I Love Too Faced

Friends ask me all the time about which cosmetic brands, specifically which eye shadows, are worth checking out.  At first, I was all about the MAC, which I still am, but now I have added Urban Decay, Lorac, Ben Nye, CARGO. I want to add Too Faced to that list.

My Too Faced admiration started last year when I was looking for a shimmery chocolate eye shadow, which MAC does not have.  I ordered Too Faced “Dirt Bag” online from Sephora from the color description “dark chocolate with golden sparkles.” (Sidebar: There are about 2 Sephora stores close by my home and for whatever reason going to either store was not an option at the time.)  When the package arrived, I was pleased with the color and the product. Too Faced eye shadows are smooth and very blendable, which is something that should be available in all department store brands. Recently, I have added more Too Faced to my collection:

  • Glamazon single (Silver fawn)
  • Sitcom Siren single (Plum taupe shimmer)
  • Cocoa Lily Duo – (rich metallic chocolate brown/ glimmering lilac rose) *Very lovely*
  • George & Weezie Duo – (icy gold/ bronze pearl) *I bought this one because I liked the name*
  • Rich Bitch Duo – (slate blue with golden sheen/ soft gold shimmer) *Basically, these are both gold in my opinion, the blue barely shows up.*
  • Skinny Dip – (cobalt metallic/ iridescent sky) – – *The prettiest blue I have seen in a long time, the iridescent sky is too pretty…like a soft bluish purple hue*
  • Shooting Star Galaxy Glam Eye Shadow – (black with galactic gold) *similar to MAC’s mineralized eye shadows, but with a better texture*
  • Supernova Galaxy Glam Eye Shadow – (black with peach and pink)

Too Faced Dirt Bag Single Eye Shadow

Too Faced Cocoa Lily Duo Eye Shadow

Too Faced George & Weezie Duo Eye Shadow

Too Faced Rich Bitch Duo Eye Shadow

Too Faced Skinny Dip Duo Eye Shadow

Too Faced Galaxy Glam Eye Shadow (Shooting Star & Super Nova)

The Galaxy Glam Eye Shadows are great for creating a smoky eye look.  I tried the Super Nova recently with Cocoa Lily and I liked the outcome.  (Please pray for me and my liner technique…getting better though.)

Liquif-Eye Set

I also want to try the Liquif-Eye Set (eye shadow / eyeliner set). (See above comment) 🙂

Each eye shadow is very pigmented and has a buttery texture.  My only problem with Too Faced is that the brand needs more colors.  Too Faced, for the size, is a good deal as it is cheaper than MAC (when size is compared.)  MaybeI could break-up with MAC eye shadows for Too Faced (I love MAC too much though), but there is no other brand with the extensive eye shadow color range and textures.   I implore the Too Faced guys to come out with more colors.  I will be in the first one in line to snatch them up.

Definitely check out Too Faced products, I think they are definitely worth your time and money.

Have a beautiful day,

Mix Maven

Parents, You Need An Intervention!

Last year I did a post entitled, Counting Up The Cost. The post was about how parents are buying their children expensive, luxury brands. Now, I stumble on another article about how parents are spending tens and thousands of dollars on kiddie birthday parties. America, we need a parent intervention!!

The problem did not start with MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” but I am sure that the show contributes to the excessiveness of parents and children. The CNN article highlighted a mother who spent $5,000 USD for a 3 year old toddler’s birthday party. The party had expensive favors, lavish entertainment, a four-layer cake. (That sounds like a wedding reception to me!)

Cake with bow

Another family spent $10 million on a bat mizpah. According to the CNN article, “former defense contractor David H. Brooks of Long Island reportedly spent in 2005 on his daughter’s bat mitzvah. That soirée, at the storied Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, featured 50 Cent, Don Henley and Aerosmith, among others.” (Sidebar: please note his career choice!!)

Above picture is a Coach™ – themed cake for a birthday party. This cake runs about $1500. I know many brides who spent less on their wedding cakes.

What kind of values are we passing on to our children, when we spend lavishly on a birthday party? To be honest, I do not think most of the parents have the money to spend on these parties, but they want to look like good parents by giving their children the “best” of everything.

I feel like children today do not have anything to look forward to in life. Parents shower them with expensive everything and when they get older, they will try to maintain the lifestyle and realize they cannot. At some point, these excessive acts must end. Parents have to realize that affection, love and care cannot be bought.

