GLOWY SUMMER MAKEUP LOOK | AÏCHATOU BELLA

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I had fun creating this look as it is all about glowing from within through the surface of your skin. I've always been into highlights since I've discovered them and the brighter the better! This tutorial is just in time for summer and all about preparing your skin so I really hope this is helpful. 

As always, thank you for watching! Don't forget to like, comment and subscribe!  

˗ˏˋ PRODUCTS LISTED ˎˊ˗

SKINDANAVIA MAKEUP PRIMER SPRAY // https://goo.gl/yoIUjk

L.A. GIRL PRO CONCEAL ORANGE CORRECTOR // https://goo.gl/4qBrpj

L'OREAL TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION CAPPUCCINO // https://goo.gl/s5cFXq 

NYX TOTAL DROP FOUNDATION CAPPUCCINO // https://goo.gl/254XAX

L.A. GIRL PROCONCEAL FAWN // https://goo.gl/976kBp 

BOBBY BROWN FOUNDATION STICK CHESTNUT // https://goo.gl/26qfQn

BEN NYE LUXURY POWDER TOPAZ // https://goo.gl/GUk9lh

BH COSMETICS CONTOUR PALETTE // https://goo.gl/8KaaN4

MAC MINERALIZE SKIN FINISH DARK DEEP // https://goo.gl/sPxYAQ 

URBAN DECAY EDEN PRIMER // https://goo.gl/ox71qE 

ABH MARIO MASTER PALETTE 

NYX MIXING MEDIUM PRIMER // https://goo.gl/C2pYMQ 

MAC FIX + // https://goo.gl/vd5WTh  

BENEFIT SUN BEAM HIGHLIGHTER // https://goo.gl/8kS1KZ 

ABH GLOWKIT SUNDIPPED // https://goo.gl/kwpEHj

MAC SWEET AS COCOA BLUSH // https://goo.gl/bcxZ5s 

SKINDANAVIA MAKEUP FINISHING SPRAY // https://goo.gl/5bCk80

MAYBELLINE BIG SHOT MASCARA // https://goo.gl/WQx6IT 

CAKEFACE BEAUTY KIM THAI LASHES // https://goo.gl/Db2d1n

MAC CORK LIPLINER 

COLOURPOP LIPPIE STIX CHOKER // https ://goo.gl/5P28av 

SEPHORA PERFECT NUDE LIP GLOSS // https://goo.gl/FGL13h 

 

| FACE BRUSHES USED |

ZOEVA CONCEALER BUFFER // https://goo.gl/3V9oed

MORPHE M224 // https://goo.gl/qlKxp7

ZOEVA SILK FINISH // https://goo.gl/QO9Dgw

ZOEVA FACE SHAPE // https://goo.gl/WXYnwm

ZOEVA WING LINER // https://goo.gl/em5lAA 

NARS ITA KABUKI // https://goo.gl/75Kz57

E.L.F EYESHADOW BLENDING // https://goo.gl/NLJTMD

ZOEVA POWDER // https://goo.gl/hsEJ9u

ZOEVA LUXE SHEER CHEEK // https://goo.gl/ZvxCaf

MUFE 134 WAVY // https://goo.gl/IkCO9q

MORPHE M558 // https://goo.gl/Lwqudr

 

|EYE BRUSHES USED |

ZOEVA LUXE CREASE // https://goo.gl/omR14D 

ABH MASTER PALETTE BRUSH

MAC TAPERED BLENDING // https://goo.gl/ZJ84hB

ZOEVA SMOKY SHADER // https://goo.gl/3nMXtn

 

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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TOO FACED EYESHADOW PALETTES | REVIEW & SWATCHES

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Too Faced Cosmetics, without a doubt, is a prime example of an innovative company when it comes to their beauty products. 

 

I've been happily purchasing from Too Faced for years now and will probably continue to do so for a very long time- if not forever. The unbelievable quality and packaging pretty much lures me in like a kid at a candy store. Because I am confident due to my previous experiences with their products (mascaras, lipsticks, blushes and palettes), it's no surprise that I am the owner of ALL their beautifully scented eyeshadow palettes. 

I've had the Chocolate and Semi-Sweet palette for over a year now so the Bon Bon and Sweet Peach numbers are just making a debut in my collection. If you reference the photos below, you'll notice while all the palettes are similar in shades, they are rather different in person. The Chocolate Bar is neutral in comparison to the Semi sweet which is warmer. The Bon Bon stay true to its candy like purple and pink tone and the Peach is just that, peachy. 

