Lifestyle

CIII: Pattern Beauty: What's In The Box?

Tracee Ellis Ross…

Let’s just stop there because, A M A Z I N G! I have been an absolute fan of Tracee Ellis Ross since her younger days on The CW’s Girlfriends.

I admire her as a woman. She knows how to keep the personal, personal and the business, business. She’s all about empowering women and the youth. And, her hair has remained amazing throughout this whole ride. She hasn’t let ANYONE process her hair in ways that SHE didn’t agree with. And, she hasn’t let society define what beauty means in terms of her hair, body, clothing, etc.

SO,

When a queen as described above drops a haircare line and calls it Pattern Beauty, YOU BUY THE DELUXE PACKAGE!

UNBOXING!

This is the box that my products came in. It’s pretty standard with “Pattern” written across yellow tape.  Inside, there was protective packaging so that the products didn’t have the free rein to swish around and break or spill.

This is the box that my products came in. It’s pretty standard with “Pattern” written across yellow tape.

Inside, there was protective packaging so that the products didn’t have the free rein to swish around and break or spill.

The products were wrapped in yellow tissue paper with a white sticker that read “JUICY & JOYFUL”.  All of the products were inside of the paper as pictured above.

The products were wrapped in yellow tissue paper with a white sticker that read “JUICY & JOYFUL”.

All of the products were inside of the paper as pictured above.

If you take a look at the packaging of each product, however, you see the faces of women (or men) and their coils! In all of them, you get half of the face so that you can imagine yourself and your coils on the other half!

The yellow, black and white is simply perfect to me! This may be because Let’s Be Breef colors are yellow, back, and white, or it could be because these colors simply GO TOGETHER! No telling either way, but, I do know that the packaging is simple and beautiful even down to the matte feel of the shampoo and conditioner tubes.

I simply love the packaging. I can’t say enough about it!

THE PRODUCTS

public.jpeg

The Deluxe Bundle for coilies, curlies and tight textures includes:

  1. Hydration Shampoo (9.8 Fl Oz)

  2. Heavy Conditioner (13 Fl Oz)

  3. Leave-In Conditioner (9.8 Fl Oz)

  4. Jojoba Oil Hair Serum (3.9 Fl Oz)

  5. Shower Brush

  6. Microfiber Towel

  7. Hair Clip

I: HYDRATION SHAMPOO   This product is great for curlies, coilies, and tight textures and provides a nourishing cleanse.  It states that it is “creamy, luxurious & boosted with a blend of glorious oils to help cleanse your hair and scalp while removing buildup”. It does all of these things and more all while managing to NOT strip away your moisture.   II: MICROFIBER TOWEL   This product is SO important. Many of us don’t know how damaging a normal bath towel can be for our hair (depending on the texture), so including a microfiber towel with the bundle was, in my opinion, like including a silk bonnet in a nighttime face mask bundle! It’s a match made in heaven.  Now, a lot of people still don’t or won’t like microfiber towels and would just prefer the texture of a t-shirt to protect, but I’m going to try this towel out and let you know my feelings on it!

I: HYDRATION SHAMPOO

This product is great for curlies, coilies, and tight textures and provides a nourishing cleanse.

It states that it is “creamy, luxurious & boosted with a blend of glorious oils to help cleanse your hair and scalp while removing buildup”. It does all of these things and more all while managing to NOT strip away your moisture.

II: MICROFIBER TOWEL

This product is SO important. Many of us don’t know how damaging a normal bath towel can be for our hair (depending on the texture), so including a microfiber towel with the bundle was, in my opinion, like including a silk bonnet in a nighttime face mask bundle! It’s a match made in heaven.

Now, a lot of people still don’t or won’t like microfiber towels and would just prefer the texture of a t-shirt to protect, but I’m going to try this towel out and let you know my feelings on it!