We are destroying our children by giving into their every whim or creating these whims. Parents need more backbone and learn how to say no. I tell you my parents had no problems telling my sibling and I “NO!!” on a regular basis. I do not even know how I would live in the world, if my parents spoiled me.

I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let the lead the way. BUT we cannot do so if parents do not have any self-control.

Let us move up a little higher,

Mix Maven

Happy Earth Day

Today is Earth Day.

Here are some tips to Save Energy:

Reduce your carbon footprint. Leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions over 1,500 pounds per year. Reduce greenhouse gases on the road.

Don’t idle. Don’t idle! Remind your school system to turn off bus engines when buses are parked to eliminate harmful exhaust pollution. More about reducing engine idling.

It’s electric. Check how much of your electricity comes from renewable sources, like wind, solar. Then find green power options available to you. Use the green power locator.

Tread lightly. Commuting without polluting! Use public transportation, carpool, walk, or bike whenever possible to reduce air pollution and save on fuel costs. Learn about reducing your carbon footprint.

Make the switch. Buy or switch to energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs. Look for the EnergyStar label to help save you money on energy bills and pollute less. Find more energy savings.

eCycle it. eCycle – take your old computer, DVD player, or other electronics to a recycling center. This helps keep hazardous substances out of the landfill. Find eCycling centers near you.

Make your home an Energy Star! As you start your spring cleaning, do a home energy audit and switch to EnergyStar products. More ideas for what you can do at home.

Here are some tips to use water efficiently:

Make it a full load. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full; use the rinse-and-hold dishwasher feature until you’re ready to run a full load. More about using water wisely.

Be sensible. Buy water-efficient fixtures and products. The WaterSense label helps shoppers identify water efficient products and programs. More about WaterSense.

Shower power. Shower power! A full bath tub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower saves water by using 10 to 25 gallons. More about using water wisely.

Don’t be a drip – fix that leak! Leaky faucets can waste thousands of gallons of water each year, like money down the drain. Repair or replace old or damaged fixtures. Find out more about saving water.

Fill ‘er up! Make it a full load. The average washing machine uses 40. 9 gallons of water per load. Buy a high-efficiency washer or save up for full loads. More about using water wisely.

Compost it. Allow grass clippings to stay on the lawn, instead of bagging them. The cut grass will decompose and return to the soil naturally. More backyard composting ideas.

Proper maintenance reduces waste. Maintain and repair products. Keep appliances in good working order. Follow manufacturers’ suggestions for proper operation and maintenance. More ways you can reduce waste.

Don’t trash it – reuse it! Be creative about reducing waste. Give pet hamsters or gerbils cardboard tubes to play with. Use an egg carton to plant seedlings. Other creative tips to reduce waste.

Just bag it. Take reusable bags on shopping trips. Keep them in your car or near your door to remember. You can also reuse paper or plastic shopping bags. Get more tips for shopping.

Wait for the storm to pass. Don’t fertilize before a rain storm. Your fertilizer – along with your money – washes down storm drains and can pollute rivers and bays. More on greenscaping.

Compost it. When properly composted, kitchen wastes can become natural soil additives for lawns, gardens, and even house plants. More on composting.

Here are tips to reduce/reuse/recycle

Compost it. Allow grass clippings to stay on the lawn, instead of bagging them. The cut grass will decompose and return to the soil naturally. More backyard composting ideas.

Proper maintenance reduces waste. Maintain and repair products. Keep appliances in good working order. Follow manufacturers’ suggestions for proper operation and maintenance. More ways you can reduce waste.

Don’t trash it – reuse it! Be creative about reducing waste. Give pet hamsters or gerbils cardboard tubes to play with. Use an egg carton to plant seedlings. Other creative tips to reduce waste.

Just bag it. Take reusable bags on shopping trips. Keep them in your car or near your door to remember. You can also reuse paper or plastic shopping bags. Get more tips for shopping.

Wait for the storm to pass. Don’t fertilize before a rain storm. Your fertilizer – along with your money – washes down storm drains and can pollute rivers and bays. More on greenscaping.

Compost it. When properly composted, kitchen wastes can become natural soil additives for lawns, gardens, and even house plants. More on composting.

Travel green. When you travel, stay at hotels that use less water or energy. Before you go, unplug your VCR or other electronics that use electricity even when “off.” More ways to save when you travel.

