YEAR OF YES

Every year on December 30th my best friend and I get together to open envelopes to check off things we've accomplished during the year. It's the most rewarding feeling to know we've done what we said we would and reminisce on moments shared together. And right before we call it a night, we write down our new goals and wait until the following year to discover our latest accomplishments.

While it is a tradition I am extremely proud of, many of the goals I jot down are attainable or already in the works. I never go beyond scratching the surface and trying out things that will make me uncomfortable. It wasn't until I read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes that I realized how many times I have said "NO" to situations that were foreign to me. 

I was ambivalent about various things like learning how to swim because I was positive I would slip under water and bang my head, going to networking events because I thought I would embarrass myself or would frown at the thought of a healthier lifestyle because I was sure I lacked the endurance for one. I said 'no' on so many occasions that people started to expect it- and sadly I didn't think to care. As a big dreamer, who loves to be a doer- I knew I had to get out of my shell and explore life. I was hesitant on achieving many of the few things listed above because I was afraid of the unknown. There were many physical and emotional challenges I refused to face because I didn't think I could handle it.

After reading Rhimes' book, I felt the desire and connection of wanting to change my perspective of things. I wanted 2016 to be a year of YES- I needed to invest in myself emotionally and physically. I started to participate in activities like swimming, working out and attending networking events which I would've never imagined of doing. Getting out of my comfort zone was the hardest part because after that, it was easy to just keep going. Once I achieved one task I thought I was unachievable by my own standards, I had a high of finding out what I could accomplish next. 

My year of yes is about achieving goals beyond the tangible. It's about being a dreamer but also being a doer. While this book was the sign I needed to get going, I hope this post is just as much of what you are looking for to start something for the first time. 

Write down a list of five things you'd love to do that absolutely scares you! Give yourself a realistic timeline and go for them either alone or with like-minded individuals who will push you to do them. It will make you uncomfortable but I promise it will be a life lesson. 

 

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BLUSH BANDAGE DRESS

With summer coming to an end, I had to pull out a girly dress for the last time until next year. While on occasion I can wear a few of them during the fall season, the majority are tucked away as I welcome the cold breeze in the air and the beauty of layering. This blush bandage dress was just the perfect one, showing the right amount of skin and hugging me in the right places. There's something about a dress that compliments the body to give you an extra boost of confidence.

So as summer comes to an end and the pumpkin flavored gems make their debut, I hope you've the chance to wear that "it dress" before you store it in until the flowers bloom again.

What was your favorite piece to wear this summer? What was your most exciting part of the summer? Comment bellow! 

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US OPEN 2016

Up until a few months ago, I had been the least athletic person you would ever meet. I didn't even know what a point guard in basketball was. (Don't do that- I feel you judging me and this is a judgement free zone). Sports were fun to play in high school but once I graduated, I didn't even entertain the idea of lifting a ball let alone watching a game. So to my surprise when I went to the US Open I was like a kid in Disney world-extremely happy and wanting to do every activity available. Here are some things I learned when I attended the US Open as a newbie.

1- You will need sunblock, sunglasses, a hat and water to stay hydrated. The sun is literally beaming over your head and there's barely anywhere for you to find shade in this open arena. So prepare yourself and dress comfortably.

2. If you don't know what's going on, don't be afraid to ask because chances are that you're not the only one. The game is more enjoyable when you know what's going on rather than going along with what the crowd is doing. I initially felt lost but the minute my friend explained to me what was going on, you can bet I was just as excited.

3. Travel lightly. There's A LOT of walking around so the last thing you'd want to do is carry a bunch of things you really won't need. A backpack or a wristlet that would be attached to you and easy to carry around is highly recommended. Research what you can actually bring into the park per season so you don't get torn with having to throw away your expensive fragrance or hot tools (I know what you are thinking, HOT TOOLS?! Yes, there are people who brought those in). 

4. The atmosphere is a calming slow pace compared to what usually happens in NYC. It's a nice feeling to escape for a day and be in an environment where you can stop and take in your surroundings. 

5. Take advantage of the free things! Be shameless & happy! My job offered the option of a buy one ticket and get one free for a limited time but there was a 12-6PM free activity which included the semi-finals so we happily took the opportunity. 

FUN FACT: US Open is the fourth Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year. The other three Grands Slams of the year are Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. 

