MINNIE MOUSE | GOLDEN EYES & RED LIPS TUTORIAL

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If someone had told me a couple of months ago that I should consider Youtube, I would've probably rolled my eyes as I have often done at the thought of it. Yet here I am, after many trials and tribulations, introducing my first video! 

Because I never considered YouTube as an outlet to expand my creativity due to intimidation, I curated a billion excuses as to why I couldn't do it. In my opinion, it would take up too much time, patience and energy I didn't have. When in reality, I was afraid of putting myself in a world where cyber bullying is so common. 

Thanks to my fearless and incredible support system plus the high I got from filming live at Condé Nast, the sky is yet again the limit. Welcome to my new journey where we will be interacting more on an intimate level!

DEETS:

BROWS: ABH products! Read my brow post here.

EYES: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Pure Gold Morphe 35O Palette (Read my review here).

LASHES: Tarte Cosmetic Lights, Camera, Splashes Mascara & House of Lashes Iconic.

CHEEKS: Mac Raisin Blush and ABH Glow Kit in Dripping in Gold & Sunburst.

LIPS: Mac Burgundy Liner & Colour Pop Liquid Lipstick in Avenue.

WATCH TUTORIAL HERE

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CURRENT FAVORITE BEAUTY PICKS:

VANDAL

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Vandal is a restaurant inspired by the global artsy street fare and sits near the cobblestone streets of Bowery. The menu is filled with delicious tapas style portions that are mouth watering with the perfect splash of ambiance. If you're familiar with Tao and love the vibes, this would be right up your alley as it was founded by the same bombass Tao Group. 

The restaurant welcomes you with a beautiful terrarium-like garden entry that leads to a corridor similar to the Jeff Koons exhibit, where you can check in. There are many approachable bar tenders and friendly waiters filled with great recommendations of unique drinks and food. While often a jammed packed restaurant (even with reservations), my cousin and I were lucky enough to be seated right on time after trying out the Double Dutch (highly recommended) and Trigger Finger at the bar. 

Each room is painted by a different street artist and reminded me of my love for art and the freedom it brings within. We tried out the Pretzel Steak Tartare (my favorite), Chicken Shawarma Salad, Grilled Brussel Sprouts and Balinese Branzino. The food is lovely but you're really in Vandal for the ambiance and elite atmosphere. 

It's absolutely a place worth checking out a few times for the experience and ambiance but be prepare to spend some coins because a tab for two can easily be $200. 

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DEAR AÏCHATOU | A LETTER TO THE FUTURE ME

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I hope this letter finds itself in your virtual archives, ready to be read in a world so advanced the keys it's currently being typed on seem absurd and inefficient. 

And while this world may now be so far ahead, I hope some parts of you remain the same. Like the softness that allowed you to exude laughter everyday and the way you've always saw people for what they could be. I also hope some things have finally changed about you- like how you're so overly sensitive towards things that shouldn't even matter and how you've allowed these "could've been" people take advantage of you. 

Are you still obsessed with the things you're passionate about? Like how you'd run home after school as a child, under the beaming Benin sun to articulate your huge imagination into art. I hope you've stopped being so hard on yourself, self doubt was always one of your biggest challenges. I hope when you look back at this letter, written on your way to work in an uncomfortably crowded train and you smile at the memory.

Remember when you were flunking your freshman year of college because you were going legally blind? HA! Now look at you with all these degrees and honors, still going at it to make a difference in the world. What about all the crappy jobs that got the bills paid but made you sob? Now look at you all proud at the lessons life has taught you. 

Through all the obstacles you've faced, I hope you continue to turn them into opportunities. I hope you've chased your dreams, like you did with those fireflies and frogs in the deserted summer nights of Guinea. You loved sitting under the mango trees and letting the breeze hit your face while you imagined your future at such a tender age. Do you still dream of seeing the world like you did as a little girl keeping up with click of your mother's heels in the massive airports? For what it's worth, you've spent most of your time as a new U.S. citizen, saving up and eating meal prepped lunches so you could see it all and mark it on your world map.  