At $49.00 per palette, there are 16 eyeshadow pans on the first three palettes and 18 eyeshadow pans in the latest Peach shade. Minimal fall out and extremely pigmented shades with chocolate, candy and peach scented is what you should expect here. Be on a lookout for an overload of Too Faced Makeup tutorials on my YouTube channel because I can't seem to put these down. 

What is your favorite palette out of the bunch? Do you own any of them? If so, which ones? Comment down below!

PURCHASE THE TOOFACED EYESHADOW PALETTES HERE

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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DEAR BLACK GIRL, YOU'RE A SOLDIER

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DEAR BLACK GIRL, YOU'RE A SOLDIER.

This is my ode to you.

You're magical, beautiful… a novelty that many seek to imitate but can’t fully understand. Your presence is a force to be reckoned with.

I too, was once and still often am, filled with doubt, anger, and confusion, I too was once unaware of my power and the precious gifts that I have to bestow on others. 

But even the darkest skies have stars to illuminate the night. 

You're fearless. You’re brave. A fighter with a heart made of pure gold.

Your skin is so rich it glistens-filled with all the secrets our ancestors left behind. 

Don't you dare alter it by bleaching. Lighter does not mean better, every shade of our black is beautiful.

Your hair defies gravity. Baby don’t you ever forget that you're out of this world.

Your laugh is so special. It has sass that no one else can match. It’s contagious, infectious, and bright.

Embrace your body no matter what the shape. 

Embrace your femininity whether you choose to wear makeup or a weave. Embrace it. 

Embrace those kinks those curls and those coils. 

Remember that a rose can grow in-between concrete. Don’t hate yourself for making others feel uncomfortable. Embrace it. 

Beauty comes in all forms.

Remember to laugh so hard your stomach hurts.

Remember to go with your gut instinct and live your life. 

Remember to relax. You haven't figured it all out and you probably won't. 

Happiness comes from within. Remember to be happy. 

Do not lose sight of your dreams. Do not let the world steal your kindness. Never let doubt cloud your judgement.

Remember you are entitled to your emotions… angry happy or sad. They belong to you and no one else.

Dear Black Girl, you are a gift. 

You are a solider and this is my ode to you.

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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MATTE EYES & LIPS | GO TO MAKEUP TUTORIAL

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HEY DARLINGS!

This time around, I am back with a very simple, straight to the point makeup look. It's not something I reach for everyday as I do not wear makeup that often but when I do want something straight to the point I love reaching for a matte eye & lip look. I am still experimenting with what I love more with my makeup applications and I learn something new overtime I watch myself on camera.

This was by far my favorite tutorial! I felt more confident, organized and truly in tuned with what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to get to the point, be interactive and of course very creative so here we are. 

I hope you enjoy watching this as much as I did filming and editing it! Hang out until the end for funny bloopers with my brother!

As always, don't forget to like, comment and subscribe doll!

˗ˏˋ PRODUCTS LISTED ˎˊ˗
 

SKINDANAVIA MAKEUP PRIMER SPRAY // https://goo.gl/yoIUjk

L.A. GIRL PRO CONCEAL ORANGE CORRECTOR // https://goo.gl/4qBrpj

IT COSMECTICS BYE BYE PORES AIRBRUSH POWDER // https://goo.gl/ukpulk

L'OREAL TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION COCOA // https://goo.gl/iy9M0j

L'OREAL TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION CAPPUCCINO // https://goo.gl/s5cFXq 

