Cognizant Shopper

Lome Clutch Bag by Babatunde. Purchased at The Silver Room-Chicago

Lome Clutch Bag by Babatunde. Purchased at The Silver Room-Chicago

If you follow my blog, then you’ve seen the last post about shopping during the holidays with companies that respect black people. I will continue to write and share pictures of my purchases that make me a proud, cognizant shopper.

I recently acquired yet another clutch bag by Babatunde, a South African company that is in the business of creating beautiful, handmade items from African fabrics in the most vibrant patterns and colors. My latest coup has fabric with my beloved sorority colors strategically placed.

I didn’t have to travel all the way to South African to buy my bag (although a trip there is definitely on my list for 2017). Instead, I walked over to The Silver Room, a Chicago, Wicker Park neighborhood staple since 1997. The owner, Eric Williams, has been able to make the word “community” not just be a word, but a feeling. The Silver Room, now located in the Hyde Park neighborhood, just makes me happy and grateful that I can spend my dollars knowing that the recipients of my hard-earned money (and as a makeup artist and an educator, I. WORK. HARD. AS. HELL) respect my culture and gender.

The saying, “You get what you pay for” is my reality. I pay for quality, unique products created by people who had me in mind and I am thankful that my money is going where I want it to go. When people buy from small, black-owned businesses or companies that create with black folks in mind, everyone benefits. Shop where your dollars make sense.

Until next time,



Holiday Shopping With a Purpose


I won’t be supporting any companies that support racists. I won’t be buying products from companies that do not support people who look like me: Black women. There are many ways that I can spend my hard-earned money so today, I chose to buy some new jewelry from Rachel Stewart Jewelry. I like knowing where my dollars are being spent. If you’ve not checked out Ms. Stewart’s line of afrocentric jewelry, you are missing out. Her work is currently being sold at the Smithsonian in the National Museum of African-American History. I’m wearing one of my favorite pairs of earrings in the picture above. You can thank me in advance and enjoy your holiday!

Until next time,


Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful-Revisted

img_7300Over the years, I’ve blogged about being true to yourself in regards to beauty. You should be living your own truth and doing what works for YOU. The beauty industry is really changing and growing, and there are tons of products out here to enhance your beauty. Trust me,  I work my way methodically through many of them. It’s a tough job, but I’m always ready to step up to the mirror on behalf of my beauty mavens out there. As much as I love to play around with new makeup, try out the latest serums and masks, and just have a good time making my clients look their absolute best, the best kind of “beautiful” for me is knowledge.  

This summer, I spent some time at the Brooklyn Museum, where I literally stumbled and paused in front of Mickalene Thomas’ “A Little Taste Outside of Love.”  This huge acrylic, enamel and rhinestone portrait of an unabashedly black woman was MY kind of beautiful. On that hot, humid day in Brooklyn, I looked at an image of a woman who was straight up chillin’ and enjoying HER kind of beautiful. I saw my own dark brown-reddish skin and the round parts of my body in her body. On most days, I don’t need validation that I’m beautiful in my own skin, but it’s hard work to stay positive about ME in a world that doesn’t see my kind of pretty as special or even relevant. Yet, that day, MY kind of beautiful was all around me. #BlackGirlMagic

Make Blotting Papers Your Friend

“I love my super-slick, greasy, oily skin that makes my makeup slide right off,” no one has ever said. Although it’s tempting to touch up those oily spots with your powder compact, it’s never a good idea. For starters, your puff or sponge will absorb the oil and trap it, which makes that puff or sponge a breeding ground for bacteria. Skin naturally produces oil, but if you find yourself a bit more oily, invest in some blotting papers. These extremely thin, square-shaped, lightweight miracles live in all of my purses and makeup cases.

In my opinion, the best papers are ones that absorb oil without leaving a powdery coating on my skin. I prefer the Sephora brand, along with Mary Kay (these are larger than the average papers), Boscia, and in a pinch, the Walgreens brand works too! Higher end cosmetic brand Shiseido makes a blotting paper that absorbs sweat along with oil, and that is definitely a win-win situation.

Even though the summer is coming to an end, and many of us equate sweaty, oily skin with heat, blotting papers are a good idea year round.