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PETER THOMAS MASK-A-HOLIC

Do you have oily, dry or combination skin? Do you suffer from excessive or occasional break outs? Do you love face masks but you don't want them leaving your skin deprived of its natural oils? Are you looking for the perfect one to pamper your skin? You've come to the right post, you should stay a little longer. 

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Do you have oily, dry or combination skin? Do you suffer from excessive or occasional break outs? Do you love face masks but you don't want them leaving your skin deprived of its natural oils? Are you looking for the perfect one to pamper your skin? You've come to the right post, you should stay a little longer. 

The Peter Thomas Mask-a-Holic is the perfect bundle for any skin type, giving you the option of various masks and allowing you to figure out what works best for your skin.

I enjoy using masks, especially after a long day of work when I'm in need of some kind of pampering without the price of an ultimate spa day. However, most masks I use end up leaving my face so squeaky clean that they strip my skin of its natural oil. While I do have an oily T-Zone (the center of my face that outlines like the letter T) it is still essential to keep my skin moisturized. An oily face is the result of your skin producing too much oil due to the lack of, hence why we still need to moisturize and prime before applying makeup. 

I finally snagged this Peter Thomas set when a sample was given to me at Sephora. The masks give me such intense hydration while doing the job of keeping my acne in check. The option of having 5 different masks for $75 rather than trying out one for about $80 is a steal, especially since a little goes such a long way. This package allows me to figure out what my skin needs in terms of treatments and what works best before splurging on the full size items. I've had it for several weeks now and can honestly say these masks leave my skin better than then it was before.

I make sure to use one mask at a time, three times a week to monitor results. That way if there is any allergic reaction I would be able to determine the cause. I leave the masks on a clean face for approximately 10-15 minutes when my pores were opened and can properly absorbed the treatments.

My favorite would hands down be the Mud Mask, which I will replenish on once this bunch is done. Have you tried any Peter Thomas products? What are your favorites? Please comment down below and let me know- it may be something I want!

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LIFE AS AN ALUMNI

"How can we convince the next generation that education is the key to success when we have poor graduates and rich criminals?" - Unknown

As a recent graduate still on the hunt to officially start my career, this viral tweet stuck with me for a long time. One of the biggest misconceptions for college students is that once we complete our educational journey, there will be a job waiting for us at the end of the tunnel. Some are fortunate enough to score this rare opportunity, but for the most part it's really time to begin the hustle. 

I vividly remember the first year of entering my campus knowing not one person and hoping to at least find myself in the end. I hunched myself in the classrooms scarred from the bullied days and a little embarrassed at my name being the subject of mockery. The professors who held their Coca Cola in one hand, sat on their desk and unintentionally butchered my name. "Ayeeekatoe? Ahshayou?" They proceeded to say until I phonetically spelt Aïchatou for them so they would have an idea by the last day of class. 

Fast forward several years to turning my tassel from left to right and being so sure that I would land my dream job with seven honors and three majors. I was so used to being graded and ranked that I didn't realize the real world wasn't set up in such structures. I had to go twice as hard to get half of what I thought I deserved. I was not only competing with my 2,000 other graduating classmates but with other schools too. How could I truly stand out and not regret getting an education?

If there is anything I learned about life after college it's that comparison is the thief of joy. Everyone's time zone is different and their blueprint to success is not identical. I had been so used to being graded against my peers in a competitive state that I thought the same when it came to getting a job offer. Yes, there is competition in the job, but a more qualified candidate doesn't mean you're less valuable.

If you are currently in a position where you feel defeated and confused about where you would like to be in life, you're meant to go through this. I believe in things happening the way they are supposed to and teaching us a lesson along the way. So no, you are not alone in this fight, and yes, as a fighter with you I strongly believe it gets better.  

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FAUX FRECKLES

Freckles has taken the beauty world by storm and I am SO for it. It excites me to see that many people have come to accept freckles as another form of beauty because these are among one of the many things we need to embrace. 

For those of us that didn't know, freckles usually appear on fair complexions but can also be found on darker ones. People with darker skin absorb the sun and can tan easily as opposed to those who lack it. If you lack melanin, the sunlight causes your melanocytes to distributes your tan unevenly which then results to freckles.