NYX TOTAL DROP FOUNDATION CAPPUCCINO // https://goo.gl/254XAX

MAC PROLONG WEAR CONCEALER NC45 // https://goo.gl/6lT6l3

BOBBY BROWN FOUNDATION STICK CHESTNUT // https://goo.gl/26qfQn

BEN NYE LUXURY POWDER TOPAZ // https://goo.gl/GUk9lh

BH COSMETICS CONTOUR PALETTE // https://goo.gl/8KaaN4

MAC MINERALIZE SKIN FINISH DARK DEEP // https://goo.gl/sPxYAQ

TOO FACED SWEET PEACH PALETTE // https://goo.gl/0sTEBf

MAC RAIZIN BLUSH // https://goo.gl/3HYYAu

ABH GLOWKIT SUNDIPPED // https://goo.gl/kwpEHj

SKINDANAVIA MAKEUP FINISHING SPRAY // https://goo.gl/5bCk80

NYX LIPLINER NATURAL //  https://goo.gl/79i78l

COLOUR POP BEEPER // https://goo.gl/0DX2uZ


| FACE BRUSHES USED |


 ZOEVA CONCEALER BUFFER // https://goo.gl/3V9oed

MORPHE M224 // https://goo.gl/qlKxp7

ZOEVA SILK FINISH // https://goo.gl/QO9Dgw

ZOEVA FACE SHAPE // https://goo.gl/WXYnwm

NARS ITA KABUKI // https://goo.gl/75Kz57

E.L.F EYESHADOW BLENDING // https://goo.gl/NLJTMD

ZOEVA POWDER // https://goo.gl/hsEJ9u

ZOEVA LUXE SHEER CHEEK // https://goo.gl/ZvxCaf

MUFE 134 WAVY // https://goo.gl/IkCO9q

MORPHE M558 // https://goo.gl/Lwqudr

 

|EYE BRUSHES USED|


ZOEVA LUXE CREASE // https://goo.gl/omR14D 

ZOEVA LUXE SOFT DEFINER // https://goo.gl/qy2HsJ

MAC TAPERED BLENDING // https://goo.gl/ZJ84hB

ZOEVA SMOKY SHADER // https://goo.gl/3nMXtn

ZOEVA SMUDGER // https://goo.gl/ZKg73o 
 

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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SPRING STYLE: KHAKI TONES WITH JORD WATCHES

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While many would consider this look fall-related, which I can also agree on, I've always had fun breaking "fashion barriers" by wearing my muted tones all year long. With Spring offering some seriously challenging wardrobe decisions, this color palette suits the weather with exactly what it's offering. My favorite way to accessorize muted tones are by adding a bit of rose gold and usually a dope watch like the JORD one. 

Style is all about personality, how you feel and what vibes you'd like to give out. The oversized sweater, Yeezy inspired boots and exclusive wooden watch perfectly set the tone for my comfy boyfriend yet girly look. This timeless wooden watch fits right into my creative lifestyle by being fashionable and practical.

 

ABOUT JORD WATCHES & HOW I STYLE MY WATCH

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JORD is a creator of unique wood watches made with details by artists, designers, marketers and minders. The company makes timepieces that reflects a modern lifestyle for individuals like you and I. 

What I admire the most about their story, besides them being relatable to their consumer, is the ability to portray a timepiece for people who not only have somewhere to be, but somewhere to go. As someone who runs on a very strict schedule and has a lot on her plate, this spoke volumes!

My watch personally tells more than time because it shows my style and personality. It's subtle (with the gray, brown and gold color palette) yet bold (with its wooden composition), it's unique but fits perfectly with any style. Whether I am on a Starbucks run in the concrete jungle, pressed for time due to a meeting or simply enjoying the scattered sunshine at a cafe during this spring season, I like to have functionality and style. 

As a creative who plans accordingly and enjoys timeless projects, I like my accessories to marry into my lifestyle. April showers might bring May flowers, but dealing with the inconsistent weather while being cozy in style helps gets the job done. 

 

SURPISE GIVEAWAY!

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If you've read this post through this far, surprise! I've teamed up with JORD to give you guys an instant giveaway! All entrants will receive an e-gift code for $25 OFF a watch of their choice but a lucky winner will receive a code for $100 OFF a watch of their choice. Want a chance to win or receive a gift card? Simply follow Jord Watches & Stilettos & Standards on Instagram and sign up for the Exclusive Giveaway Entry Form

 

This contest ends on June 1st 2017, exactly one month from the day this post was published.

GOOD LUCK! 
 

DISCLAIMER- Please note that my watch was gifted to me from Jord Watches however, this post is not sponsored and all opinions are honest and mine.

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DETAILED FOUNDATION ROUTINE

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What's a Make-up YouTube channel without a detailed foundation routine?! 

Like my eyebrow tutorial, I felt it was necessary to specifically address my foundation application in one tutorial, rather than continuously speeding through the process during my "eyeshadow focused" looks. My skin type is oily (in the t-zone area) combination (normal around the perimeter of my face) with acne scarring here and there, but these steps can apply to all skin types with the exception of the primers used.