I: HEAVY CONDITIONER FOR COILIES   Now, I looked at this conditioner and was shocked at how THICK this product is. When you have thicker and coilier hair, you have to battle it a little bit more with bigger and thicker products which are sometimes hard to find.  After a hard search, I’ve narrowed the conditioners that I can use for my type 4 hair down to Aussie’s 3-Minute Miracle with Jojoba oil and Texture ID.  BUT, in just looking at this product, I can tell that it may just be a game-changer that I will have to add to my list of “Must Haves”.  I definitely cannot wait to try this one.   II: LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER   The Leave-In Conditioner is thick also, but I don’t think that it is as thick as the heavy conditioner. This is a good thing, however, because a lot of us will need something a little lighter as a leave-in so that we can actually style our hair for the week.  So, I’m excited to see if this is either too light, too heavy, or just right as a product for me.  The product claims, however, to be a “refreshing and restoring hair pick me up”. This product was made to help lock in moisture after cleansing and for styling. I cannot wait to see how it smells, feels and lasts.   [I’m curious about the smell because it is a mixture of rose, citrus and patchouli, who wouldn’t want to know how that will come out!?]

I: HEAVY CONDITIONER FOR COILIES

Now, I looked at this conditioner and was shocked at how THICK this product is. When you have thicker and coilier hair, you have to battle it a little bit more with bigger and thicker products which are sometimes hard to find.

After a hard search, I’ve narrowed the conditioners that I can use for my type 4 hair down to Aussie’s 3-Minute Miracle with Jojoba oil and Texture ID.

BUT, in just looking at this product, I can tell that it may just be a game-changer that I will have to add to my list of “Must Haves”.

I definitely cannot wait to try this one.

II: LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER

The Leave-In Conditioner is thick also, but I don’t think that it is as thick as the heavy conditioner. This is a good thing, however, because a lot of us will need something a little lighter as a leave-in so that we can actually style our hair for the week.

So, I’m excited to see if this is either too light, too heavy, or just right as a product for me.

The product claims, however, to be a “refreshing and restoring hair pick me up”. This product was made to help lock in moisture after cleansing and for styling. I cannot wait to see how it smells, feels and lasts.

[I’m curious about the smell because it is a mixture of rose, citrus and patchouli, who wouldn’t want to know how that will come out!?]

I: JOJOBA OIL HAIR SERUM   Now THIS OIL is shocking! It’s one of the products that I couldn’t wait until the “Try On” to actually try, so I opened it and tested it out during the unboxing.  In just looking at the ingredients list, you can see that this product is largely different from those that you’ll find on the market. It has ACTUAL NATURAL ingredients (like all of the products in this line) and extracts from seeds that you can literally smell during use.  It’s not like many other products that use fragrances to cover up the dangerous ingredients used in its production. It’s more like the makers over at Pattern Beauty just chose the extracts and used them in the right way.  The smell of these products is a big part of the  Pattern Beauty  experience from what I’ve seen thus far.   II: SHOWER BRUSH   For gentle shower detangling…  Now, I’m going to stop them right there because I don’t know a type 4 natural, let alone a 4c natural who can honestly detangle their hair from root to tip while being in the shower. Who has the arm strength for that? Who has the patience for that?  I usually have to condition and detangle while sectioning off my hair prior to showering and washing, otherwise I would just be a matted up mess. But, I’m actually going to give this product a try and attempt to detangle while in the shower as it suggests to see if it works.   III: HAIR CLIP   I think it’s adorable that  Tracee Ellis Ross  included a hair clip in this bundle because hair accessories are necessary!  This will come in handy the most while sectioning off my hair and detangling.

I: JOJOBA OIL HAIR SERUM

Now THIS OIL is shocking! It’s one of the products that I couldn’t wait until the “Try On” to actually try, so I opened it and tested it out during the unboxing.

In just looking at the ingredients list, you can see that this product is largely different from those that you’ll find on the market. It has ACTUAL NATURAL ingredients (like all of the products in this line) and extracts from seeds that you can literally smell during use.

It’s not like many other products that use fragrances to cover up the dangerous ingredients used in its production. It’s more like the makers over at Pattern Beauty just chose the extracts and used them in the right way.

The smell of these products is a big part of the Pattern Beauty experience from what I’ve seen thus far.

II: SHOWER BRUSH

For gentle shower detangling…

Now, I’m going to stop them right there because I don’t know a type 4 natural, let alone a 4c natural who can honestly detangle their hair from root to tip while being in the shower. Who has the arm strength for that? Who has the patience for that?

I usually have to condition and detangle while sectioning off my hair prior to showering and washing, otherwise I would just be a matted up mess. But, I’m actually going to give this product a try and attempt to detangle while in the shower as it suggests to see if it works.