Travel green. When you travel, stay at hotels that use less water or energy. Before you go, unplug your VCR or other electronics that use electricity even when “off.” More ways to save when you travel.

For are you MAC Cosmetics lovers, remember that MAC has a recycling program called Back To MAC. Bring in 6 products in primary packaging to a MAC counter (i.e inside of department store), you will receive a free lipstick (Viva Glam products not included!) If you take the 6 products to a freestanding MAC, you can receive eye shadow (not palette pans), lipstick or lip gloss.

Taking the G off the String

I have not been on a quest to find undergarments that would free me of visible panty lines (VPL). Despite that, I keep on stumbling on these items. One interesting product that I found to Guard the Lady Business, a strapless G-string.

This product from the Shibue Couture line helps ladies who do not want VPL, yet going “commando” is not option.

Shibue Couture Strapless G-String in Black Gold.

You are thinking how does this product stay on. Each panty comes with 12 adhesive front and back strips. I was curious about this product, especially if I had to go to the restroom. The website gives detailed instructions on how to use this product. According to the website, the strapless G-String should not replace the daily wearing of normal underwear.

Prices range from $32 to $38 and $10 for extra adhesive tape.

The G-string has become the quintessential sexy undergarment (lingerie, if you will) of choice for many women. Maybe the strapless G-string will take its rightful place in the pantheon of  lingerie.

Sexual Carob

Party All The Time

Hey Pumps And Gloss-y Ones,

As many of you know, Mix Maven loves the shimmer and glimmer, which is one of the reasons why I love the Holiday season. Many of us will have many shindigs to attend, which means we have to be looking good. (Please make sure to acquire appropriate attire for your parties. For example, if you are going to a formal church banquet, no one should have to accidentally see the crack of your buttocks.)

I like J. Crew and I think this store is a good place to find classic, tasteful looks for any occasion.

I found this wonderful dress in the clearance section of the website. The empire waist is flattering on most figures. Pair with chunky pearl necklace or white gold or sterling silver with a solitaire pendant.

JCrew Sophia Silk Dress in Deep Forest

I like this dress. This J. Crew Silk Taffeta Dress in Charcoal is for ladies that are not too busty. (If you are busty, back away from this dress right now!!) What about pairing this dress with blue or olive leather opera gloves for a pop of color?

JCrew Charcoal Silk Taffeta Ballerina Dress

Carolina Amato Gloves Blue - Source: Eluxury.comCarolina Amato Gloves Olive - Source: Eluxury.com

I am totally in love with the Black Betsey Johnson and Kelly Green Maggy London shift dresses. The sequins brighten up the Betsey Johnson dress. Most, if not all, body types would look great in this style of dress.

Betsey Johnson Paillette Trim Silk Shift - Source: Nordstrom.com

I adore the layered box pleated-collar because it creates visual interest to an otherwise plain dress. The silk chiffon is glorious and looks chic and comfortable. This dress is also figure flattering and great for the petite ladies who are a few months pregnant.

Maggy London Silk Chiffon - Source: Nordstrom.com

If you get bored with all the carols and other holiday songs at the soirée, ask the DJ to play “Dumb it Down” by Lupe Fiasco …. great message in the song!!

My new favorite song!!

Tis The Season to be Jolly,

Mix Maven

We Gather Together

Hey Pumps and Glossy ones,

God willing, next week this time, we will be en route to our Thanksgiving destination, cooking up a storm, and/or getting ready for the Turkey day football match-up.

Turkey Dinner

I recall a former classmate whining about feeling forced to spend time with her family and friends. She wanted to control how often the family gathered together. I told her to take it for what it was that if people wanted to get together for major holidays, then deal with it another way. Stop all the whining!

As we were reminded over the weekend, family and friends should not be taken for granted. I know that many of us make sure we connect with our loved ones.

We have a lot to be thankful for. In our daily devotionals, Mr. Maven and I thank God for our blessings. There are times in life, when everything is not what we want it to be, but God continues to provide.

What do you have to be thankful for? My friend LH and I were talking about how God has strengthened our Faith because sometimes we do things that we did not intend to do on a specific occasion like give an extra offering, helping out a student, church member or neighbor in need. God continues to provide and we are thankful. For example, one of my “aunts” told us about how she helped a friend who needed money, she gave the lady all the cash she had. She was happy that she could help her friend. She was reading her Bible and she found the exact amount of cash that she gave her friend. She is not sure how the money got there!! Wow, what a praise report!

