I work in beauty and these are the products I can’t live without!

Bare minerals pro powder in Truffle

Urban decay setting powder

ABH brow gel in Ebony

Maybelline correcting concealer in Mahogany

Nars creamy concealer in Café

Milani blush in Rose D’oro

Urban Decay All Nighter setting powder

I vacationed for 10 days in Spain and Morocco and here are all the beauty bits I brought!

A friend of mine got married in Morocco this past weekend, and I fully took advantage of the cheap European flight prices, and stretched it to a 10 day trip!

Because most of the eight flights (YES EIGHT) were with budget airlines, I was really constrained in terms of baggage weight. I could only travel with a cabin bag of 10kg so when I tell you I edited, I truly did edit.

First thing that made it to my Space NK travel bag was my Clinique foaming cleanser. I trust this to completely clear my skin of dirt and all the grime that comes from travelling so a travel size version of this was an easy add.

An important thing for me was a very hydrating moisturizer so another Clinique fave in the form of the dramatically different gel + was what I chose for a moisturizer. It sinks easily into the skin and I’ve been using this ever since I stepped into the realm of skincare at the age of 16.

These individual packet sized serums were PERFECT for traveling! I used them at JFK before my six hour flight to Madrid, in Lisbon when we were stuck for six hours at a help desk, and each time it was so incredibly satisfying. I can’t live without glycolic acid and these M61 bad boys helped give me an added bonus of keeping my skin clear after so much travelling! Previously, I’d always break out after flying but not this trip! All thanks to my beloved glycolic peels pads! 10/10!

Deciding on a sunscreen was the hardest part! I couldn’t bring my regular favorite (Lancôme Bienfait APF 30 moisturizer) as its in a heavy ass glass bottle, so I went on a hunt for a replacement that wouldn’t leave me with the ashy cast that plagues dark skin girls when it comes to sunscreens. I landed on “Unseen Sunscreen” by goop as it left not a ashy speck in sight after a generous dollop. I took it with me however it exploded after three days and I had to borrow some of my friends “Neutrogena sheer defense SPF 45” which worked beautifully.

Because of the liquid limit, i couldn’t bring most of my regular makeup so I opted for sticks and powders. My favorite was this stick as it has a matte finish which was a lifesaver in the Madrid heat wave that we landed in. Added bonus is that I have the same shade (540) as Lupita!

Choosing a brow product was super easy. I grabbed the new ABH brow gel in Ebony and kept it moving.

I specifically brought this gorgeous penny colored highlighter to multi use all over my body and boy did it deliver! Clavicles were glowing, décolletage was beaming, and cheekbones were glistening for the GAWDS! I have an over abundance of highlighters thanks to working in beauty, so choosing “PennyForYouThots” as my only highlighter for this trip was huge and 100% the right decision!

Choosing which lip to bring almost brought me to tears. If you know me, you know I LIVE for lips. I kept it together though and chose a gorgeous dark brown lipgloss from Mac cosmetics’s new nude lipgloss range which was a perfect nude for me. I then brought a super new lipstain that I picked up on a whim from “Kaja” in the shade “Cashmere” . I blotted it on my lips in Madrid when I wanted a hint of color on the lips, and went full on in Marrakech when we visited the YSL museum.

Wearing Cashmere lipstain

I got braids specifically for the trip so all I brought with me in terms of hair products was my leave in spray with some hair oils added in for sealing and some hair gel to keep my hairs laid on days I could be bothered.

For perfume, I’d bought a super small Diptyqye hair mist to take with me but after squeezing and forcing and too much whining, I had to leave it behind and take a random sample of perfume I had . I ended up using lavendar and Jasmine oils that I’d bought in the Médina in Fez anyways which worked out perfectly. I never thought I liked Jasmine but I couldn’t stop rolling it all over my pulse points all throughput the trip!

Overall, the weight and liquid limit was very hard but it made me curate what I really couldn’t live without for 10 days. This ended up being my best beauty packing trip experience yet and I’m applying the same editing mindset to my beauty shelf at home.