You've had this thing instilled in you, where if you wanted something bad enough, you went after it by any means necessary. You've trained yourself to be independent, courageous and determined- I hope that never changes. Whatever you are going through right now, don't be so hard on yourself because I am proud of you. If you haven't already, please stop living in cognitive dissonance and go for what what sets your soul on fire. Never, ever settle and don't feel bad when those you have tell you that you should. 

I believe in you,

Love Aïchatou. 

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GOLDEN 26 | 6 THINGS FOR 26

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First of all, HOW?!

How am I twenty-six already? It's making me a little anxious to see life flashing by and I haven't completed things I'd still like to check off. Then there's this little voice in my head constantly reminding me that life can't be 100% planned and as I get older I am given the opportunity of longevity and wisdom. 

Twenty-five has been filled with fear and anxiety but the laughter and accomplishments are truly what I remember the most. As I close the chapter of a QUARTER OF A CENTURY, where I wholeheartedly learned the meaning of hustling for your dreams, here are some things I'll be taking with me on my Golden Two Six:

1. KINDNESS- I realized that when you're kind and have a pure heart, people will walk all over you. I've had to remain impeccable with my words and behavior when my kindness was continuously tested. Not every action deserves my reaction or me getting out of character to prove a point. I like my softness and my belief that the world is still such a beautiful place through all obstacles. I mean, I can go from high tea to vodka real quick, but I just prefer the high tea part 99% of the time! 

2. YEAR OF YES- If there's anything I am proud of learning during my Quarter of a Century year, it is how incredible my life has been since I've done things out of my comfort zones. When I opened my heart to experiences I've continuously shut down, the world seemed to welcome me with open arms. 

3. NO- I am sure this probably sounds like an oxymoron considering I just said it's been a year of yes for me but hear me out, okay? I came to an understanding of suggestion when to say Yes and when to say No. "No" to things that do not serve a purpose to me. No to things that made me uncomfortable AND unhappy. No to things that didn't work for me but pleased everyone else. 

4. OBSESSION- "Be obsessed with your passion, master it, learn it, fight for it." I tell myself this EVERY TIME and OVER TIME to OVERCOME anything that gives me self doubt and defeat. Because if I am not obsessed with my passion, who will be for me? 

5. CHANGE- I love change, I embrace growth and continuously remind myself that nothing changes if nothing changes. If I want something I've never had, I would have to do something I've never done.

6. GRATITUDE- I know you've seen this already if you read STAYING MOTIVATED. It's so important for me to remember that although I don't have everything I want, I have enough. Practicing the art of a grateful heart has taken me unimaginably far.

7. LIVE- None of the above can happen unless I live to the fullest extent of my potential and in the moment. I am that person who's always waited for summer to happen in the winter and complain about the heat. Once I learned to beauty of living and not surviving, I was able to efficiently practice all of the above.

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WHAT TO DO WHEN TRAVELING TO WASHINGTON D.C. FOR A DAY

📍Union Station, Washington D.C. -The metro system in D.C. is quite different from NYC. The metro passes are hard like debit cards & necessary for both entry & exit of the subway for extra security. A day pass , which includes train and bus rides is $14.50 and an extra $2.00 for the new card.

📍Union Station, Washington D.C.

-The metro system in D.C. is quite different from NYC. The metro passes are hard like debit cards & necessary for both entry & exit of the subway for extra security. A day pass , which includes train and bus rides is $14.50 and an extra $2.00 for the new card.

📍Washington Square, Washington D.C. -We were able to see the Washington Monument, from standing in the Square which is surrounded by so much beautiful history!

📍Washington Square, Washington D.C.

-We were able to see the Washington Monument, from standing in the Square which is surrounded by so much beautiful history!

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📍African American Museum, Washington D.C. -Unfortunately, by the time we arrived to the Museum for the free tickets, they were already done distributing them by 6AM & were completely booked until May 2017 online.

📍African American Museum, Washington D.C.

-Unfortunately, by the time we arrived to the Museum for the free tickets, they were already done distributing them by 6AM & were completely booked until May 2017 online.

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📍Washington Monument, Washington D.C. I am not sure if you could tell how happy I was to see all this history.

📍Washington Monument, Washington D.C.

I am not sure if you could tell how happy I was to see all this history.