In this tutorial I give you the scoop on color correcting, contouring, setting your face and so much more so your base can be flawless and stay intact all day! 

Like always, don't forget to subscribe, comment video suggestions and give me a massive thumbs up!

| PRODUCTS LISTED |


SKINDANAVIA MAKEUP PRIMER SPRAY // https://goo.gl/yoIUjk
BECCA EVERMATTE PORELESS PRIMER // https://goo.gl/5QarzD
L.A. GIRL PRO CONCEAL ORANGE CORRECTOR // https://goo.gl/4qBrpj
L'OREAL TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION DEEP GOLDEN // https://goo.gl/Y890fG
L.A. GIRL PRO CONCEAL HD CONCEALER FAWN // https://goo.gl/fH7Dd8
BOBBY BROWN FOUNDATION STICK CHESTNUT // https://goo.gl/26qfQn
BEN NYE LUXURY POWDER TOPAZ // https://goo.gl/GUk9lh
BH COSMETICS CONTOUR PALETTE // https://goo.gl/8KaaN4
MAC MINERALIZE SKIN FINISH DARK DEEP // https://goo.gl/sPxYAQ
MAC RAIZIN BLUSH // https://goo.gl/3HYYAu
ABH GLOWKIT SUNDIPPED // https://goo.gl/kwpEHj
SKINDANAVIA MAKEUP FINISHING SPRAY // https://goo.gl/5bCk80
 

BRUSHES:


ZOEVA CONCEALER BUFFER // https://goo.gl/3V9oed
MORPHE M224 // https://goo.gl/qlKxp7
ZOEVA SILK FINISH // https://goo.gl/QO9Dgw 
ZOEVA FACE SHAPE // https://goo.gl/WXYnwm
NARS ITA KABUKI // https://goo.gl/75Kz57
E.L.F EYESHADOW BLENDING // https://goo.gl/NLJTMD
ZOEVA POWDER // https://goo.gl/hsEJ9u
ZOEVA LUXE SHEER CHEEK // https://goo.gl/ZvxCaf 
MUFE 134 WAVY // https://goo.gl/IkCO9q
MORPHE M558 // https://goo.gl/Lwqudr
 

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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EASY AT HOME TEETH WHITENING FOR SENSITIVE TEETH + GIVEAWAY

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When smile brilliant contacted me about collaborating with them on their teeth whitening kit, I had a couple of questions lingering. Was this safe to use? Could it provide instant gratification and save me from the scary dentist trips? But after consistently using my whitening kit for about 6 weeks, I can confidently say this product really WORKS! 

My teeth were relatively white to begin with but because the sides were a few shades darker, whitening my teeth furthermore was often brought up at the dentist. I knew I wanted them to look better but I wasn't willing to compromise my tea addiction nor endure the pain of the process (due to my sensitive teeth)so this was perfect for me.

 

HOW TO GET STARTED

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  1. Once you've ordered your system, a complete package (Whitening & desensitizing syringes, catalyst and base paste and pre-aid postage) will arrive with simple instructions on how to create your impressions and send them back for free, will be included.
  2. With the dental impressions made from the catalyst and base paste, the labs will create a custom-fitted tray of the exact model of your teeth. This process takes around 3-5 days and the completed tray is sent back to your desired address.
  3. The whitening process can finally start! Apply a very thin ribbon of whitening gel on the outer area (so you whiten the front) after ONLY flossing and allow it to work its magic for 45 minutes-4 hours. After this step, it is very important to brush your teeth and repeat the same process for 15-20 minutes with the desensitizing gel.

MY EXPERIENCE

THE PHOTO ABOVE IS PRIOR TO WHITENING MY TEETH

When I initially tried the whitening process, my pain level was around a 4/10 due to my extremely sensitive teeth and gums. Additionally, the desensitizing gel made me form tons of saliva as a natural body response. I gradually progressed my process from 25 minutes to eventually 1 hour as my pain tolerance (honestly I'm like cotton candy, I have none) increased. As seen in the photo above, my teeth are noticeably whiter than before using the kit. 

QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS

I have zero shame in asking questions many are often embarrassed to vocalize- so I thought I would share the concerns that were eventually eased by the very patient and kind Smile Brilliant team. 