III: HAIR CLIP

I think it’s adorable that Tracee Ellis Ross included a hair clip in this bundle because hair accessories are necessary!

This will come in handy the most while sectioning off my hair and detangling.


I’M SUPER EXCITED TO LATHER THIS LINE ALL OVER MY HAIR!

I can’t at the moment because I am rocking a protective style (we all know how that goes), but wash day is always near, so I’ll be back to let you all know how my hair reacts to this line.

I have a feeling that my hair will simply love it! ➿

C: #BlogHER, Influencers Summit!

The BlogHer Influencer’s Summit is around the corner! For those who don’t know, this is an annual event for female content creators.

It features motivating and inspiring speakers, fun engagement activities and the opportunity to meet content creators from around the globe!

The Speaker’s Hall of Fame is impressive in and of itself and includes names like: Serena Williams, Barack Obama, Gabrielle Union, Maria Menounos, and so many more!

Ah, what the heck, I can show you better than I can tell you!

AND LET US NOT FORGET SOME OF THIS YEAR’S SPEAKERS:

This is literally the event to be at if you are in the content creation world. WE ARE 28 DAYS AWAY and I am so sad to be missing out on this event. BUT, next year, time, money and patience permitting, I will be in full attendance.

I’m so ready to network with other creators who know what it’s like to consistently do what they love [and what they want] regardless of it others read it, like it or love it. I’m ready to be around people who know what it’s like to build a family of readers who care about the content and wait for a new post each week!

#BlogHer! I won’t meet you in Brooklyn, New York this year, but I will definitely meet you next year!

XCIX: Love Doesn't Always Win!

We are raised with the fairy tale versions of love and romance. Disney tells us watered-down versions of tragic stories that somehow end in love and not the tragedy that they really ended in, and television shows sell us versions of life that simply don’t exist anymore.

THE REALITY IS…

Rarely do you end up with the love of your life. Rarely do you end up not regretting your ultimate choices. What we miss in all of the Disney stories and TV shows is the fact that reality is much different. When you fight and that loneliness kicks in, the vulnerability kicks in harder and mistakes are made.

When you think that there is no fix to your relationship — because who shows up at your window with a radio playing you guys’ song anymore and apologizing — you take the easy road and you quit because there’s always someone who is also alone who will “help you through your break up”.

Next thing you know, you’re married and regret everything. Love does not “always win” anymore.

RESPONSIBILITY, TIMING, EASE, AND COMFORT ARE THE REAL WINNERS!

Responsibility

Sometimes, doing the right thing is hard and it means hurting 1, 2, or 3 people to ‘be the bigger person’. Sometimes you have to lose everything in the name of being responsible. And sometimes you have to live out everyday knowing full-well what you’ve done and why you’ve done it — you’re stuck. Not in love, but in life…

Timing

The less time you have to spend actually hurting, reflecting and healing, the better, right? These days lazy is the default.

I mean, who wants to sit around and think about the hurt that they’ve caused or actually grow up when they can just scroll down social media or look around and find someone who also doesn’t want to be alone. Next thing you know, we’re calling a fling of convenience “heaven sent” and timing wins again.

Ease

Don’t even have me ramble on in this section, we all know that we are sliding, full force, into the time of ease. Whatever’s easiest is usually the choice for MANY people, and, I mean, in the age of everyone needing attention there are very few people making things anything other than easy.

Comfort

Comfort kills.

And the thing about it is that the first thing that many people say is that they live outside of their comfort zones. But, I guarantee that if you spend one month with them (and not even that long) you will soon see that their comfort zone is their home. It’s all they know. And they are only fooling themselves.

Comfort is what keeps a lot of people where they are. It keeps them for going for what they actually want. It keeps them from trying. It keeps them from being honest. It keeps them from bliss.

But, let them tell it, 🎶comfort don’t live here anymore🎶. Lies.

WITH THESE THINGS BEING THE FACTS OF OUR DAY…

I don’t know whether I’m in full support of leaving any and all situations when they aren’t right or fighting for what you have. I can tell you that I used to fully advocate for fighting for what’s yours, fighting for what you’ve worked at, fighting for “love”.