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📍World War II Memorial, Washington D.C. -A national memorial dedicated to American veterans & Civilians from Word War II

📍World War II Memorial, Washington D.C.

-A national memorial dedicated to American veterans & Civilians from Word War II

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📍Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. -"In this temple as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the union the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever." THANK YOU President Lincoln for standing up against slavery during a time everyone saw it as the norm.

📍Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

-"In this temple as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the union the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever."

THANK YOU President Lincoln for standing up against slavery during a time everyone saw it as the norm.

📍Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington D.C. - This memorial honors MLK's legacy and the struggle for freedom, equality and justice. Thank you Dr. King all that you have done for the freedom & rights of blacks!

📍Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington D.C.

- This memorial honors MLK's legacy and the struggle for freedom, equality and justice. Thank you Dr. King all that you have done for the freedom & rights of blacks!

📍Ford Theater, Washington D.C. - The Ford Theater is where the assassination of President Lincoln took place. The location includes the president's timeline during office & the day he was assassinated. 

📍Ford Theater, Washington D.C.

- The Ford Theater is where the assassination of President Lincoln took place. The location includes the president's timeline during office & the day he was assassinated. 

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📍Department of Treasury, Washington D.C.

📍Department of Treasury, Washington D.C.

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📍1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C. - The absolutely BEAUTIFUL white house.

📍1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C.

- The absolutely BEAUTIFUL white house.

📍1400 New York Avenue, Washington D.C. - Many of the streets are named after states, colonies or a title from the United States government. When I saw NY Avenue after leaving a gift shop, I ran for a photo and bumped my head right into this pole! HAH!

📍1400 New York Avenue, Washington D.C.

- Many of the streets are named after states, colonies or a title from the United States government. When I saw NY Avenue after leaving a gift shop, I ran for a photo and bumped my head right into this pole! HAH!

Going to Washington D.C was a very impulsive decision made to visit various monuments and museums. I truly wanted to explore the state for the first time before my favorite American family, the Obamas, officially left the White House and Congress. So I decided to pack lightly, purchase a few tickets, plan accordingly (honestly, I didn't do the planning...my coworker who came with me did) and go sight seeing. As a very organized person, this was by far the best impulsive (and of course still planned) decision I ever made! 


Like anything in life, many of the things we wanted to do didn't go as planned but I knew from being a wanderlust, that was out of my control and rolled with the punches. It's a trip I will undoubtedly, take again now that it was an experience I learned from. Here are five things you should know about traveling to Washington D.C, particularly in a day.


1. DRESS COMFORTABLY- When I usually travel for sightseeing, my rule of thumb is to dress as if I were going to an amusement park. A comfy attire is key for walking around and exploring because the least of your problems should be discomfort.

2. TRAVEL EFFICIENTLY- While flying to D.C. was an option, it wasn't the most efficient way considering all the necessary effort needed to board and travel to the airport. My suggestion is to take Amtrak since it's more reliable than taking the bus. We were stranded in the cold rain for over an hour waiting for a late bus that had minimal leg room. Taking the train on our way back was such a better experience.

3. STAY HYDRATED AND FULL- Having a heavy breakfast even at the crack of dawn was a lifesaver. The commute is about 3-4 hours so packing for snacks to munch on and water to hydrate during mid naps will help with a smoother trip.

4. PACK LIGHTLY- I literally had my wallet, a neck pillow and food that would eventually vanish by the time I got to my destination. As hard as it was to let go of my everyday essentials, packing light was such a great idea!  

5. PLAN ACCORDINGLY- Yes, some of our plans were delayed because of our bus being late but planning in a timely manner to see the exhibits and monuments was so helpful. We were able to group things by general locations so we didn't have to go back and forth. We had a bunch of different maps from one monument to another and discarded them *as we reached our destination. 

I hope these few tips help better your experience with traveling to Washington D.C. for a day!

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PINK OCTOBER| PINK FAUX FUR

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To my girls who have experienced a loved one with breast cancer, your strength is appreciated.

