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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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STREET STYLE X NIKE

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If you couldn't tell by my smile, I'm super excited for the warmer weather! And clearly, my love affair for street style hasn't subsided. It's all about being comfortable and sometimes that means tucking away the pumps and pulling out a pair of comfy sneakers. This pair of Nike's that I purchased directly from Kith, an exclusive shop, are extremely comfortable! I could have partnered the look with a bomber jacket, (like the olive you always see me sporting) but I really wanted to add a "tailored" feel to it with my leather basket weave buttoned tan coat. The best way to look dressed up without putting too much effort, is throwing on a badass fitted coat. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more look books because I will be combing through my closet and putting together some more spring looks! 

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I AM AN AFRICAN FT. THE NUBIAN PALETTE

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"When Africa weeps for her children, my cheeks are stained with tears. When Africa honours her elders, my head is bowed in respect. When Africa mourns for her victims, my hands are joined in prayer. When Africa celebrates her triumphs, my feet are alive with dancing" - Wayne Visser

OUTFIT: Purchased wax fabric from an African boutique & had it custom made by a tailor.

FACE: L'Oreal True Match in the Shade Cocoa and Mac Prolong Wear concealer in NC45. MUFE HD Powder in 178 to set the entire face.

CHEEKS: Mac's Format blush and Mineralized Skin Finish in Gold Deposit as a highlight.

EYES: The Nubian Palette

LIPS: Coloured Raine liquid lipstick in Mars

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THE NUBIAN PALETTE

Juvia's Place has taken over most, if not all, social media platforms by storm with its infamous Nubian Palette. This $20.00 gem comes with a 12 piece collection of buttery, warm-tone shades that are easily blended and lasts all day. As a sucker for packaging (if we haven't established that yet) not only is this product well sculpted, but has highly pigmented shimmery and matte pans that compliment all skin shades and undertones.

The beautiful queen, who reminds me of an Egyptian Goddess, lays on a jade green palette that stands true to its name, Nubian. Besides the package itself and how well it is marketed, what attracted me to it was how well the vibrant colors complemented all shades of women and specifically those with melanin who struggle with finding the perfect color hues for their dark skin. 

As a lover of gold, bronze and brown color spectrums this versatile layout is exactly what I need for the golden summer days. It's all about the dew and glow on the skin and this Nubian Queen has the right amount of intensity for just that! 

 

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LASH GAME STRONG

It took me a long time (by that I mean a very, very long time) to get used to lashes. I would cringe at the thought of it because I had an enormous fear that anything that was near the socket of my eyes would damage it. It took countless of practices and text messages to my beauty guru friends to have some form of serenity towards them. My point of all this is, if I can apply falsies, so can you! 

Now if you aren't into worrying about washing your eyes and costly appointments, strip lashes are for you. They range from $2.99 to $29.99 depending on the quality and could be easily removed at the end of your day.There are numerous styles like whispies (which are awesome!) , glamorous, naturals and voluminous to give you the extra "vavavoom" you need to complete a look for a special event. Some of the current brands I've been reaching for lately are House of Lashes, Kiss, Ardell and Salon Perfect. 

APPLICATION TIP

• Purchasing lashes with thin bands help hide the visibility of where your falsies lays. 

•Before applying, measure your false lashes accordingly and snip the excess off from the outer ends. (This will allow the inner corner to stay natural and not irritate your eye during the day.) 

• Be sure to apply the tiniest amount of glue on the eyelash bands and allow it to get tacky within 60 seconds. 

•Personally, I like to look downwards during the application process in order to place them closest to my lash line. Apply mascara and squeeze your lashes and voila! 

 

PURCHASE THE LASHES BELOW

ARDELL DEMI WISPIES | VELOUR LASHES DOLL ME UP | VELOUR LASHES CARLI LASH

HOUSE OF LASHES BAMBIE |  LOTUS LASHES NO. 410 | HUDA BEAUTY SAMANTHA

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BARBIE WITH A BAD HABIT

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As a child, one day my mother decided it was time to get rid of all my dolls, I was really starting to build a collection. She decided the best way to do this was by convincing me that she'd replenish them with brand new dolls. My obsession with Barbies was so blown out of proportion that she had to trick me in order to tame me. I remember being so upset and feeling betrayed but truthfully, if she never used this tactic I probably would have a doll or ten still hidden in my closet! 