  1. When should I whiten my teeth? The best time to do so is right before bedtime, this allows the whitening gel to do its magic while you're fast asleep with zero contact to food or drinks.
  2. Can I swallow my saliva during my whitening process? It's completely safe to swallow your saliva while doing this. Although it is a natural response, your body will eventually get accustomed to the process and you will create less saliva.
  3. Can I whiten my teeth if I have a crown? While the gel will not work on your crown, it is completely safe to use. Be sure to to carefully use the desensitizing gel after to make sure the bond is intact.
  4. Can I drink water after whitening my teeth? Absolutely. Please allow 20 minutes after the desensitizing gel to create a barrier. 

GIVEAWAY TIME

SURPRISE! I have a special giveaway just for you! In order to win your own customized tray creation kit,  be sure to read the rules below. Good luck babes! 

In order to be successfully entered, you MUST:

  1. Subscribe to this blog by entering your email address on the sidebar.
  2. Follow my Instagram
  3. Follow Smile Brilliant's Instagram
  4. Comment on my most recent photo by tagging two of your besties!
  5. Be sure to sign up for the giveaway after following the instructions above.

**There must at least 10 entries to qualify.**

DISCLAIMER: To save 5% OFF your whitening kit, feel free to use STILETTOSANDSTANDARDS5 but please note that while the kit was gifted to me for my honest review I will receive commission when the coupon code is used.

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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EASY EYEBROW TUTORIAL

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When I posted my eyebrow routine a year ago, I had no idea that I would be doing another post about it (as a tutorial of course). 

So here I am, back to the basics of demonstrating what I talked about on my "Brows on Fleek" post. I am still swearing by the ABH brow products so nothing has changed with the exception of my concealer. Essentially, my tutorials are meant to teach you the foundation of things, so don't get so caught up on the items I use if you are already comfortable with your current gems. 

Remember that eyebrows frame your face and can make or break your make up. So it's really important that you take your time and continue to practice. Your brows will never be identical because they are sisters, not twins! 

Grab your tools and let's get started!

| PRODUCTS LISTED |

BROWS:

ABH #7 Brush- PURCHASE HERE

ABH Dipbrow Pomade Ebony - PURCHASE HERE

LA Girl Proconceal Fawn - PURCHASE HERE 

Zoeva #142 Brush - PURCHASE HERE 

ABH Clear Brow Gel - PURCHASE HERE 

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HOW NOT TO GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS

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Blogging is an incredible creative outlet that can potentially turn into a career. However, it can easily become stressful if the main focus, which is enjoyment, is lost. Comparison has always been the thief of my joy because it often lead me to ignore what I should be grateful for. So after another serious hiatus, I'm back at having peace within and understanding what my purpose is. If you're a blogger or simply a creative who is on the verge of calling it quits, hold on. I've felt the same way and here are some tips that helped me get through it. 

THERE'S ENOUGH ROOM FOR EVERYONE

Do NOT listen to small minded people that tell you not to go after what you dream of because they are too afraid to do it themselves. No, the market isn't saturated and NO, there aren't limited spaces for whatever it is you want in life. Have people succeeded at what you dream of? Great because if they can do it, so can you. 


QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

I knew I needed a break when I felt the need to blog just to produce content. It wasn't authentic because I was loosing sight of who I was and what I wanted my brand to represent. Do NOT post just for the sake of posting. DO put a 1000% of yourself into everything you create and ask yourself if you would enjoy what you've created. 

DO NOT COMPARE

If you've been following Stilettos & Standards for a while then you know how I feel about comparison. I've always stressed about not comparing your journey with anyone else's. So let me remind you once more, STAY IN YOUR LANE & DO YOU. The worst thing you can do is lose sight of what's on your plate because you're too busy looking at someone else's.

BE YOURSELF

Be unapologetically and fearlessly, comfortable in your own skin. Blogging has truly taken me out of my comfort zone where I am constantly judged through the lens of people who can't step out of their own. I've often felt awkward or conscious about it but I've come to the realization that it isn't my job to make someone comfortable with my confidence. Regardless of what your passion is, do not let anyone dim the light that sets your soul on fire!

TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

Mental health is extremely important. More than often, if you aren't feeling like yourself it becomes transparent with the results of your creation. YOU come first, that is the most important thing to remember. While consistency is important and I don't encourage an excessive amount of breaks, if you need a day or a few weeks to shut the world out and work on finding yourself, I support you darling. 