I am surrounded by beauties who are blessed with freckles so I thought I would practicipate in the faux freckle trend. I know the majority of us have no in between when it comes to this makeup look because we either absolutely love it or prefer to leave it for the naturals. I achieved these by using a ZOEVA 315 Fine Liner brush & the trusted ABH DipBrow Pomade in Ebony. Although I was very ambivalent about this look due to it being out of my comfort zone, it was fun and reminded me that makeup has no rules. 

What are your thoughts on beauty marks? Did you know freckles were a result of the distribution of uneven melanin? Have you tried the faux freckles trend or is it not your cup of tea? 

Comment below!

DEETS:

BROWS: ABH products! Read my brow post here.

EYES: Morphe 35O Palette. Read my review here.

LASHES: Ardell Demi Wispies.

CHEEKS: Mac Cosmetics Sweet as Cocoa blush and ABH Glow Kit in Dripping in Gold & Sunburst.

LIPS: NYX Cosmetics Lipliner in Rose & ABH Lipgloss in Kristen. 

 

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FIVE WAYS TO SPREAD LOVE

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Lately, it seems like there's always something controversial and heartbreaking happening in the world. Every time I turn on the news, there's a family who's lost a loved one to an unfair and brutal death, an unreasonable racial attack or a government under seize. It truly saddens me that lives so short and sweet are being taken away by so many people who are filled with nothing but animosity. 

Through all the madness, I truly hope YOU can find happiness in even the smallest things and believe the world to still be a beautiful place. I myself have been supportive and appreciative of my surroundings so I thought I would share a few ways to spread love and light in a time of darkness and sorrow. Here are a five ways to make your world a little brighter.

 

1. TAKE A LOVED ONE OUT- I took my brother out to a frozen yogurt date and the idea of doing a simple shoot for the blog came up. I enjoyed summer days as a teenager so why not be a big kid with him when my schedule is cleared? Taking a loved one out, not only makes them feel special but can make you feel good too.

2. VOLUNTEER- Volunteering is a great way to spread love. Giving time is just as valuable, if not more, than giving money. Do a walk for a great cause, support a main stream business, go visit a sick child or donate to a family in need. 

3. MOTIVATE-  I am an advocate for motivating people to pursue their dreams and do what ultimately makes them happy. It's so important to understand that we all have a passion or hidden talent and when we learn to master these gifts it becomes a fraction of a great manifestation in the world. Could you imagine if someone pushed you beyond your limits just when you were about to give up? Good, now go do it to someone else and watch how grand you will feel they take that leap of faith.

4. BE KIND- One of the most natural human reactions is to lash out at those who make us uncomfortable. A prime example for me is when someone makes my commute to work extremely difficult such as slowing down the public transportation (if you live in NYC you know the struggle.) I used to cringe my nose when I saw a homeless person "polluting" a train car with a foul smell or roll my eyes when a disabled person is slowing down a bus. Then I finally realized that illnesses and poverty do not discriminate. I have once been in a situation where I could not afford to pay a bill and have been hospitalized for over three weeks where I required mobility help. When we are put into a situation of helplessness all we desire is kindness and patience. I now smile at a homeless people, discreetly hold my nose and transfer cars. Someone's disability shouldn't upset me because they will make me late. I can plan accordingly to leave my home early because I am able to.

5. TREAT YOURSELF- This starts within! You can't give love if aren't loving yourself. One of my all time my favorite quotes is "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" No really, when was it? Getting out of your comfort zone and accomplishing something new should always be a goal for you. Once these things are achieved you automatically feel the need to share it with the world.

With all that being said, please remember to smile through these tough times because it is just that. Time passes and this too will pass, times of sorrow and pain have their purpose too, and it is with bittersweet hope that we learn something positive from days like these. Don't let it discourage you and find a way to spread love through it all. 

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SPOT CORRECTOR SERUM FT. CAUDALÍE

While I no longer suffer from acne, one of the issues that still bothers me is the mark they leave behind. Makeup is a great tool for a boost of confidence but more importantly, being comfortable in your own skin is the ultimate goal. 

Although I do not have acne prone skin, there is an occasional pimple here and there will pop up to remind me of my adolescent days. And when that pimple or zit is gone? It leaves it mark behind! So I had to finally introduce a spot corrector serum into my skincare routine to get rid of this issue. Caudalíe has slowly but surely been vanishing my dark spots and giving me an even skin tone. Although pricey, this $79 jar of magic is really worth it in my opinion. I use it after my toner, while my pores are still open and right before my moisturizer in order to seal it.