Have you guys had to travel with the bare beauty necessities for a long trip? What made it in your precious 1L TSA approved bag then?

Cyber Monday beauty deals

As there’s rarely any discounts when it comes to beauty, cyber Monday is when I indulge! Below I’ve listed my favorite beauty sites with discounts you should take advantage of if there’s some lipstick or horrendously priced serum that you haven’t been able to get out of your mind.

Glossier.com – 20% off the entire site

Ulta.com – $10 off $50 with code CYBERMON18

ASOS.com – 25% off their entire site

Bloomingdales.com – 10% off almost all beauty

charlottetilbury.com – 33-40% select items

Urban outfitters.com – $50 off $150, $25 off $100, $10 off $50

Black Friday Beauty buys

I promised myself that this black Friday I’d be doing nothing more than competitive shopping…It’s now 9:41 pm and I’m anxiously awaiting all the three packages of beauty goodies I bought online during the Black Friday discount.

The honest truth in the spirit of sustainability and being fiscally responsible, is that I really didn’t need more beauty products. Working in beauty means that I’m very lucky to sometimes get free launches. I still get tempted by new brands that we don’t carry and that’s how my justification for my Black Friday purchases came to.

Beauty Bakerie, Flesh beauty, dose of colors. These were the main culprits with hard to resist deals of 30% off during Black Friday. I bought lip products from all three brands and can’t wait to share my thoughts!!

I’m extremely excited about the lip whip from beauty bakerie as I’ve heard nothing but good things from the brand.

Dose of colors supposedly has the best liquid lip formula so I’ll also report on that. And the flesh beauty lipstick won an allure best in beauty award within months of launching so you know I had to pick it up!!

Hang tight for a review of all three!

Did you guys indulge in the Black Friday sale?

Fall skincare edit

The change in weather means it’s time swap out the skincare products in my bathroom shelf just like I would my closet. Below are my picks for the Fall.

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  • Makeup remover- La Roche Posay Micellar water- I picked this up when I was on vacation three months ago and have loved it since! It takes off all my makeup and leaves my skin feeling soft.
  • Cleanser- La Roche Posay Purifying cleanser- This cleans my thoroughly and however doesn’t leave it feeling tight.
  • Toner –  The ordinary glycolic toner- I’ve loved this toner for almost two years and raved it multiple times. It’s a great treatment for my hyper pigmentation and always keep it in my rotation
  • Vitamin C – The Ordinary ascorbic acid + alpha arbutin toner – This has been a life send for my skin. I went through a really bad phase of going to sleep with my makeup on and this reversed all the side effects. This is my favorite vitamin c serum that I’ve used so far.
  • Hydrating serum – Botanics hydration burst serum- I love this affordable serum from Target! It feels amazingly hydrating without feeling too greasy.
  • Moisturizer – Origins energy boosting ginzing moisturizer- i’m not crazy about this moisturizer but I find it perfect for sealing in all the layers of product that
  • SPF- Glossier invisible shield – This is the best SPF I’ve ever used. It doesn’t leave a white cast which for my ebony queens is a miracle to find in an SPF product! It also never leaves me feeling greasy and I love the neat and neon packaging.

What products have you added to your routine with the change in season?



Sun’s out Glow’s out!

New York’s still pretending we’ll never get summer with these drab 50 degree days but I choose to believe that any day now, I’ll be ready to get out my reformation summer dresses and all the straw bags I didn’t need to buy for the summer. To make the change from spring to summer official, below are five swaps I’m making to get my skin summer ready!


Primers, Primers, Primers!


This is the biggest change I make when it comes to my makeup! Since I’ve been cursed with the oiliest of T-zones, I always get the most mattifying primer when the weather starts heating up. The one I’ve been using is the Becca matte primer which doesn’t leave a dry white caste like most matttifying primers.(*ahem *ahem Makeup forever and Urban Decay primers *ahem *ahem). The Becca primer is amazing for both liquid and powder foundations and keeps me matte for the entire work day!