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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ANTI-VALENTINE'S DAY MAKEUP TUTORIAL | COLLAB WITH AICHA KAMATE

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To my single ladies or those of you who are not so traditional with the soft girly looks, this is for you!

I collaborated with my awesome friend and YouTuber, Aicha Kamate to bring to you two different Valentine's Day makeup tutorials. Although we both used glitter, my take was on the bold side while hers was softer and traditional. 

What are you ladies doing for Valentine's Day? Are you going on a softer look like Aicha? Or bold like Aïchatou?

AICHA KAMATE'S VALENTINE'S DAY VIDEO

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ABH MODERN RENAISSANCE PALETTE | REVIEW & SWATCHES

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RIGHT TO LEFT: Tempera, Golden Ochre, Vermeer, Buon Fresco, Antique Bronze, Love Letter, Cyprus Umber, Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange, Primavera, Red Ochre, Venetian Red, Warm Taupe & Realgar.

RIGHT TO LEFT: Tempera, Golden Ochre, Vermeer, Buon Fresco, Antique Bronze, Love Letter, Cyprus Umber, Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange, Primavera, Red Ochre, Venetian Red, Warm Taupe & Realgar.

After trying it for myself, it's no surprise that the ABH Modern Renaissance Palette has so much hype around it. This velvety packaged number, filled with 14 beautiful warm tones is exactly what a makeup fanatic dreams of. 

There is an incredible variety of colors to play around with, from 11 mattes to 3 shimmers, which can help with the transition of a day to night look with its dual-sided soft bristle brush. The Modern Renaissance is really like no other palette I have used. Every shadow is extremely buttery, pigmented and lasts ALL DAY with the proper application (prime your eyes before using them). 

While there is a bit of a fall out, it is the only con I have and for an impulse purchase,  I have zero regrets. My recommendation for this minor issue is to apply it before your foundation or prepare your under eye area with baking powder as I've done in my tutorials

If you're on the fence about purchasing this, the reviews all over the internet are true and ABH has done it again! For $42 (which equates to $3 per shadow) your truly, honestly getting your monies worth, darling!

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COPPER GLITTER EYES | MAKEUP TUTORIAL

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If I could wear glitter all day and everyday, I would! But since I can't, expect to see more looks similar to this. The copper number from Violet Voss is perfect for your party night or the grocery store, depending on your level of fabulosity. Because it was my first time playing around with glitter, I honestly struggled a bit more with my lash application. The trick is to apply a thin layer of eyeliner on the lash line in addition to tight lining in order to make sure it blends seamlessly. 

I hope you enjoy watching the tutorial and learn a trick or two. 

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BEST OF 2016

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2016 wasn't the worst year, but it really tried to play me, though!

My brother was involved in a hit and run that broke his knee caps, my wig fell off while "drowning" (I had a life vest on by the way, so I wasn't going to drown) in a Mexican Cenote around a good amount of tourists, my relationships were tested among unexpected individuals and my love life consisted of blind dates with people who asked for two for one deals at coffee shops. There were many trying times and embarrassing moments like the above but I can't ignore the fact that this year was filled with an immense amount of growth and self confidence.

I went on many memorable trips (Canada, Washington D.C., Mexico, etc) and became a tourist in my own city by taking the time to appreciate my surroundings. I conquered my biggest fear of drowning by taking swimming courses and was featured on Condé Nast live for a makeup demo. 

Looking back on my Best of 2015 post, I can't help but be filled with warmth on how much Stilettos & Standards has grown in terms quality and family (YOU, my amazing subscribers.) It's creatively satisfying to know that I can have a particular post in mind, create it exactly how I pictured it and receive incredible feedback. The blog was filled with Street Style, Metal Cap Toes, blogger meet ups and bringing awareness organizations like breast cancer

Thank you for sticking around with me last year and trusting my advice on fashion, food, travel and just living life. The bar has been set high this year and I can't wait to achieve our new goals! 

READ THE BEST OF 2016 BLOGPOSTS BELOW!

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NEW YEAR, SAME MANTRA

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An insanely infamous quote most people swear by as the new year approaches is "New Year, New Me." It without a doubt drives me insane to see it all over social media but, I've had to learn to sip my tea and allow people to grow in their own way. 