As a child still living in Benin, I often imagined of wearing fancy coats and watching the air come out of my breath in the coldest winter. Snow was as much of a fairytale as reindeers were coming from the North Pole. The heaviest thing on the market were light weight sweaters for our second season on the beaming equator, fall.

Attaining this fancy faux fur coat and shooting on a breezy day may be an acute experience to many but rather extraordinary one and fulfilling my childhood dream to myself. As I wear it in monochromatic pink to represent the fight against breast cancer, I hope finding the cure is an attainable dream that also comes to fruition.

I've had this faux fur coat from House of CB for a year now and could not wait to style it when it got a bit chilly. I loved it for it's great quality, coziness and perfect shade of pink. While the entire outfit may be a little daring, I truly felt compelled to style it in a way that represented my more than often bold taste and payed tribute to the breast cancer fighters. 

What are some foundations you know of that support the fight against breast cancer? Have you volunteered for Pink October? What was your experience like? Comment below!

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PINK OCTOBER | DIY PAT MCGRATH GLITTER LIPS

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To my girls who have experienced a loved one with breast cancer, your strength is appreciated.

While the month of October has generally been about welcoming pumpkin spiced lattes, dark color hues and Thanksgiving dinners, it's also been a month of wearing pink and bringing awareness to breast cancer. I always want Stilettos & Standards to be known for both aspects of slaying in our stilettos but also being aware of the real life experiences that set our standards. Pink October particularly focuses on bringing to light ways we can all fund for the breast cancer research by being informed, participating and donating.

Although I've participated by doing walks, bake sales and staying in the know, I still wanted to bring awareness to my squad (aka YOU) by introducing this Pat McGrath inspired Glitter lip in PINK. I've been so into DIY and improvising that I turned my room upside down to find props that can work and because you are part of the squad I had to share these easy tips!

I hope you enjoy this fun- editorial (not edible) look and remember to still participate for Pink October even when the month ends.

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DIY DISTRESSED WUTANG T-SHIRT

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Distressed T-shirts have literally been all over social media, so when I saw it again on my Instagram, I knew it was a fashion trend I wanted to join in on. While these could be purchased, I preferred to have a customize and affordable version- that way if I did mess up while distressing it (which is pretty impossible) I wasn't losing so much money. 

I purchased this $20.00 Wutang men's shirt in a size large to fit like a dress- and played around in it to locate where I wanted the holes to fall on in order to make sure my skin wasn't overly exposed. When it comes to DIY projects like this one, it's important to understand that it is meant to be crafty and exciting. I had to remind myself these things as I got a little frustrated about how my shirt was turning out. Overall, it was a very fun project and a learning experience from doing something that could seem a little challenging but so simple. 

 

DISCLAIMER- These laced up heels require a lot of patience, pain tolerance and time to adjust and wear. 

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! 

DIY-Distressed-Shirt

TIPS:

  • Start with tiny holes and work your way with the scissors then stretch the cuts with your fingers in order to give it a rugged look. 
  • Fabric scissors are relatively sharp and can easily rip through a shirt if you are not too careful. 
  • In order for you not to cut the back of the shirt, you will need to place your hand underneath as a barrier to prevent cutting through the shirt.
  • An adjustable spray bottle works effectively by allowing you to control how much bleach you'd like on your shirt and how heavy you want the drops to be. 

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THE ULTIMATE PORTABLE CHARGER

A huge inconvenience for me is to be in the middle of nowhere with zero access to charging my phone. I can't count the amount of times I've been to an event or an amusement park, ready to call someone or snap my best photos and BAM- no battery life.

So when Fifth & Ninth, a company inspired by the avenues that border New York City's fashion district, contacted me about trying out their multifunctional charger I was beyond ecstatic! If you're a person always on the go handling things on your devices, you'd love this as much as I do.

After using it for over a week, I can truly say it's extremely helpful. The mirror comes with a regular and zoomed in side, a USB cable to charge it, an LED light and a port that is friendly for any charger with a USB end. I am able to tell its battery life (which is actually worth about 2-4 charges) by clicking the side button once and turning the on and off the LED light by holding it for 3 seconds.  

If you don't like reading manuals like me, this is pretty much all you need to know. The mirror will be sold at large retail stores like Sephora and Macy's at a cost of $29.99 BUT you know I came through with a coupon code! Use Aichatou10 to get 10% off at the check out. 