When looking for the right product, whether it is the organic route (like using lemon and vitamin C) or a more advanced way (products like this serum), listen to your skin. Be sure to stay away from products that create redness, rashes and more hyper pigmentations after a week or two. It took a little over two weeks to finally see results after applying my serum (morning and night) so be patient because it is really worth the result!

What is your current favorite skincare regiment? Have you used a dark spot corrector before? Click this blog title and leave your comments down below!

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SUMMER LIP COCKTAILS

One of my most frequently asked question is "What lipstick are you wearing Aïchatou?!" I am guilty of having more lipsticks than I should but I probably won't stop purchasing them anytime soon. Although my last lipstick post only focused on my Colourpop collection, I wanted to share some more of my go-to lip concoctions this time around.  Keep in mind that while the title includes the summer season, there are truly no rules to makeup! I have worn these shades all year round, which is why I took it upon myself to include a berry lip. My only tip for looking fabulous is to make sure you scrub your lips then moisturize them before your application. Otherwise, wear the color of your confidence and kill it darling!

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BARAWINE

Barawine is just the place to be when you want a simple night out, affordable food and great hospitality. My cousin Binta (she designed my blog! Check her out here) and I had a last minute reservation on a Thursday night due to the rain changing up our scheduled plans. However, the hostess was polite and fulfilled our request to dine at the bar. One of the things I love about with our dinners is that it's more than often business and pleasure. We chat about upcoming goals, the places we want to check out and update our bucket lists. Both our meals- Beef Bolognese & the Fillet Steak & Potatoes, were delicious! And our drinks the Manhattan Sour & Got Mint? (not pictured in this post, SORRY!), were equally refreshing. All that being said, if you ever find yourself in Harlem and would like to feel like you're in Paris for a few hours, stop by Barawine and have a seat at the bar. Philip is a lovely bartender, great host and very attentive. 

Oh & tell him Binta & Aïcha sent you!

 

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STAYING MOTIVATED

Before we get into the fun stuff and makeup deets, I should address the elephant in the room: why I haven't been on social media anywhere for the past month. In addition to being on a spiritual and emotional journey, I thought it was the perfect time to refuel my motivation and creative approach during Ramadan. There's usually moments in our lives where we want to throw our hands up and say "I give up". So taking this time off was really necessary and helped me with approaching obstacles a bit differently and turning them into opportunities. Here are five things I've intensely practiced this past month to keep me motivated and I truly hope helps anyone going through a creative funk. 

1. GRATITUDE- I have always been very hard on myself and sometimes disregard what my full plate looks like. Having a grateful heart in moments where things do not seem to go my way has really taken me far.  I can't worry about what someone else is eating on their plate while mine may be filled in a different aspect. Everyone has a different time zone so I need to be thankful and focus on mine. 

2. PATIENCE- Speaking from experience, there has never been a time in my life where God (this spiritual being may be different from yours, but the principal still applies to anyone.) removed something in my life and didn't replace it with something better. I always lacked patience but truly taking things one day at a time and believing that a rough time is just a stage in life helps a lot.

3. SOLITUDE- Being alone for a period of time is absolutely okay. My close friends and I always joke about me being a loner and removing myself from any situation that involves meeting new people. That in itself is something I am working on but in this case solitude truly helps me in clearing up my mind and tackling things differently.

4. REALISM- Most of my frustration comes from not being able to achieve a goal on a deadline but truthfully are my goals attainable in such a short period of time? No. I firmly believe that nothing is impossible but I consider my time frame and other noises that might give limitation. Breaking goals into chunks and realistically giving myself time to achieve them is such a rewarding feeling. 

5. KEEP GOING- Progression is progression no matter what the pace is. The feeling of stopping and not knowing when the results could have happen is uneasy to me. So my rule of thumb is to keep going even if I'm slowing down to mastermind and refuel. 

 

DEETS:

BROWS: ABH products! Read my brow post here.

EYES: ELF brown eyeliner as a base, Too Faced Semi-Sweet palette in chocolate Peanut Butter in the crease, Tuffled and Cocoa Chili on the lid, Coconut Crème on the brow bone and Caramel on the inner tear duct. 