My approach for a New Year resolution isn't to become a completely new person for two weeks (something most of us are guilty of) but to strive at becoming better than I once was. I wouldn't describe 2016 as a very memorable year but I would say I've been blessed with more light than dark moments. Among all the things I've learned and shared with you, here are several mantras (from previous posts) that I will be taking with me into 2017.

1. GRATITUDE- I've always been very hard on myself and sometimes play ignorant to 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 has on their plate when mine may be filled in a different aspect. Everyone has a unique timeline so I've learned to be thankful and focus on mine.

2. REALISM- Most of my frustration comes from not being able to achieve a goal within an unreasonable deadline I've created for myself. I firmly believe that nothing is impossible but I consider my timeframe and other noises that might give me a limitation. I've improved by breaking goals into chunks and giving myself a realistic timeframe to achieve them- which always relay such a rewarding feeling. 

3. KINDNESS- 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 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 prefer the high tea part 99% of the time!

4. MOTIVATE- I am an advocate for motivating people to pursue their dreams and do what ultimately make them happy. It's so important to understand that we all have a passion or a 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 the same for someone else and watch how grand you'll feel when they take that leap of faith.

5. 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 complained about the heat. Once I learned the beauty of living and not surviving, I was able to efficiently practice all of the above.

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DISNEY PRINCESS | NYE INSPIRED LOOK

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Many who have seen this New Year's Eve inspired look have compared it to the very well known Frozen Princess, Elsa. But if you're a 90s kid like I am, it should also remind you of Aladdin's gorgeous princess, Jasmine. 

When I decided to shoot this year for the holidays, I knew I wanted my photos to implement the beauty of Disney Princesses (without Disney Princes) into real life. As a little girl watching these animated films, I dreamt of their magical world and the need for a prince to have a happily ever after. It wasn't until a few years ago that I've had to force myself into understanding solitude did not mean failure and that children should not be taught to need a prince for freedom.

Of course as a human being, I would love companionship and someone to have a happily ever after with. However, I am just as brave, strong, magical and fierce the way I am. To all my single princesses, you do not need to be rescued or completed by someone because you are meant to be complemented.

Disney made my childhood a great memory and while the cartoons should teach us other values, many of us translate them for companionship. If theres anything you should take from this besides the look, it is to be the princess that you are and not to settle for less than what you deserve or bring to the table. 

May your 2017 be magical.

SHOP THIS CUSTOM MADE JUMPSUIT WITH KHOLYNSCOUTURE

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(RED) AIDS AWARENESS | A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

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I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pose in this beautiful princess-like gown and to achieve many dreams of mine which has led me to where I am today.

I'm also well aware that there are many children in the world who will have a harder time achieving their dreams because they are living with AIDS. My goal is to bring awareness about the disease and inspiration to these children and many others because there is always a silver lining in every cloud. RED is an organization that helps bridge the gap between those who are treated and those who lack the proper care, which is worth about 30 cents a day something many with the deadly disease are never able to provide in their lifetime.

Approximately 36.7 million people in the world are living with AIDS and only 17 million out of that population is receiving treatment to live with this disease. More than often, mothers pass the virus to their children without knowing nor the proper care to prevent so. While our Christmas lists may be filled with beauty products, electronics or heels, someone in the highly infected AIDS demographic can only wish for another day to live. 

RED is an organization very close to my heart for the support it gives to my motherland. With the help of its partners, it has raised over $365 million to provide the anti-viral treatment needed to live with AIDS. I can't stress enough how important it is to know your status (1 in every 8 people doesn't know they have HIV) and raise awareness through funds or volunteer work.

Make a child's Christmas a little better by being informed, volunteering or donating.

SHOP THIS CUSTOM MADE GOWN WITH KHOLYNSCOUTURE

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CHRISTMAS AS A MUSLIM

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My fondest memory is growing up in Benin and celebrating the holidays around lively people. Whether it was Eid, Christmas or New Year's Eve, there was a sense of unity through the breezy yet humid air. As a Muslim living in a predominantly Christian country, my parents allowed us to see the world as a whole rather than in pieces through religious views. They were Muslims raising children in a Christian country- creating their own traditions while respecting others.

Christmas as a Muslim signifies family time for us and fortunately for me the decorating part is a creative drug. My mom would pull out boxes of decorations, let us be children and only give us a hand if we were truly struggling. The next day, we would be all about the presents that Santa left for us. (I didn't believe in Santa because as a light sleeper I could hear my mother dropping the gifts. But as long as they were given, I was good.) 

