Review

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

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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. This isn’t to say that ALL of the ingredients are great, but we’ll dive more into that in our next Pattern Beauty post.   The smell of these products is a big part of the  Pattern Beauty  experience from what I’ve seen thus far, and in my opinion, the products smell quite heavenly.   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, with a tool. 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. This isn’t to say that ALL of the ingredients are great, but we’ll dive more into that in our next Pattern Beauty post.

The smell of these products is a big part of the Pattern Beauty experience from what I’ve seen thus far, and in my opinion, the products smell quite heavenly.

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, with a tool. 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! ➿

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)

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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!

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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).

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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!

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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!

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LXXXIX: Why Does My Face Hate Everything?

PRODUCT REVIEW: THE BODY SHOP - TEA TREE BLEMISH BATTLING SKINCARE DELUXE KIT

I’ve been suffering from the same breakout since mid-February.

Now that I’ve rid myself of those annoying stressors, I need to rid myself of this annoying breakout. So, I decided to try The Body Shop’s Tea Tree line.

This line was talked about alongside Murad’s skincare collection which is what brought it to my attention. So, instead of getting my usual (Murad) I decided to try it out and here we are!

Let’s talk about it:

THE BREAKOUT 

This was a vicious breakout and it was more aligned with the kind of breakout that I get during finals time each year, but has lasted much longer.  

Each pimple hurt like the Dickens and they left horrible dark spots when they’d finally decided to go away (if they decided to go away).

Again, I’m used to getting breakouts around finals time, but they usually don’t hurt as much and they don’t leave my skin damaged once they’ve gone away.  

So, I decided to try a strong product that would quickly get rid of the breakout and blemishes. Another plus, for me, with this product was the fact that they also promised to help mattify the skin as it cleared it. Big bonus for me since I have combination (dry-to-oily skin), right?!

THE PRODUCT

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So, I decided to get the whole shebang which came with the following:

  1. A Skin Clearing Facial Wash (8.4 fl oz)

  2. A Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner (8.4 fl oz)

  3. Tea Tree Oil (.33 fl oz)

  4. A Mattifying Lotion (1.69 fl oz)

  5. And, A Skin Clearing Clay Mask (3.85 oz)

(These products are listed in use order)

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THE PROCESS

I used the products as instructed for two weeks before getting to the point of deciding whether or not the products were for me. Which they weren’t…

Now, I know that, for many, two weeks of product use is not a lot at all. But, for me and while dealing with my skin, two weeks is plenty of time.

I am used to using Murad which starts working on the second day of use, so that was the standard for me when I started this product.

Upon initial use, I did notice that it started to work quickly, but after about a week I also noticed that my skin was super dry, rough, and blemished. So this product has potential to work and it’s definitely filled with cleansing agents that get into the pores and clear them out. BUT, it’s like it leaves your skin dry, bruised and shriveled afterwards and I do not want that for myself.

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THE AFTERMATH

I’m sure that, from reading, you can see where this post is going. I definitely stopped using these products, packed them back into the box and switched to water and moisturizing oils for a while to restore my skin.

I do want to say that I was shocked by how much of this product you get for such a good price ($39 USD). You get a lot of product with this purchase and, if this product goes well with your skin type, then I highly recommend that you invest in these products. But, for me, it just didn’t work.

THE HEALING

In order to fix the blemishes and dark spots that have formed on my skin because of these products (in conjunction with my break out), I have just been using water to wash my face and I’ll occasionally use Garnier’s Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water to cleanse my face but apart from that, I’m currently not putting cleansers (medicated or otherwise) onto my face.

To help restore my skin, I’ve been using (and am obsessed with) Black Radiance’s Luminous Dry Oil Moisturizer which I LOVE — not just because of its ingredients but because of how it feels on my skin.

So, overall, I’m going to say that this line was NOT for me, but I’m sure that there are people out there who lean more towards oily skin who would love this product. But, if you have combination skin, this product may be too harsh for you.