LASHES: House of Lashes in Temptress Wispy.

CHEEKS: Mac Cosmetics Sweet as Cocoa blush and ABH Glow Kit in Dripping in Gold & Sunburst.

LIPS: Mac Cosmestics lip liner in Chestnut and Colourpop liquid lipstick in LAX. 

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S&S IN MEXICO (PART TWO)

The last few days in Mexico were just as adventurous as the as our first (Read Here). We did a lot more eating, drinking, sight seeing and ended our stay with a spa date. Mexico was truly a beautiful place to visit with so much informative history, excellent hospitality and tasty food. 

 

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📍 Cenote Xunnan, Mexico.

We woke up bright and early to meet with the Aventuras Mayas team who drove us into a beautiful jungle for activities. We (By that I mean Jeannette) drove ATVs to a hidden gem where we zip lined into a beautiful open cenote. 

 

📍 Cenote Xunnan- Ha, Mexico.

First of all, I was shedding tears and was literally shaking before getting on. The instructor advised us to lean back when zip lining so that we wouldn't get stuck in the middle of the track.So I was pretty much parallel to the line because I wasn't having that! HAH!  We zipped over 30, 50, 75 feet up in the air, I really was terrified but pushed through after I backed out of jumping off the cliff into Cenote Ik-il. 

 

📍 Cenote Estrella, Mexico.

Zip lining was followed by swimming in a cave filled with bats and water species. Although the water was freezing cold due to lack of sunlight, the experience itself made me forget about the temperature. How beautiful is this?! 

 

Photo was taken from google, as I left my camera in my luggage by then.

Photo was taken from google, as I left my camera in my luggage by then.

📍 Sandal Caracol, Eco Spa.

Our last day was completed by spending time at the resort's spa and using the $25 off vouchers gifted to us by our concierge. The Jacuzzi, sauna, pool, tea and 51 minute massage was exactly what we needed before taking our flight in the evening. 

 

📍 A hundred thousand feet in the air, somewhere between home and adventures.

Being in Mexico was extremely humbling. Staying in our resort with exceptional hospitality to visiting the cities where people with no doors nor electricity, smiled just gave me so much courage and respect. It truly reminds me of growing up in America on a clean slate and being appreciative of what what my parents gave to me. Although I never understood giving away a comfortable lifestyle to struggling here- I now understand that it was all for the opportunity to do what I am currently doing. Living and not surviving. 

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S&S IN MEXICO (PART ONE)

My trip to Mexico was SUCH a last minute trip! You see, up until a week prior to booking our trip, my best friend Jeannette and I had Puerto Rico in mind. But instead, we decided to switch things up and make last minute arrangements (which made me very nervous considering how much of a control freak I am) once we saw the forecast was much better there. Jeannette wanted to lay out on the beach as much as possible and tan while I wanted to do as many excursions as I could. We squeezed both of our desires into a 5 day trip and sealed the deal with a spa date in our resort, Sandos Caracol, right before our flight on our last day. 

We checked in around 3PM at our pristine resort set in the picturesque city of Riviera Maya. The resort was just serene and eco-friendly, which I really appreciated.

📍Sandos Caracol, Riviera Maya.

These photos were taken after our power nap, right at the pool and on the beach as the sun set and moon popped up. The shack reminded me so much of Beyonce's Lemonade so I had to sneak a photo! 

 

📍 Sandos Caracol, Riviera Maya.

We were up bright and early to be transported on this ride that reminded me of The Magic School Bus for our 12 hour excursion to Xichén Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.

 

📍Xelha, Mexico

We made a stop to freshen up and purchase snacks and the eco-friendly public restrooms were to die for. I loved the ceiling baskets and the opened windows by the sink.

 

📍Ebtun, Mexico.

After roughly a two hour ride, we stopped at Ebtun to explore the Mayan culture in a local area. We were offered yellow crystals to make a wish on and burn as well as blessed water placed to on our knees, heart and temple. 

 

📍Chichén Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.

I was literally standing under the beaming sun, on top of 1 of the 7 wonders of the world. Chichén Itza was created by Mayans at the center of the universe. 

 

 

📍Cenote, Ik-Il, Mexico. 