If you order it, let me know if you love it as much as I do! I love being able to charge my phone, to slay and stay literally LIT. **3 snaps & hair flip**

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YEEZY INSPIRED LOOK

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My favorite season of the year is here! Fall scented candles, Thanksgiving, hot cocoa, beautiful trees...I can really go on and on! 

In addition to all these wonderful things, I've really been looking forward to fall fashion and layering.  

My summer wardrobe usually screams girly girl, mostly neutral shades with figure-hugging pieces to accentuate the features I am most confident with. But when it starts to get a little cooler, I reach for more of a casual boyfriend look and ditch my summery dresses until next year.

This look, inspired the Yeezy Fashion Show, has taught me to switch things up with a vintage approach. The simplicity of muted shades complimenting a rugged feel took a while but finally grew on me. It's all about breaking barriers and pulling versatile looks for this season- or even all year round. I am stocked for the fall season as I will not only be shopping in my closet but will be on the hunt for vintage or distressed looking pieces to layer and play around with.  

What are some of your favorite fall pieces this year? Are you sticking to a color palette or more on the various color side? Let me know your current favorite buys! 

DISCLAIMER- These laced up heels require a lot of patience, pain tolerance and time to adjust and wear. 

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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GRAND BANKS X CLAW DADDY'S

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You all know by now that I am a foodie- it's really no surprise that I like to stuff my face because I live for mouth watering and finger licking moments (zero pun intended!). 

When I head out to eat, my decision to come back usually relies on good food, ambiance and hospitality. That generally enhances my experience which becomes contingent on whether or not I'll recommend my friends there. Grand Banks and Claw Daddy does that for me, it makes me want to go back and just bring an entire group of friends there (which I've already done). The vibes and tasty meals just make me want seconds and maybe thirds (even if I am already full).

I didnt spend much time at Grand Banks because by the time my cousin and I ended our photo shoot on the Pier and decided to get a table, the wait was way too long for our growling stomachs. I highly recommend stopping by there around early afternoon during the weekdays, before their peak hours and ordering the "locals only" drink in addition to your meal. Having dinner on a boat would've been a great experience but because it was so packed we decided to get drinks, head to Claw Daddy's and have dinner there next time.

I am so glad Grand Banks didn't work out because I would've never developed an obsession for Claw Daddy's. It has hands down become one of my favorite restaurants because of their kind hostesses, fresh seafood and ADULT CAPRISUN, which is a mixture of drinks of your choice poured into an original "Claw Daddy's" caprison like bag. The ambiance is overall casual but by all means slay if you'd like to because you can never be overdressed.

So far I've tried the fresh oysters and clams, crab cake fritters, shrimp jambalaya, grilled oysters, grilled clams and breaded baked mac and cheese; I have zero complaints about all of the above. The tables give you the option of doodling on paper with crayons but sitting at the bar and hanging out with Holly, our awesome bartender while indulging these delicious plates is definitely the way to go.

Thank you Holly for your bomb bartending skills and the free drinks! 

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S&S LIVE WITH CONDÉ NAST

In case you missed it, I wanted to share the link to my Makeover Monday video with The Scene. I had the opportunity of stopping by Condé Nast (home of prestige magazines like GQ, Vogue & Glamour) to do a look that portrayed leaving the runway and going to dinner. It was all about sporting matte lips and wearing a GLOW. I am super grateful for the experience and feel amazing about this YEAR OF YES experience. 

When the producer of The Scene reached out to me about doing my makeup and interacting on their Facebook page live, I was terrified! My initial instinct was to say NO, but then I thought, isn't this supposed to be your YEAR OF YES?! Aren't you supposed to feel a little uncomfortable before doing something that could be truly amazing? GO FOR IT! This was the best decision I made because it made me realize how much I love the camera and would like to introduce a Facebook live tutorials more often! It's organic, it's real and it's life. So keep your eyes peeled, prep up your lattes or wine, because it's going down!

THANK YOU to everyone who watched and interacted with me. Please let me know your thoughts as I will be doing more makeover looks!

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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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