So as we see, we all have something to be grateful for. Even if you are not a particularly religious, that does not exempt you from being thankful. Keep a Grateful or Thanksgiving journal. You will be surprised at all the things you have to be thankful for.

The ladies of Pumps and Gloss wish all of our wonderful readers a wonderful, fun and safe Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Mix Maven 

Sport and the Lady

Happy Wednesday Pumps and Gloss-ers,

I am very excited about the Red Sox World Series win. Mr. Maven and I used to live in the Greater Boston area and we like to think that our presence in the region helped to turn the Red Sox and Patriots into winning organizations. Boo hiss to the Celtics and Bruins. My local teams are far superior to them.

I found this cute picture of future Boston Red Sox fans on Boston.com

New Red Sox Fans

New Englanders are very passionate about their sports’ teams, which means the ladies must be just as attentive to sports as the men.

I was out with my friend, LH, on a Sunday. Her fiance called in to check in with her, during his weekly football game. [That is love 😉 ] So she was resigned to the fact that her honey will be unavailable for 16 weeks plus playoffs and Super Bowl. Actually, the games are scheduled for 17 weeks (34 days including Monday Night Football and some Thursday nights) and all teams get a bye (rest) week. Thank goodness he is not into the NBA because the post-season is about 3 months. Saying all this, ladies, you must join in the action, every now and again.

Mr. Maven is fortunate that I like sports, I do not watch often because of various factors, but I enjoy keeping up with my fave teams.

Here are some tips for learning sports:

1. Watch Pardon The Interruption on ESPN. This show is one of the funniest shows on the TV. Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon are Washington-based writers that decided they needed to be on television. They also discuss popular culture topics i.e. American Idol and other popular shows.

Tony Kornheiser & Mike Wilbon - Espn.com

2. Find a cute player on the team to cheer for. One of my favorites is Tom Brady. He is definitely yummilicious. I have followed his career from his time at Michigan to the New England Patriots. In football, it is helpful to check out the buttocks. Now, if your man likes hockey, the players do not look good on ice, but they clean up well.

Tom Brady

3. Read books about the sport. Some of my friends recommend:

Get Your Own Darn* Beer, I’m Watching the Game!: A Woman’s Guide to Loving Pro Football by Holly Robinson Peete

holly-robinson-peete.jpg

4. Try to limit questions during the game. Take notes and ask your hubby on Tuesday. He will be pleased and will do chores around the house without being prompted.

5. See Tip 1. One cannot get enough of ESPN.

I hope these tips will help you learn more about sports and enjoy with your spouse or significant other.

Have Fun,

Mix Maven

Fall Back In Love

Hey Pumps and Gloss-ers,

My favorite seasons are spring and autumn. The temperature tends to be similar in both seasons, which means that I can wear my favorite must-have, a cardigan.

Lane Bryant has a cute cropped, single button, swing silhouette cardigan in Indigo.

Cropped Swing Cardigan - Source - LaneBryant.com

This cardigan can be dressed up (not too much) and very casual. I would pair it with this Diane von Furstenberg’s metallic skirt in silver. Mix Maven loves shimmer.

Diane von Furstenberg Katinko Skirt - Source: Nordstrom.com

The Stuart Weitzman ‘Pulsar’ Boot would be a great way to finish off this look. I love this boot because the heel is manageable, especially for those ladies who do not like to wear high heels *GASP* and while the boots are leather, they stretch for ladies with wider calves.

Stuart Weitzman Pulsar Boot - Source: Nordstrom.com

Please add your own accessories. I would probably wear a pearl brooch or a light blue gem with silver prongs as I do not wear jewelry, except for wedding rings and bracelets. The skirt is the focal point; therefore, I would not want to anything away from it.

A special note for all you purple lovers, purple apparel and accessories can be found pretty much everywhere. Please take advantage as this color is not usually selected by the color committee.

Keep Warm,

Mix Maven

Going to the Chapel

Hey Pumps and Glossy Ones,

We, typically, think of the summer as wedding season, but that time is only the culmination of the planning and praying. This is the seasoning for plotting, planning, selecting and critiquing. You may ask, “Sexual Carob, what does that have to do with getting your freak on?” Well, I am glad you asked. (I love our readers!!)

