…

Check out that liner!

I will be working on perfecting this. I probably need to do this on stretched hair for smoother results.

Any suggestions or ideas?

Laters!

NTB