Fast forward to present time, I've decided, why not live my fantasy by looking like my own African Barbie for a day?! This look was actually accidental- it happened while I was looking for the right lipstick to match this eye look.  I had rediscovered my Colourpop lipstick in the shade "Bad Habit". Yet again, it was love at first swatch! I continuously purchase from Colourpop and they always come through!  

FACE: L'Oreal True Match in the Shade Cocoa and Mac Prolong Wear concealer in NC45. MUFE HD Powder in 178 to set the entire face.

CHEEKS: Mac's Format blush and Mineralized Skin Finish in Gold Deposit.

BROWS: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony & Clear Brows Gel in Clear.

EYES: Morphe 35O Eyeshadow Palette. 

LIPS: Colourpop Liquid Lipstick in Bad Habit.

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STREET STYLE X METAL CAP TOES

More than often, I'm dressed casually unless it's for a special occasion. To be realistic, most bloggers are normal people in comfy clothes on a regular basis until it's time to work (by that I mean Slay honey). While I do love feeling comfortable, looking put together is just as important. My staple items are usually chunky knits (or a basic tees), form fitting jeans, "pretty" shoes and a tailored coat. Because shoes and coats can make an outfit in the cold season, I focus on having stand out pieces. Street style is all about having an avant-garde urban inspiration with an added personal touch.These limited edition Adidas Superstar Sneakers complete this offbeat look with its clean silhouette and metallic cap toes. I've developed a fascination for having either "A Sex in The City" look, a preppy look or something more badass with an urban feel. When I am too lazy to dress things up with heels you can catch me wearing the stated alternatives. 

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SHOP THE LOOK BELOW

Note: Purchasing these half a size smaller than your usual sneaker size is highly recommended because these run big. While mine were limited edition, you can "create your own" to a very similar taste.

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KISS ME IN PINK

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For my ladies who like to look flirty and sexy, this is for you! Bae or not, Valentine's Day is a celebration of love- may it be for yourself or a partner -never feel out of the loop. This soft eye shadow will have you feeling simultaneously comfortable and beautiful. It's all about the "face glow", the shimmer on the eyes and the soft glossy lips. I used my Urban Decay Naked Palette 3 to achieve the easy doll like eyes. It replicates a romantic look without an excessively bold approach. Personally speaking, classic eyes and glossy (or matte) lips are always the way to go if you're unsure.

DEETS:

FACE: L'Oreal True Match in the Shade Cocoa and Mac Prolong Wear concealer in NC45. MUFE HD Powder in 178 to set the entire face.

CHEEKS: Mac's Format blush and Mineralized Skin Finish in Gold Deposit.

EYES: Mac Saddle as a transition shade. UD Naked Palette 3 shadows in Liar on the Lid, Nooner on the crease and Trick on the inner tear duct. Kat Von D tattoo liner in trooper and Ardell Demi Whispies Lashes.

LIPS: Colourpop Baewatch Lippie Stix and Sephora lipgloss in Rose Petal. 

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VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT GUIDE

I am trying to grasp the idea of how we are already in the month of February. Just when I finally got used to dating my signatures for 2016 rather than 2015- I have come to the realization that hallmark is making its debut with Valentine's Day cards and everything pretty in pink. While this is a celebration of love and partnership, enjoying this time with close friends and family is just as great. Whether it's for your best friend or a guide for your babe, here are a list of five things that are just right for date night! 

1. CLARISONIC "KEITH HARING"- I can't stress enough how much deep cleansing is important, especially for my girls who love makeup like me. Once you use this, you're more than likely never going back to just using your hands because of how deep it gets into your pores and renews the surface of your skin. 

2. TOO FACED MELTED "FRENCH KISSES"- I've purchased two of these lipsticks about a year ago and actually love them. Which is surprising since I was disappointed to find out that unlike the Colourpop Liquid Lipsticks these were more of a creamy consistency. Now I LOVE them and actually plan to purchase more. They remind me of a liquid formula for the Mac Cosmetic Lipsticks, very moisturizing and pigmented. 

3. ABH "THAT GLOW" KIT-Okay, can we just talk about how Anastasia Beverly Hills  has been taking the beauty industry by storm with her quality products?! If you're into highlighting you've seen these everywhere with exceptional reviews. I've developed a glow obsession so Valentine's Day or not, this is on my list! 

4. MORPHE 35O PALETTE- I've been using this palette religiously since my purchase and review. I truly wish Morphe was around a couple of years ago when I was on a hunt for the perfect eye shadow starter kit. 