Well, during the wedding planning process, couples must, must have pre-marital counseling. I think that wedding planning can show the true colors of bride, groom and families. (Check an episode or two of Bridezilla) Bride and groom must continue to keep the relationship strong and intact.

Premarital counseling examines the relationship and the readiness for marriage. Many topics are covered including:

  1. Creating household budgets
  2. Anger management
  3. Roles of husband and wife
  4. Personal and familial goals
  5. Sex
  6. Are children apart of the marriage plan?

Each topic and questions help the couples to answer, “why do we want to get married?”
One of the many books that has been recommended to couples is Dr. Robin Smith’s Lies at the Altar.

Lies at the Altar - Source: Amazon.com

In this book, Dr. Robin asks couples over 200 questions i.e. do you want a pet, what do you like to eat for dinner, what religion or denomination will our children learn. Another serious question is “How often do you want to have sex weekly?” (Sidebar: You know Dr. Oz says that we should have sex 4 times a week.) These questions may seem mundane, but can turn out out to be deal breakers for married couples.

The truth about great marriages is that it takes a lot of work, a conscious effort to be aware of each other’s needs and desires, and plenty of good (exceptional) sex.

Adam Sandler from The Wedding Singer

The quintessential wedding song, Here and Now by Luther Vandross.

Have fun planning the wedding. Remember that your wedding day is not the most important day of your life, but the days, weeks and years to come. Take a 2-week honeymoon (if you can), one for freaking it up and the second for doing activities out of the room i.e. horseback riding, jet skiing, tennis, and outdoor nooky… woohoo!!

Keeping It Steamy,

Sexual Carob

I Wanna See Me

Mix Maven is feeling refreshed and renewed.

While on the vacay, Joyful Radiance introduced to my new ami(e), Love B. Scott. This dude is crazy funny, yet insightful. Check him out!

On to the heart of the matter!

I have been railing against the images being forced to us via the fashion industry. We have been forced to view androgynous, gaunt White girls walking down runways and in magazine spreads and accept these images as the standard of beauty. (Uhm er a, I don’t think so!!) I want to see more women of color: Black, Native American, Pacific Islanders, Latinas,  South Asian, indigenous tribes. The majority of the world appears to be teetering on the brown side, so how come we are not represented?!?!

On Specktra.net, we have been discussing possible new Viva Glam models i.e. Fergie and Gwen Stefani. Ok, I am cool with the idea of Gwen Stefani, but definitely not Fergie. Fergie looks kind of drugged out, so I am not keen on seeing that. Of course, I suggested Jill Scott. Fortunately, there was agreement on that idea. So MAC selects Fergie. I am thinking WTH. What about Kelly Rowland, Taraji P. Henson, or Bollywood actresses: Shilpa Shetty or her sister Shamita?

Shilpa and Shamita Shetty - Source: http://gallery.techarena.in/showphoto.php/photo/5466
I stumbled on a New York Times article , Ignoring Diversity, Runways Fade to White, about how designers have not been using many Black models (or any female models of color for that matter.) Guy Trebay states,

“IN the days of blithe racial assumptions, flesh crayons were the color of white people. “Invisible” makeup and nude pantyhose were colored in the hues of Caucasian skin. The decision by manufacturers to ignore whole segments of humanity went unchallenged for decades before the civil rights movement came along and nonwhite consumers started demanding their place on the color wheel. “

According to the article, Black women spend over $20 billion on apparel annually. So why have not we been represented in this year’s fashions shows? Bethann Hardison, former model, successful business owner and mother of Kadeem Hardison, stated that “modeling is probably the one industry where you have the freedom to refer to people by their color and reject them in their work.” Very shameful!! Some designers have been very emphatic in stating that they only wanted White models.

I know that designers think of creating pieces that will be create a fashion buzz. A few years back, the industry was all a twitter on pointed-toe shoes, A-line dresses. Now the styles include round-toe pumps and wedges and trapeze tops (thank the Lord for that!!) But Black women and all other women of color will NEVER, EVER go out of style. (So suck it and deal with it!!!) So there should be no rotating of images. I want to see all models of every shade and ethnicity. As my boy B. Scott says, enough with the “monkey doodleness”!!!!

Remember we are all beautiful and precious in His sight. So ladies, keep on being the best you!!

Live Victoriously,

Mix Maven