Holy Grail MUFE velvet matte foundation


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When I die, kindly slather me in my holy grail foundation please. Not only does this give me the medium full coverage look I look for in foundations, it also has a velvet matte finish (just like the name suggest!) and has me feeling confident each time I leave my house. It doesn’t last alllllll day long, but I don’t mind blotting during the day as its finish is heavenly! Ladies, run don’t walk to your nearest Sephora to get yourself a 1 oz tube!


De-greasing toner


I love my skincare staples like any beauty junkie. However toners are an item which I always tend to forget!! I know I know, how can I forget my skincare ABCs aka cleanse, tone, serum, moisturize, eye cream. It’s not that I forget per say, it’s that I’m so excited for my serums that I skip right over toning. I’ve however been training myself and went ahead and switched over to the very summer appropriate Murad hydrating toner to prep my skin for my cosrx serum. Now you might be thinking, “Sameera, why on earth would you be using a hydrating toner when you’re trying to be matte?” Because lovely reader, adding hydration to the skin actually helps combats le grease. When I give my skin the moisture it so thirstily needs, it doesn’t work as hard to create “moisture” in the form of oil. If my words don’t convince you to grab a bottle of this toner, maybe a stamp of approval from the godmother of skincare Caroline Hirons  might?


Anti-Clogging Clay Cleanser


While every Sunday Riley fan might be losing it over the brands new influencer foundation (review coming soon), I actually am losing it over her ceramic slip clay cleanser! Now the $45 price tag is nothing to laugh at so THANK YOU MACYS EMPLOYEE DISCOUNT! However, the cleanser is performing well above my expectations. I was a little skeptical after reading its rating on beautypedia, so I’ve been thoroughly and pleasantly surprised at how well I’m liking the cleanser. The reason why I forked out for this pricey 5oz cleanser was because of the fact that it contains clay which is great at deep cleaning and getting rid of clogged pores which is essential in these hot and muggy New York streets! My final opinion is that this cleaner is great for the summer when you need to keep those pores tight!


Summer Scent


I love my deep, musky spicy winter scents but even I put them on the shelf once the highlighters and rompers come out. Changing my scent to a lighter, fruitier version always gets me in the mood for rooftop happy hours and park picnics. My summer scent during my high school days consisted of victoria secret and pink body splashes but I’ve since graduated to longer lasting perfumes. This summer, my go to flirty summery scent is none other than Chanel’s Chance au Tendre. It’s the perfect blend of fruity and sweet without being too sickly.   I always get the 1oz bottle and it lasts me exactly all summer long!

What are the swaps you make for the summer?

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The best lip balms for my girls with a lot of real estate 😜

So I have big lips…they’ve been with me my entire life. They were big back in Africa where majority have bigger lips, so you can imagine how big they are here in the N Americas. 😜 Not only are they big, they’re plumpy too, exhibit A:

My main point is that I have needed a lot of lip balms in my lifetime. Therefore, I think of myself as a teensy lil expert when it comes to choosing the best balms to moisturize your lips!

  • Clinique super balm

This is a great option for the winter months when you need a jolt a moisture. It’s a $17 tube and truly leaves my lips moisturized for ages. The only gripe I have with this lip balm is the fact that it’s never in stock! I guess that must mean people really love it and can’t get enough of it!!

  • Aquaphor lip repair

This was a lip ointment that worked so well until it didn’t. It was touted to me as being the best lip balm ever! However I find in the winter it doesn’t spread or sink evenly when I put it on. It sits on the lips looking ashy and doesn’t do anything to help my parched ass lips!

  • EOS new reformulated lip balm

This brand has had a constant presence in all my purses. This particular formula I absolutely love as it always brings my lips back to life! There are a wide variety of lip balms from EOS but my favorite are the plain flavors, and theses duo sticks. They are absolutely worth more than the $4 price tag and I always ALWAYS, recommend them to my faves!