Thanks for reading! 🖤

This is not a sponsored post.

LXI: What Are My Initial Thoughts On Gymshark?

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Black Friday created the perfect time for me to shop for new workout clothes!

I have been wanting to try Gymshark for the longest. I’ve seen ad after ad about their leggings and how great they are at creating the illusion of a sculpted, or shapely body.

Now, I’m normally a Nike or Ivy Park gal but I am always down to explore when it comes to my fitness gear. You never know where you’ll find a real gem. So, let’s get into these initial thoughts:

SHIPPING

In my opinion, the shipping didn’t take long at all. Even with completing my order on Black Friday (a high demand day), my order shipped within a couple of days and was in the mailroom before I knew it.

Because I ordered on Black Friday, my shipping was completely free, which, 😍.

PACKAGING

The items are nicely packaged in something like a plastic protectant, and this is all placed within another Gymshark shipping sleeve (depending on the size of the package).

They definitely make it to where your items won’t be damages in transit! Overall, I think the packaging is simplistic and very cute!

THE FIT

So, my issue with finding the right workout pants (not so much tops) is that my thighs are the biggest part of my body (and maybe my shoulders — they’re pretty massive also).

Because my thighs are so big, I usually have to go up in sizing which means that I suffer when it comes to the waistband.

I ordered a Small because they are somewhat high-waisted and Flex material and I’ve found that I actually should have just grabbed an Extra Small (which I’m usually opposed to buying) to meet my waist needs.

Because they have such a good flex material, you can definitely afford to go a size smaller so that they don’t slide down as you work out, so my next pair will definitely be smaller.

But, when ordering their pants that aren’t flex material, I may struggle a bit with finding the right size so there will definitely be a Part Two to this post after I order their Asymmetric Leggings.

THE WORKOUT

The ultimate test would have to be how they managed my sweat during and after my workout.

Now I’m usually super opposed to buying lighter colored workout pants because I sweat so much during my workouts and it shows. But these pants have this drying component to them that keeps them super dry and wicks the moisture as you sweat.

So, my sweat didn’t seep through and wasn’t stuck to me throughout my workout!

Overall, because these are a bit cheaper than Ivy Park and Nike, I think that Gymshark has a new customer in me (& they offer a student discount)!

LIII: Colourpop No Filter Foundation Stix

I struggle with foundations. I struggle to find the perfect shade for my warm dark skin. I struggle to find the perfect formula for my combination (oily and dry) skin.

Colourpop recently released foundation sticks which are the perfect medium between a liquid foundation and a pressed powder. It’s literally a cream foundation in stick form, for those who do not yet use them.

I’m fond of foundation sticks and I normally use either Smashbox or Anastasia Beverly Hills. I am, however, very open to new brands that can better service my color-matching needs.

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The Question Is, Do They Meet My Color-Matching Needs?

Nope!

I have, once again, been let down by the make-up industry and their “many foundation color options”. Again, the amount of brands that brag about all of the colors and shades of foundation that they have compared to the number of African-American women like me who struggle to find a color that doesn’t make us look crazy… 🙄

Maybe my skin tone is not one that comes with a perfect match foundation. I mean, honestly, my skin doesn’t need foundation anyway. I have beautiful skin! But, I do want the option to wear it, so help me out brands! Help me out.

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Left: Deep Dark 197 W

Right: Deep Dark 213 N

Excuse my nails and grubby fingers, nobody’s perfect. 😹

 
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Look at this deception!

It looks like these would be perfect right? One for an all-over foundation and the other for a cool soft contour.

BUT, the color of the inside of our forearm is NOT the color of your face. Of course it won’t work!

Now, this isn’t a complete Hateogram to the whole Colourpop No Filter Foundation Stix line (because Colourpop is over there working pure magic with their products), it’s just me acknowledging and slightly complaining about the fact that, if and when I want to wear make-up, I’ll still be grabbing and blending two foundations to get that base going!

And let’s not even get into bronzers! 🙄