I do not believe that muslims appreciating Christmas makes us any less religious nor any more ignorant. It's about understanding why it is celebrated in the first place and respectfully creating your own tradition. I am beyond grateful to have such heart warming memories created by my parents which will be passed on to the family I create. The holidays are all about gratitude, family and spirituality of some sort.

Merry Christmas from the Stilettos & Standards home to yours.

SHOP THIS CUSTOM MADE GOWN WITH KHOLYNSCOUTURE

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CRANBERRY HOLIDAY MAKEUP TUTORIAL

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The holiday season without a doubt reminds me of the dark color hues that beautifies the dead trees and pretty snowflakes. This matte cranberry makeup look is perfect for standing under the mistletoe or a fancy dinner night with no touching up to do on the lips. It's really all about having fun while looking fashionable so why not do it in style? I hope you guys enjoy this video and please don't forget to subscribe! 

DEETS:

BROWS: ABH products! Read my brow post here & LA Girl Proconceal in Fawn.

EYES: MUG- Cocoa Bear, Mocha, Beaches & Cream, Glamorous, Bitten. Sephora Liner-French Riviera & Black Lace. 

LASHES: L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara & House of Lashes- Temptress.

FACE: Skindaniva- Primer & Makeup Finishing Spray, Becca- Ever-Matte Powerless Priming Perfector, L'Oreal True Match Foundation- Deep Golden, Mac Pro Longwear Concealer- NC45, Bennye Powder- Olive Sand 

CHEEKS: Mac Blush- Raisin & Becca x Jaclyn Hill Face Palette -Champagne Pop & Prosecco Pop. 

LIPS: Mac Liner-Chestnut & Colour Pop Liquid Lipstick- LAX.

WATCH TUTORIAL HERE

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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE | CHRISTMAS STOCKING STUFFERS

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'Tis the season to be broke, Falalala lalalala... 

As much as I am an organizational freak I NEVER fail at doing my holiday shopping at the last minute because it's just absolutely dreadful to me. I am already sighing at the thought of figuring out gift that would be perfect for my loved ones, without of course, getting distracted and purchasing something for myself. Yes, it's truly the thought that counts but I have a competitive personality and even want perfection at gift giving. 

If you're finally "adulting" (a term we millennials use when attempting and experiencing adulthood) you're probably struggling with purchasing Christmas gifts for the favorite humans in your life just like I am. I can't help you with being broke (I'm broke too, boo) but I can relieve the stress and share some gift ideas that I've stumbled upon! Whether you'd like to splurge or save for those who've been nice to you, here is a holiday guide, under $100, (literally $99.99 HA!) for the deserving people in your life. 

SHOP THE GIFTS BY CLICKING ON THE IMAGES BELOW

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HIGHLIGHT ON FLEEK | MY TOP 6 HIGHLIGHTERS

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CLICK TO IMAGES BELOW TO PURCHASE THE HIGHLIGHTERS

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Mac- Gold Deposit, Becca- Topaz, Benefit- Sunbeam, Glow Kit- Sunburst, Bubbly, Golden Bronze & Dripping in Gold, Becca x Jaclyn- Rosé, Amaretto, Pamplemousse, Champagne Pop & Prosecco Pop, Nars- Albatross 

LEFT TO RIGHT: Mac- Gold Deposit, Becca- Topaz, Benefit- Sunbeam, Glow Kit- Sunburst, Bubbly, Golden Bronze & Dripping in Gold, Becca x Jaclyn- Rosé, Amaretto, Pamplemousse, Champagne Pop & Prosecco Pop, Nars- Albatross 

I've developed an immense obsession with highlighters (better than drugs, right?) so naturally I wanted to share the glow with you. These shimmery products are meant to make you look like you're glowing from within. However, if you're like me, you like your glow to be to be a little disrespectful, in order to reflect off the negativity that may come your way. **flips hair** 

There's no doubt about the high demand for these highlighters that make your cheekbones pop and give you a radiant look as if you're glistening from eternal sunbeams. Since my job is to splurge on makeup and share the scoop with you, (clearly it isn't but this is what we are going to say to justify my addiction) I have compiled my top 6 highlighters to make sure you're remembered as your game forever strong.

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