  • Jack black lip balm

This is an amazing lip balm and one that I always have in my purse! It does the job and then some. It’s also very reasonable for a premium cosmetic brand ($8)! I loved that they created the lip balm in so many flavors and I would say run, don’t walk and pick this up.

  • Smith’s Rosebud Salve

This is just overpriced Vaseline. And like Vaseline on MY lips, it was a mess from the moment I put it on. It slides right off my lips and doesn’t provide ANY moisture. The only time I use it is when I have on a dry liquid lipstick and need to take it off midway through the day. The greasy balm helps me slide all the liquid lipstick right off and then I go right ahead and put on my EOS balm.

What are your favorite lip balms especially in these winter months?


Glossier fans rejoice! Beyoncé’s Grammy’s eye shadows have dropped



Remember that time at the Grammy’s when her majesty, the queen Beyoncé, wore an full face of Glossier and we all almost lost it because said face featured eyeshadows we couldn’t get our hands on? Yeah, ringing a bell? Welll time to rejoice because said shadows have officially dropped!





The product  is called the lidstar (how stereotypical-ly cool you guys!) and is basically a liquid pigment in a tube!

Lidstar lights up eyes with a wash of soft, glistening color that lasts all day. The effect comes from a delicate proportion of ultrafine multicolor pearls suspended with coated pigments in a buttery base for the silkiest, most blendable formula. To apply, dab doe foot applicator onto clean lids and use fingertips to shape. The cream dries down to a sheer veil, locking onto lids with no creasing (no need for primer). It’s one-step eye enhancement you can do every day.

It reminds me of the colorpop eye shadows but with a very handy dandy applicator! It fits right into their brand with the no muss no fuss one step shadow with no primer needed.

The tubes are $18 each which is pretty standard, but a they have a cool offer where you save $6 if you buy a duo!


This sounds right up my alley as I’m eyeing up  Herb a smoky green with yellow gold pearl and Fawn a cool smoky taupe with violet and neutral gold pearls. Top 2  shades below.


Welp, you know how it goes. Heading to the showroom after work and handing over some coins to Emily.


How about you guys? Are you getting tired of the Glossier launches? Or keep em coming???

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What I do to get ready for the week

Sunday blues are a real thing. Thinking of how amazing yet fast the weekend was and how long you are away from yet another Friday always makes my Sundays feel a lil blah. That’s why I came up with a routine on how to get rid of the grey mood I find myself in every Sunday.

  • Meal prep

Not only does this make me feel so much better while I’m doing it, it makes my life so much easier during the week! I always ALWAYS feel guilty for buying lunches during the week. So I always thank my Sunday self for the prepped lunches.

  • Make plans during the week

Who says you only have to hang out with your faves on the weekends? As someone who feels best when I’m laughing with friends, Im always excited when I know I’ll be seeing my faves during the week. Another great thing about living in NY is the endless amount of things to do in the city. So I always make sure to check timeout’s list of events and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) calendar. Just last week, I was able to see my new fave actress Danai Gurira, in a screening of the incredible movie “Mothrr of George”. Next week I have a talk with Neil Gaiman to see at BAM!

  • Plan outfits

This makes my mornings SO MUCH EASIER. I am definitely that person that loses inspiration with regards to getting dressed unless I have something new. A great way I’ve gotten over this hump is making a list of potential outfits right on my notes app. It has helped me on really tight mornings when I’m panicked and frustrated. Another great way to prep outfits is Polyvore or Pinterest!

  • Clean out your main space

For me this is my bedside table, vanity and living room. I feel so refreshed whenever I do this. It makes me feel way less cluttered and disorganized and ready for the week.

  • At home facial

This is the last step on Sunday nights, and it really makes me feel like I have my shit together. What else says you’re doing this adulting thing right more than layering on all the sheet masks, peels and hydration treatments. I always light a candle (current fave is anything lavender scented) to make it feel all the more spa like. I always do the facial in my plushest of robes and end it in the comfiest of pajamas right in time for bed.

Do y’all get the Sunday blues? How do you chase the feeling away?