5. SEPHORA SHEET MASKS- what girl doesn't like a good pampering day at home?! Sheet Masks are perfect for the days you want to clear out your pores and rejuvenate the skin but not splurge hundreds of dollars at a spa. And for $6 each? Why not have a colorful assortment as a bouquet!

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DEEP RED X BOMBER

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There's something so comforting about neutral colors. Whether it's in reference to eye shadows (I'm still working on venturing to colors here), shoes or clothes -it's super easy to pair things together with a versatile canvas.  This Khaki bomber, which I have talked more about in my CASUAL CHIC x BOMBER JACKET post, never fails me. Its simplicity paired with the gold and brown hues I have on my eyes makes me feel like an edgy goddess. While I wish I could wear deep colors every day, (it isn't suitable for my job policy) I jump at every opportunity to wear them because it reminds me that daring is also good! 

DEETS:

FACE: L'Oreal True Match foundation in the shade Cocoa and Mac Prolong Wear concealer in NC45. My entire face with MUFE HD Powder in 178.

CHEEKS: All time favorite, Mac's Raizin and Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector in Topaz. 

EYES: The infamous Morphe 35O Palette and House of Lashes in Iconic.

LIPS: Mac Cosmetics lip liner in Burgundy and Colourpop liquid lipstick in LAX.

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THE MORPHE 35O PALETTE

After a few months of having this palette, I am infatuated with the infamous MORPHE 35O PALETTE. Morphe was brought to my attention through the makeup queen herself, Jaclyn Hill, who collaborated with them. Because of its cost, I initially underestimated the quality, and boy was I wrong. 

Usually, when you swatch "affordable" eye shadows, they appear slightly more pigmented on your arm and in the palette then they do on your eyelids. That isn't the case with the 35O Palette, especially if you use a creamy base like Mac's paint pots before the process. There are 35 warm tone shades that vary from shimmery to matte and are quite close in sizes with the Mac eyeshadow pans (retailing for $10-$12). If you are currently venturing out and experimenting with eye shadows, this beats every starter palette! 

NOTE: Please keep in mind that you should purchase directly from MORPHE.COM because I've noticed vendors selling them & duplicates for $100 when it is sold for $22.99. The palette is a permanent item and will continuously restock! I used Jaclyn's code: JACATTACK for $10 off.

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FAVORITE EYE BRUSHES

I have tons of eye brushes that I alternate based on the looks I am going for, so it took a lot of effort and heartbreak to minimize this to my top five brushes. 
I take pride in these beauties because they really make a difference with my eye shadow application. I knew that if I combined both my favorite face brushes and eye brushes into one post, it would be extremely long. So I broke it down into two- one post for my Favorite Face Brushes and another for my Favorite Eye Brushes. Now that we've talked about the face brushes let get right into my all time favorite eye brushes! 

1. ZOEVA 230 / LUXE PENCIL- The best for smoking out the lower lash line or adding a glow to the inner tear duct. It's all about blending your make up and this bad boy does the job. 

2. ZOEVA 142 / CONCEALER BUFFER- I currently use it to blend out my concealer when I do my eyebrows or to apply a creamy eye shadow base. Because of the density, it gives an airbrushed and opaque effect to the skin by hiding blemishes.

3. ZOEVA 231 / LUXE PETIT CREASE- This brush would slay a cut crease! It is super precise with applying deep colors to the crease while leaving it blended and intensely pigmented. 

4. MAC 224 / TAPERED BLENDING- I'm not even going to lie, I hesitated before purchasing this brush. $32?! The make up artist had me convinced that I needed this brush to the point where I found myself reevaluating my finances at check out. It's a great brush for blending and can really last a long time (YEARS). Do you NEED it? Absolutely not. Is it excellent for blending deep shadows and a great investment? Yes it is.

5. SIGMA E40 / TAPERED BLENDING- This is a GREAT alternative for the MAC 224. (Hence the emphasis on great because it's really that good!) I've had this brush for over 3 years now and it still gets the job done! If you're really on the fence on purchasing the MAC 224, this one does the job just has well. It is a little more dense in comparison but nonetheless great and will literally show the difference when you are using it for your transition shade. 

 

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FAVORITE FACE BRUSHES

Since I've been talking a lot about makeup lately, I want to focus on my favorite face brushes and their versatility. As stated in my ZOEVA X ROSE GOLD SET post, my favorite part about makeup is using the appropriate tools. With the proper application, a good brush could have any makeup brand look very much like high end products. There are no set rules for using brushes, meaning an eyeshadow brush could ultimately be perfect for Highlighting your cheekbones and a blush brush could work with setting powder all over the face. Without further ado and let's jump right into my favorite variety of brushes and what I use them for!