But…

These days, people are so selfish with their decisions that they really make you have to fight for something that you should have already had! They’re so selfish that they expect any and all of their bad actions to go unpunished. They’re so selfish…

These days, all relationships give me pause — friendships, dating relationships, significant others, etc., with the way a lot of people play, I’ve learned that this game/joke that they’ve made out of love is NOT FOR ME.

so, I DON’T KNOW WHO NEEDS TO HEAR THIS, BUT:

Don’t be their fallback plan.

Don’t be their second choice.

Don’t be the reason that they’re “stuck”.

Don’t be the one who makes your children suffer through a bad marriage just to keep a marriage.

Don’t be the one who ignores all of the signs.

Don’t believe that love won’t knock on your door again.

Don’t convince yourself that you don’t deserve more.

Check yourself.

Check your spouse/partner/bf/gf.

Be real with yourself.

Be real with others.

Keep your head up.

Don’t you ever forget that Love is a privilege reserved for the victor.
— Eli Pope

XCVIII: Mented Cosmetics, What's REALLY Good?

I guess that it’s about time I give Mented Cosmetics a try. I’ve seen ad after ad for their products, but when they made blushes (especially one that came in an orange shade) I could not pass up the chance to give them a try.

So, I got as close to a full face as I could and ended up with:

  1. Skin by Mented Foundation in M30 ($40) W| Foundation Brush

  2. Blush in Peach For The Stars ($22)

  3. Lip Liners: Pretty in Pink and Mented Night ($12)

  4. 3 Semi-Matte Lipsticks (3/$24)

  5. 1 Matte Lipstick ($18)

  6. 1 lipgloss in Send Nudes ($15)

  7. 1 Foundation Finder (Free)

DSC_0304-1.jpeg
DSC_0305.jpeg

Lipstick

Dope Taupe, Nude La La, Mented #5, and Pretty In Pink are semi-matte lipsticks (except Pretty in Pink) with a mixture of browns and pinks to create the shockingly perfect nudes for women of color.

These are paraben-free, cruelty free, non-toxic, vegan and blendable lipsticks with a smooth formula.

They come in matte as well as semi-matte formulas and many of them have matching liners!

I love these lipsticks, but the matte shades are my absolute fav!

DSC_0306.jpeg

Lip Liners

The lip liners are my least favorite. Anytime the lip liner differs from a pencil, I struggle.

This is a retractable lip liner which, I’m sure, is handy for a lot of people, but I suppose I’m a bit heavy handed so anytime that I attempt to apply these they just break off.

Since I lack in the patience area, I just choose to go with different lip liners, but I am sure that there is someone out there who swears by these (maybe even for the color options alone).

DSC_0311.jpeg

Foundation (M30)

So far, I’ve tried M30, D20, and D30, and I have not found a perfect match in these foundation choices.

D30 was too dark for me, D20 was potentially a good color but had strong olive undertones (which I like but not in excess). So, M30 is about as close as I’ve come to a good match thus far. When I do a soft contour, the foundation looks fine and skin-like. It actually sits on your skin for a while and then takes on a skin-like form which was amazing to me.

The foundation is a creamy formula. It has a hydrating compound that gives you a good base to build your make up on, but may be a struggle for those with oily skin as it is definitely more of a cream than a matte-like foundation.

BUT, this foundation brush is a major key! I love the fluff of this brush and how it works with products whether they’re cream, powder or liquid products. So even if you don’t go for the foundation and foundation brush bundle, you should definitely just pick up the foundation brush!

DSC_0312.jpeg

Blush

I tend to run towards all earthy tones when it comes to my make up, so usually, when I’m looking for a blush, the blush will be closer to an earthy color than an orange.

BUT, Orange is one of my favorite colors and I always buy orange eyeshadows and, now, blushes!

MY ONLY COMPLAINT:

When brands make a line of BLUSHES that come in different colors, I definitely believe that, IF THEY ARE GOING TO ADD SHIMMER, then they should provide one option with shimmer and one without (or just advertise the blushes as bronzers and move on 🤷🏾‍♀️).

Long story short, I would love it if this orange blush came sans the shimmer. But I’m still going to wear it, shimmer and all.