If you were keeping up with my Instagram while I was in Mexico then you know how upset I was for not conquering my fear of jumping into this 150 foot deep water cave. I told myself I was going to jump off the cliff up until I got there and saw how intense everything was. Walking away from this, I told myself that going forward I was going to be limitless and say YES to anything that would challenge my fears.

 

📍Cenote Ik-Il, Mexico.

I took this candid shot after we had lunch at Cenote Ik-Il. I don't think I've ever appreciated a beverage so much considering how blazing hot the temperature was. 

📍 Valladolid, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Even though it was unplanned, our tour guides from Xplor were kind enough to make sure stopping by the historic Valladolid fit into our schedule and took us anyway. Valladolid was established by the Spaniard and French- relocated from Spain to Mexico where the colonist dismantled the Mayan buildings and reused their stones for a colonial town. There was eventually an uprising between the Mayans and Colonists. 

 

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📍Sandos Caracol, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

With such a jam packed day, Jeannette and I somehow still had enough energy to dress up and head out for dinner. By the time we were all set, only one restaurant was still open. So we headed out for burgers on a swing and ran back to our room because a raccoon chased us! 

 

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CANDY SHOP

One of my earliest memories is when I lived back home and was joyous when the neighbors would extend a party invitation. If I saw my mother arranging hair appointments and assembling our (my sisters and I) fancy outfits, I knew it was about to go down! That meant we could attend a party and have sweets, and sweets meant a happy Aïchatou! I would stuff my pockets with as many as my little hands could grab and go home hoping my mother didn't notice (although I'm pretty sure she did by the trail of candy wrappers I left).

I came to the United States at 9 years old and felt like the candy fairies just granted my wishes. I lived where bodegas were so easily accessible and a dollar from my daddy was just a bat of lashes away. You'd think my desire would simmer down considering how much I have indulged due to my freedom but I kid you not, I had macarons for breakfast before writing this post! It reminds me of growing up in Benin with such a strict mother then arriving to the USA as a preteen who could easily attain all the junk food my heart desired.

This look, inspired by Aaliyah Jay, a beauty guru I met at the Beauty Biz Network, triggers so many nostalgic feelings. I've always had an immense obsession with sweets- chocolate and macarons were always my favorites but I really didn't discriminate on anything that gave me a sugar rush. Although it felt unfortunate at the time, I also had a very stern mother who wouldn't even allow me to drink soda unless it was for a particular occasion.

 

MAKEUP DEETS

FACE: Mac Studio Fix Fluid in NW45 & Pro Longer Concealer in NC45.

CHEEKS: Too Faced How Deep is Your Love Blush, Benefit Sunbeam & ABH That Glow Kit.

CONTOUR: Black Radiance Press Powder in Rich Mahogany to set & Covergirl Queen Ebony Bronze to warm up the face.

BROWS: ABH Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony.

EYES: Morphe 35O Palette and Ardell Demi Wispies Lashes.

LIPS: Too Faced Melted Fig & Sephora Rose Petal Lipgloss. 

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15 WEIRD QUESTIONS TAG

I had such a great time doing my 15 THINGS ABOUT ME TAG, I thought "why not another one?!" So here's something short and fun post on things that you probably never knew about me!

#1. What's a nickname only your family calls you? Most of my family nicknames derive from my full name: Chatou, Satou Bella, or just my full name when my mom is pissed at me. HAH!

#2. What's a weird habit of yours? I can't go to sleep or be in a room with the door open and once I'm around people for over a month, I can recognize their footsteps before I see them. I knowwww, super odd.  

#3. Do you have any weird phobias? For a very long time, I was afraid that if I hit my head in a swimming pool, I would die. So I never bothered to learn how to swim because of it. Now I'm taking a ten course lesson because this is my year to "Feel The Fear and Do it Anyway."

#4. What's a song you secretly LOVE to blast & belt out when you're alone? Any kind Afrobeat is my jam. Do you dance in the shower? Oh, me either.

#5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves? When people chew with their mouth opened or burp excessively. Oh, and when people leave me in a room and do not close the door. (Please see #2)

#6. What's one of your nervous habits? I laugh when I'm nervous. I know I can't be the only one who does that. 