Until next time,

Rewards Programs (Take Advantage)

Happy Saturday! I’ve been productive this morning by taking care of some grooming issues (like banning those evil facial hairs who seem to have a mind of their own), and organizing my treasure trove of miscellaneous beauty items. I stumbled upon one of the many Sephora Beauty Insider gifts that I have stockpiled, including the Caviar Anti-Aging Hair Care products. 

I haven’t used it yet. I have good intentions of using these products, since I love anything that says “Anti-Aging” and the fact that the shampoo and conditioner boast of being free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and synthetic color. The trial sized kit also comes with a heat protectant spray (of which I won’t use, as I wear locs, and don’t blow dry), and a leave-in conditioner. 

Since I’ve been a member of Sephora’s rewards program (and several others), I have been hoarding points and turning them in for some cool beauty products. I’ve even become a fan of some companies (Fresh) after trying out the trial sizes that I earned through spending my cash. 

I just love getting something back for patronizing a business. If you’re a beauty budget babe (or dude), and you haven’t utilized rewards programs, what’s stopping you? 

Until next time,


So You Want Good Skin?

My “tip for the day” is a message that I post on my Makeup Artistry by Tiffany page on Facebook. Today’s brief tip was about how makeup is not the enemy in terms of clear skin. The problem that I see with most people is that they are not cleaning their skin before going to bed. People blame the cosmetics for breakouts (and in some instances, with sensitive skin, the products ARE to blame), but they don’t realize that sleeping in makeup is really the cause. Speaking of sleep, if you aren’t getting a well rested night of sleep on a regular basis, your skin will tell on you!Purple Makeup Prince Shirt

Developing good habits over time will decrease skin problems. Aside from removing makeup properly, one must also keep their cosmetic tools clean too. Using dirty sponges and brushes on clean skin is like washing dishes in dirty water. Sounds gross? Well, it is gross to use dirty tools on your skin, especially if you are sharing those products or using them on other people. Transferring bacteria from your skin to your tools and products is dangerous will send you running to the dermatologist or even an emergency room.

Eating healthfully will do wonders for your skin. You can buy all the luxurious products being marketed to help your skin, but if you’re not investing in a better diet, your money will be spent in vain. I am not a nutrition expert, but I do know from consulting with doctors and skin care experts that people MUST eat fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins in order to provide their skin with the proper nutrients. Swapping out sugary drinks, caffeine, and alcohol for water will help keep your skin looking fresh too.

Lastly, managing stress in your life will help you keep your skin looking great. Eliminating relationships with people who get on your nerves, getting yourself organized at work and home, and using exercise as a well to combat stress are all ways to keep skin issues to a minimum. You can’t be your best, inside and out, if you can’t manage your life in a way that is not stressful.  Learning how to let go and only deal with the issues you can handle is hard for most of us to do, but it must happen. When my skin is looking dull, and I see darkness under my eye area, I know it means I need to reassess what’s going on in my life and start making changes.  Make sure to take better care of yourself. Your skin will thank you.

Until next time,




Put a Stamp on Your Work

Natalie's Watermark

My friend from college is dealing with someone stealing her online pictures and using Made up with MAC Skinfinishthem. This is appalling on many levels.  As a makeup artist and educator, I’ve seen and heard about these internet, bootleg, wannabe makeup artist THIEVES misrepresenting themselves to attract clients. These people have no integrity and think it’s okay to post stolen pictures of work they did not do. Their covers are blown when the clients show up to receive professional makeovers but wind up looking like a science experiment gone wrong. Imitation is supposedly the most sincerest form of flattery, but flat-out stealing someone’s work and passing off as your own is despicable.

Put a stamp on your work by using a watermark, a trademark or copyright symbol, or even a signature to help keep people from misrepresenting your work. Nothing is foolproof but it’s best to mark your pictures in some shape, form, or fashion. When one has spent Suspiria and Across The Universe Nailscountless hours learning the art of makeup application and has dedicated their time to the craft, it is frustrating for someone to come along and claim what is not rightfully theirs.

Until next time,

TiffanyPurple Makeup Prince Shirt