Overall, I love the products that I got (for the most part) and will definitely be ordering more. I currently have the Mented x ABF bronzer palette in my shopping cart as well as Red & Butter Matte Lipstick, so I will be posting about this brand again and may even record a full faced look using Mented Cosmetics products 🤔 because I hear that their eyeshadow palette is another best-seller.

In all, I am super impressed and look forward to reviewing more colors and more items!

public.jpeg

XCVII: I Won’t Be An Attorney In 2019, But I Will Be Free!

So, ya girl studied for the July bar exam up until the week prior to the exam and then chose herself and her sanity over rushing the process. YEP, YOU HEARD ME RIGHT, I chose ME.

We all know that the natural progression is LSAT, law school, bar prep, bar exam, and usually those who take these steps do them one after the other after the other.

BUT!

In all honesty, my life was not working in a way that would get me across the bar exam finish line with my sanity or happiness intact.

At that point, I had just lost too much, was experiencing too much hurt, and was just mentally occupied and checked out. I had done what I was supposed to do and stuck to my study schedule but it was to no avail. I was basically just going through the motions and retaining nothing.

Now, I have seen myself at something-closer-to-peak performance, and I saw myself at whatever it was that I was experiencing during bar prep and I knew that I had reached my limits. I had no more fight left in me and I just couldn’t push through.


It’s rare for me to choose myself because it’s usually the case that, making other people happy is what really makes me happy. But, it got difficult when law school finals, graduation and bar prep were getting closer and closer all while life was still happening in the background.

During a couple of months time, I had to brush off death, my emotions, my fears, my feelings, love, heartbreak, and disappointment. Trust me, I’m used to working through these things but sometimes it just gets to be too much.

All of that on top of bar prep was definitely too much.

I got to the point where it was like, “okay, if a pen drops, I’m going to lose it” and that just was not a stable place to be. Bar prep is daunting enough, it’s hard enough and its terrible enough without so much going on in the background. It’s also a lonely process because no one knows what you’re going through except maybe your study/accountability buddy but life is also happening to them, so, you’re alone!

it was hard learning that, you may FAITHFULLY be other people’s happiness, but that does not mean that they care about your happiness. Many times, they don’t care.

This was tough to accept during a time where I felt that I needed certain people to be there for me.

By about a week prior to the bar exam, I had lost my longest-running and closest friendship with the only person I’d ever truly trusted, I had lost a close family member in an unexpected way, I had stressed my way through my moms major surgery, and it made me feel like I was, once again, working hard towards another loss (pass or no pass).

And a lot of that lead me to the conclusion that it just wasn’t my time.


Prior to making the choice, I did not tell anyone that I was thinking about postponing, I just gave myself more time to try and study. I made the choice and then studied as hard as I could for a couple of days, but once those days were over I saw that I still wasn’t in a good space at all. I spent the majority of the time bawling my eyes out at my desk and not actually being able to study. Topics like Wills & Trusts and Community Property were making me cry just given all that was going on, and really, I JUST NEEDED TO HEAL BEFORE I COULD DEAL WITH THE BAR EXAM (even when all of the topics were handed to me).

I say that I am now free because, throughout the process and all of the loneliness, I saw different sides to people who I had considered a friend.

I saw that a lot of people did actually care about my wellbeing and my mental prosperity, but that many others were more interested in my next moves. They wanted information about what Bree was doing next, where Bree was going next, and who Bree was dating. This is fine, but if you’re not checking on me too, you’ve got to go!

Nosey acquaintances are nothing new, but they are sometimes hard to pick out because they shield their triflin’ ways in fake concern, but it becomes more obvious the more they speak. So, I definitely freed myself from those types of people.

I freed myself from those who claimed to love me but betrayed me, weren’t there for me, or were simply garbage. AND, I FREED MYSELF FROM THE IDEA THAT I HAVE TO DO ALL OF THESE THINGS BECAUSE OTHERS EXPECT THEM OF ME.

The best lesson that I learned during bar prep was that, even though we often get to a spot where we hope that others care about us enough to work towards our happiness the way that we do theirs, at the end of the day it is NOT their job to ensure that you are happy. It is YOUR job to do what will make you happy at all times.

So, I won’t be reading that I passed the Bar Exam on Thanksgiving (because I didn’t take it), but I will go into my next round of studies in a much better space mentally.