#7. What side of the bed do you sleep on? The middle, I'm skinny and stingy. (Just kidding about the reasoning...I think)

#8. What was your first stuffed animal & what was its name? I actually had a bunch of dolls growing up. Stuffed animals were never really my thing but my doll collection was unimaginable! I lived for the days my mother would go on trips and come back with the most exotic dolls for me. It took so much effort for me to let them go. (Read the story HERE

#9. What's the drink you ALWAYS order at Starbucks? A Trenti, mocha focha with soy milk, foamed up half way, 3 Splenda hold the powder with whip cream and three pumps of sweetener. Just kidding, a hot chocolate with whip cream because I'm such a Starbucks immigrant. 

#10. What's the beauty rule you preach.. but never ACTUALLY practice? Drink, drink, drink water! It's good for you and will clear out all your pores. It is super essential for skincare and will give you the perfect canvas. What do I drink? A can of Soda. *shaking my head.

#11. Which way do you face in the shower?  I like the water on my face, so I face forward? Which is super odd considering #3.

#12. Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'? I can twist my tongue, crack my ankles randomly and I am double jointed. 

#13. What's your favorite 'comfort food'/food thats 'bad' but you love to eat it anyways?  SHAKE SHACK! I had to put it into caps to explain how much my soul loves it. 

#14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say? YASSSSSS. SLAY HUNNAY. You Betta WERK. On FLEEK!

#15. Time to sleep- what are you ACTUALLY wearing? A nice silk Victoria secret PJ set with the matching robe. Kidding again, an old T-shirt and some fuzzy socks, there's no one to look cute for! Girl, bye. 

Thank you so much for stopping by! Please feel free to click the title and leave a comment below. Don't forget to join my family by subscribing on the side bar (right below the "Meet Aïchatou Photo"). YOU are appreciated! 

DEETS:

JACKET: Here

BROWS: ABH Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony & Clear Brow Gel.

EYES: Too Faced Semi-Sweet Palette

LIPS: ABH liquid lipstick in Trust Issues & Colourpop Liquid Lipstick in Limbo.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Please feel free to click the title and leave a comment below. Don't forget to join my family by subscribing on the side bar (right below the "Meet Aïchatou Photo"). YOU are appreciated! 

 

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CANTINA ROOFTOP WITH BEAUTY BIZ NETWORK

I can't stress enough on how much someone's network is their net worth. For bloggers or entrepreneurs, it's not only about what you can bring to the table but who you're eating with. I told myself this year I would shy away from being timid and actually meet individuals that are like minded in the process of wanting to succeed or have already surpassed their goals. There's just an invisible push when you know that you're not doing something alone and not only does this apply to entrepreneurship but to anyone in reach of their life goal. What Beauty Biz Network has refreshed my memory on here, is the power of being true to yourself in the pursuit of your passion. Be an expert at turning obstacles into opportunities, market yourself to the point you know longer have to introduce yourself and learn from the tribe of people that are starving as much as you to succeed. 

Thank you Beauty Biz Network for bringing a different caliber of individuals with different end goals but who similarly have the desire to conquer what most view as impossible.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Please feel free to click the title and leave a comment below. Don't forget to join my family by subscribing on the side bar (right below the "Meet Aïchatou Photo"). YOU are appreciated! 

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BODEGA MAMACITA

If you have or do reside in NYC then you know what a bodega is. The dictionary defines it as a small grocery store, especially in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood. To me? It's a nostalgic place I visited countless amounts of times as a preteen, right after school for a few bags of chips and a quarter juice. A dollar really had me thinking my life was together and the days my parents gave me $5.00?! Boy! I had the ENTIRE week planned out. I wasn't allowed to play out for so long especially as a new immigrant, so I would take my sweet time going home after school just so my mates and I could happily grab our snacks and catch up on what teenagers talked about. 

It was only right to head back there and shoot a look when my nieces triggered my memory through their obsessive desires to continuously head to the Bodega aka Deli. For some sunflower seeds, a bag of Doritos and that good old juice that now costs $1.75. I silently giggle as I thought of all these tricks my sisters and I had just so we were allowed to do the same. 

Oh the memories of being a Bodega Mamacita.

SHOP THE LOOK:

PURCHASE M.Y.M COLLECTION LACE SHIRT HERE

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BROWS ON FLEEK

I'm almost ashamed to admit how awful my eyebrows looked once upon a time. I had NO business walking in public looking like a hot mess. You're probably wondering, "Well, where were your friends Aïchatou?!" Believe me when I say they told me countless amounts of times, but I still couldn't see the mess that was so vivid.