 

1. ZOEVA 102/ SILK FINISH BRUSH- this brush is incredible and work so well for foundation. What I personally do is use it and follow up with a beauty blender to remove excess product and brush marks. You can also use this brush for cream contouring because of how dense the bristles are. 

2. ZOEVA 127/ LUXE SHEER CHEEK BRUSH- This brush in comparison to the SILK FINISH is ultra soft and great for the cheeks for blushes or bronzing the face.

3. SONIA KASHUK BLUSHER BRUSH- This is one of my all time favorite brushes. I use it almost every time I apply blush or bronzer. With just a swipe on the apples of my cheeks, I get a natural flush that looks like it's is from within. If there is a brush you would like out of the ones I have stated, this one just be it!

4. REAL TECHNIQUES POWDER BRUSH- I just have to say that Real Techniques ALWAYS comes through with their products! I have liked every item I ever purchased from them. Even their beauty sponges are starting to win my heart and you guys know I swear by my beauty blenders. This brush is perfect for setting your powder and what I love about the synthetic bristles is its inability of absorbing so much product (therefore you are saving so much product and $$$!).

5. SEPHORA PRO FAN BRUSH- I am pretty sure half of you are thinking, "Aïchatou, really? A FAN brush?" Honey I was thinking the same thing until this brush blessed my face with my highlighter. Not only is it great for highlighting, but it's also perfect for dusting away the excess powder once you're done "baking" . So yea, get this one too. 

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BEST OF EIGHT FROM STILETTOS & STANDARDS

If you have an  Instagram account, you are familiar with "Best of 9" trend, where a computer generates 9 of your most liked photos. For Nostalgic purposes, I thought I'd do the same here and highlight my favorite and most viewed moment of 2015!

For those of you who have been following Stilettos and Standards since it's launch, you know your girl stepped her game up! I was so shied away with expressing my opinion on things and my simplistic my looks. If there's one thing I can take away from blogging this year, it is to be YOURSELF. Talk as if you're talking to your best friend because there's ALWAYS going to be someone who disagrees with what you have to say- and that is completely okay. I'm extremely content to have emerged out of that shell because it is now that I am growing and learning due to my genuine experiences. These pictures signify both my progression and accomplishments in the year of 2015. I truly hope you enjoy reading my eight most popular blog posts as much as I was bubbly writing them! 

 

TOP ROW

• "CLASSIC RED & GRAY"- The beginning of "Closet Confidential"! I started taking my creativity and desire to express my simplistic fashion taste to another level and developed techniques for being in front and behind the camera.

• "15 FACTS ABOUT AÏCHATOU FT. SUEDE"- I am not sure what I loved more about this blog post. The fact that I opened up here and share things about me, considering how private I can be, or this suede dress I scooped up in my travels a summer evening in SOHO, NY.

•"CAMOUFLAGE"- This post reminds me so much of why persistence and determination is important. It was humid and raining, my hair started to get frizzy but I sucked it up to get the image I pictured in my head. This has been one of my most viewed and like post!

•"CASUAL CHIC X BOMBER JACKET"- Who knew distressed jeans could look so effortless with a crisp button down, a pair of white pumps and a bomber jacket? I didn't that's for sure!

 

BOTTOM ROW

•"THE BOYFRIEND DENIM"- Let me just say that, these are still my favorite jeans and I am not letting them go. *flips hair*

•"GLAM, SLAY, REPEAT" - YUP, this was the post where I comfortably discussed the reality of bloggers. We are normal, and absolutely repeat outfits or pieces in our closet because realistically speaking, who really doesn't like recycling fabulous looks?!

•"CITY DOLL"- I love love love this blog post! It was shortly after I obtained my college degree and met one of my really good friends for a celebration brunch at Sarabeth's. We were chatting about life goals and how much we had grown when I suddenly I looked across the street and couldn't pass up the opportunity of shooting on this beautiful wall after dessert. 

•"A QUARTER OF A CENTURY"- I turned TWENTY-FIVE! 2015 was such a great year. I graduated from college among the top of my class on a full ride, became a U.S. Citizen and actually traveled as much as I wanted to. I grew with this blog and learned so much about myself. Ending chapter 24 and starting my 25th is just bittersweet but a breath of fresh air because I can feel 2016 being a great one!