Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sigma Brush Dupes From Ebay

I love dupe posts!  Now, I thoroughly believe that the originals are original for a reason, but sometimes that hype.  Don't get me wrong, I love MAC brushes and Sigma brushes are a great back up as well, but I don't have MAC and Sigma money all the time.  In fact, more like none of the time.
I found myself in need of a new set of brushes.  I'd been waiting for the Elite set to go on sale at Coastal Scents, but they've been playing games with my life.  I didn't buy them when they were 50% off for Black Friday, and I should have, so I was in the market for a new set.

I wish I could remember how I came to find out about these brushes.  I think I was on youtube, but I have no idea what I searched or how I found them, but once I caught wind of them, I went on the mega hunt for all things concerning these delicious Ebay brushes.  And after seeing a really good description on Beautiful Reports, I figured I would go ahead and pull the trigger.

The brushes came from Hong Kong.  I ordered them on 2/8 and they arrived on 2/22.  Keep in mind that I live in England so everything takes longer to arrive.

Ok, Here are the Deets:

  • Purchased Here
  • Amazingly priced @ 14.55
  • Free Shipping
  • Individually wrapped in clear plastic
  • Strong smell when removed from packaging, I immediately washed them in baby shampoo and warm water.
  • Soft to the touch.  
  • Most of the brushes are dense and full, I feel that the flat top Kabuki could stand to be a little denser (So I used it for my translucent powder finish). 
  • There were just a few hairs that were longer than the others (As you can see in the pictures), I just snipped them off and kept it moving.
  •  I haven't used them all yet, but below you can find both the manufacturers description and what I used it for.  I WILL find uses for ALL of them lol!

1、Angled Kabuki----Buff cream blush or bronzer onto the skin.

I use this one to contour my face.  I screwed up initially because the damn things hold product so well I ended up looking like a drag queen!  I fixed it though.  The key for this one, minimal product.  

2、 Flat Kabuki---- Application of liquid or cream products to flat areas of the face such as the forehead and cheeks.

I like this one for putting on my translucent powder.  It's not quite as dense as the others
3、Round Kabuki---- Blend mineral products onto the skin.
4、Tapered Kabuki---- Apply cream and liquid foundations onto the harder to reach contours of the face.

5、Precision Angled----Apply product to areas such as the sides of the nose and the hollows of the cheeks.
I LOVE using this to put the concealer under my eyes.  Definitely photo finish quality.

6、Precision Flat---- Stipple concealer on sun spots, blemishes, and other small imperfections.

This one is great for applying highlighter to my cheek bones.  Made me glisten!
7、Precision Round---- Apply eye shadow base or primer onto the lid.

8、Precision Tapered----Exact placement of concealer in harder to reach areas such as around the eyes and nose, chin, and around the mouth.

Here are a few close ups of the handle.  The brushes feel really good in your hand; they are a good weight.  I love seeing them all fancy looking in my makeup brush jar!  I can't wait to move into my new house so I can set up "The Suite".  Sooooooo looking forward to it!

Love the gold accents.

All in all, I can honestly say that I love the brushes.  They hold product so well, and for $14.00 they are extremely worth the price.  I am very happy with the quality, look and feel of these brushes.  I recommend them if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to Sigma.

Juicy Tidbits:
~~I'm thinking about waxing my upper lip for the first time. I'm nervous
~~I keep trying to starting cleaning and packing...I've not been successful
~~I have become Obsessed with "The Murdoch Mysteries" = I'm Lame
~~I've turned my moleskine into serious planner...cuz I'm creative and stuff.

Have you heard of these brushes before?  Interested?

And now a question that has nothing to do with anything...

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Procrastinating Beauty Blogger Tag

I saw this absolutely adorable post on Beauty Broadcast and I just had to jump on it.   I don't really have anything else to say on this post (but I COULD come up with some stuff if you want!) so without further adieu. ...

1.  Name a beauty regime that you rarely do?
Shave.  Don't judge me.  I've never been a regular shaver. I take care of my arms, but I am horrible when it comes to my legs.  As it stand, i think it has been well over a month.  I'me better in the summer time, promise!  

2.  Is washing your make-up brushes something that you do regularly?
Absolutely.  I have to take extra care of my brushes because I have sensitive skin and dark spots.  I have to make sure that everything I put on my face is in tip top shape.  

3.  How long will you last with chipped nail polish?
I'm horrible about taking my nail polish off.  I wish it would just magically disappear, and I could repaint them without getting the nail polish remover.  I'm sounding lazier and lazier as this thing goes on. 