Now that we got the truth out of the way, I can go ahead and share the scoop on how I have NOW been getting my brows on fleek. There are really simple products that will keep them in place if you're familiar with the best brow products in the market. Keep in mind while the products I mention are high end, you can purchase similar drugstore products as long as it essentially creates the same results. Oh and if you do, please share below! 

ABH DipBrow Pomade in Ebony- I have been using this pomade for three years now and have never turned back. To use, outline the bottom and top of your brows then fill them in with tiny little strokes to your satisfaction for natural looking brows. 

ABH #7 Mini Duo Angled/Spooley- Works SO well with creamy consistencies. The brush makes the most detailed strokes while the spoolie (spiraled end) blends out the excess product. 

L.A. Girl Pro Concealer in Fawn- Super affordable, blends well and has an opaque finish. I love that it already comes with a application brush where you can precisely clean up your brows and blend them.

ABH Brow Gel- While this may be an added essential but see this as a top coat to your brows. It stays on all day and not one strand of hair will budge. 

TIPS- Eyebrows are sisters not twins! For natural looking brows, they should more than often be two shades light than your hair color. (There's nothing wrong with super dark brows making you happy though because it's all about YOUR comfort zone!)

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COOL TONED MAKEUP LOOK

I've teamed up with the gorgeous, Melody Lawrence to bring you some fun, spring makeup looks. Melody has gone for a dramatic warm toned evening look and I went for a cool toned day look. Remember that there are no rules with makeup and you can go for any look you would like to try during any season. I have no objections towards wearing cool, dark or nude shades during any season and neither should you, because rules are meant to be broken here!

Be sure to check out Melody's take on this spring look (Here) and tell me what fits your personality best! 

Do you prefer her warm tones or my cool tones for the warm weather? Comment down below!

DEETS:

FACE: L'Oreal True Match Foundation in Cocoa & Mac Prolongwear Concealer in NC45.

CHEEKS: Mac Format Blush & Becca Shimmering Perfector in Topaz.

CONTOUR: Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Chestnut, Black Radiance Press Powder in Rich Mahogany to set & Covergirl Queen Ebony Bronze to warm up the face.

BROWS: ABH Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony.

EYES: UD Naked 2 Palette in Tease on the crease, Suspect on the lid, Foxy on the brow bone & Half Baked on the inner corner. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper & Ardell Wispies Lashes.

LIPS: Prestige Lipliner in SIlk & Colourpop Liquid Lipstick in Kapow.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Please feel free to click the title and leave a comment below. Don't forget to join my family by subscribing on the side bar (right below the "Meet Aïchatou Photo"). YOU are appreciated! 

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CURRENT FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS:

BALMAIN INSPIRED ROPE CHOKER

I couldn't have been the only one who was vexed once this beautiful chocker was IMMEDIATELY sold out when the H&M X BALMAIN collection was released. If you're anything like me, you're not really into staying up for hours to refresh a crashing website in order to purchase limited pieces. We never fall for the concept of scarcity and high demand due to our lack of patience. I fell in love the minute I saw Kim Kardashian wearing this piece, but so did everyone else, especially those who purchased it for such an elevated price on eBay. (Shame on you vendors who ask for rent money!) 

Luckily, Mirina Collection sent me a handmade version of the exact piece and I melted. To my surprise it's so delicately made and quickly shipped. This necklace is a statement piece to any outfit so I can't wait to style it. Be sure to check out their beautiful products and use the coupon code MIRINAGIRLS for 20% OFF!

FACE: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless foundation in New Orleans & NARS Heat Soft Velvet Powder to set the entire face.

CHEEKS: Mac Sweet as Cocoa Blush & ABH Glow Kit in Golden Bronze & Dripping in Gold as a highlight.

CONTOUR: Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Chestnut, Black Radiance Press Powder in Rich Mahogany to set & Covergirl Queen Ebony Bronze to warm up the face.

BROWS: ABH Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony & Brow Gel in Clear.

EYES: The Nubian Palette & House of Lashes Iconic.

LIPS: NYX Lip Liner in Pale Pink & ABH lipgloss in Sepia.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Please feel free to click the title and leave a comment below. Don't forget to join my family by subscribing on the side bar (right below the "Meet Aïchatou Photo"). YOU are appreciated! 

 

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