4.  How long will you put off buying/replacing a beauty product, even if you need it?
I am something like a product junkie but only about certain things.  My hair conditioners, my foundation, my concealer, ect; my everyday staple things have to remain in my possession at all times.  I've tried other drug store foundations but none I like as much as MAC.  My skin has some serious red undertones and the drug store foundations don't seem to blend well with my skin.  

5.  What is your worst beauty habit? 
Urgh.  Honestly, I have a few hairs that grow on my chin #GROSSASHELL. I hate them, and I have developed this nasty habit of trying to pluck them out with my fingers whenever I feel one on my chin.  This contributes to my dark spots.  I KNOW I shouldn't, but its like a nasty little obsessive condition.  My mom will say "Stop picking your face, Shaina".  TMI? Yea, sorry about that.  FULL DISCLOSURE BOOBOO!

6.  Name something non-beauty related that you put off doing all the time?
I will have 17 loads of laundry sitting around just waiting to be folded.  But honestly, Any housework lol.  I'd say that I need a house keeper.  It would be totes worth the money because I love a clean house, but I hate cleaning!

7.  When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready to the last minute?
I start early.  Usually bumping some mood music and maybe even sipping some wine.  The problem is that I may start early, but I always need a few extra "minutes" before we leave.  Usually because I'm trying to get my damn eye brows straight!

8.  Can you commit to spending bans?
Ummmm. What's that?  Nah, really I could. When I first arrived in England I didn't have a job and I didn't want to spend up all of my, then, boyfriend's money.  I learned how to do a lot of things myself.  And how to spend a lot less money.  So I could if I had to.  

9.  How organized is your make-up and nail polish collections? 
It WAS very organized, but now that we are moving, everything is in disarray all over my house. My main stash of everyday make up is all in order, but the rest of it is all over my Suite.  

Ok! That's it.  Give it a shot!! Leave the link below if you post this on your own blog!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chunky Pico De Salsa

I wanted nachos.  Yep. I did. So I had them.  But there was no way I could finish season 7 of Psyche and eat nachos without some salsa. Nope. I couldn't. I wouldn't.  And Psyche was totally worth the wait. It was the musical episode. Have you seen it? Dule Hill is too adorable.

Anyway. I prefer to make my salsa as fresh as possible.  No store salsa or canned tomatoes over here please.  No thanks.  I had some tomatoes on hand, and there can always be jalapenos and red onions found in my fridge so I whipped  this up 2 hours before I needed it so it could get nice and cold.  Letting all those flavors combine didn't hurt either.  

There's nothing better than Pico De Gallo. I can just eat it with a fork, straight out of the bowl. I prefer it to be chunky and to taste all the little bits inside.  The citrus-y burst of the lime, along with the kick of the jalapeño, make this the perfect topping for your cheesy nachos. 

Don't skimp on the cilantro! You need it.  Lots of it.  And for heaven's sake, grate your own cheese. None of that processed store crap with the anti caking agents. Make sure your tomatoes are as fresh as possible.  Nice and Ripe. 


  • 3 vine tomatoes, sliced (use more if you want it to have a more salsa-esque consistency) 
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño quartered, the. Chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (fresh juice is better)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Slice tomatoes, onions, garlic, and quarter jalapeno.  Toss into food processor.  Add your lime juice, sea salt and pepper, and cilantro.  Pulse quickly about 3 times.  Like I said, I like my pico to be a thicker consistency.  If you add more tomatoes pulse it a few more time to get it more Salsa like.  

That's it.  This recipe is really simple and more about the combination and proportion of the ingredients.  

Ok, What's your favorite Nacho Topping?  Are you a chili and beans person?

And now a question that has nothing to to with anyone...

Which Doctor Who companion is your favorite?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fail to Plan and Plan to Fail

Meal Planning is something I both love and hate.  While it can be fun, it can also be a huge pain in the ass.  It hard for me to think of exactly what I want during the week.  You know I'm a foodie, and some days my tastes are insane, but those are usually the days I end up having something I shouldn't necessarily have.

When I do my weekly planning, I make sure to include snacks, days I plan to eat out, and a variety of options just in case I want to switch days.  I prefer to eat everything as written because I have planned out a specific amount of carbs each day.

If I don't plan out my week like this, I feel completely lost about what to take out for dinner.  It can definitely be a pain because you have to figure out everything you want to eat a week in advance, but it does end up being totally worth it.  I've just gone grocery shopping and I've basically done all the work for the week.  Now it just comes to the actual cooking, which I enjoy (unless I have play practice that day, then Its a race to the finish line).

Here is an example of my menu and grocery list for this week.  It begins today, Saturday.

I've tried to plan my weekly meals electronically, but I just love the feel of the paper beneath my hand.  Nothing like good old fashioned colored pens and happy printables.  I have several that I consider my "Go To" printables, but you can scour pinterest and find hundreds.  Here are a few that I prefer (the link to the actual website downloads are blow the pictures).

This one is super cute!
Kamley Lane

This one isn't as pretty as the one above, but I think it's more functional.  I can see my menu for the week and list the groceries right underneath.  Obviously this is my favorite seeing as how I used it in the pic above.

The Project girl
This one is definitely another good option.
The Project Girl

Do you plan your meals in advance? Electronic or good ole paper?

And a question that has nothing to do with anything...

If you had a super power, what would it be?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Throw Back Thursday and FurBabies

I found this picture from my Glorious Days in South Korea.  I truly miss sitting on the floor with 20 people and sharing a huge meal.  It was such a great experience.  There were times when I thought "Get this crap away from me", but most of the time I was truly pleased with the food I was given.  This picture shows my absolute favorite Korean Dish, Dakdoritang.  This spicy chicken soup still makes my nose hairs tingle and my mouth water as I think about it.  I have made it my mission to find the recipe and cook it this Sunday!  DETAILS COMING!!!

And now for a series of baby pictures for your viewing pleasure!

Eating Clean... No, Really!

One of the biggest things I struggle with in this weightloss/fitness/sexybody journey is the cleanliness of my day to day food (weekends always being the hardest).  I follow quite a lot of fitblrs and gurus on all of my social media, but taking my own body into consideration is imperative.  Learning my body has been one of the hardest parts of this thing.  Combining the battle of learning my body with my old love of fatty food, and you have a serious internal conundrum.

You've seen them.  The awesomely thin and fit bloggers who post the most amazing recipes that are so good you don't even care that they are healthy.  Nor do you believe they could possibly eat that good stuff and look so good. From light chicken Alfredo to guilt free apple pie, I see these recipes and I get so excited.  Its like it means that I don't have to eat cardboard and grass for the rest of my life.  Then I try said recipe.  It's delicious.  Maybe I eat more than I should.  The next day- BAMF- 2 pound gain on the scale.  And while yes, I know I shouldn't focus on the scale so much, I can't deny the truth that when I eat the grass and cardboard I don't have these gains.

So what does it all mean?

Hell if I know!  To be fair, back when that was the case, I think those healthy recipes were like a gateway drug for me.  "Ohhh this was nice, what about if I have ___".  No bueno.  So I decided that I probably shouldn't take that first hit at all.  After all, recovering alcoholics don't have just a sip of that rum, do they?  No, they give it up all together.  However, I think this is why I have failed.  Abstinence (in any form, ;)) has never worked really well for me.  I'm a lover of life.  I like fine wine, strong coffee, and handsome men. More importantly, I love food- exotic recipes, baking, ect- I'm just a foodie!  So sue me!  Growing up, my family didn't do a lot of food experimentation.  Dinner was some kind of baked or fried chicken, mac and cheese, steak- you know, the average black household meals with a dash of Caribbean flavor since we're Jamaican.  There was no mushroom and spinach risotto.  No seafood linguine.  So as an adult I WANT  TO EAT ALL OF THE THINGS!!! Anyway, completely saying "No" isn't a great plan for me.
I found this picture after I typed the blog! How awesome!

After my 3 week "maintain my weight" experiment, I found that I could do that easily while still indulging in the occasional sweet treat or handful of the popcorn they serve at school on Wednesdays.  During the first 1.5 weeks, I was so nervous about not being able to maintain, that I didn't have any treats at all.  And I survived.  But I was much happier for the second half.

What's the point of all this, Shaina?

I've located the point, finally.  I've realized that it's not those delicious and healthy recipes I try, its my own damn self.  I can have that small portion of healthy nachos, remain guilt free, and not see a gain in the am IF AND ONLY IF (hows about that conditional statement fellow math teachers) I can keep my shit togethermyself from being a jackass my eye on the prize, which is a healthy lifestyle, and a fit body.  I can still try new things in the kitchen on occasion.  Still order that funky dish off the menu.  But it's going to take planning.  This is what I've learned, and I wont be offended if you say DUH SHAINA!  It really IS about planning, portion size, moderation, and slow, steady weight loss.  It's not a race and I don't have to be miserable.  I can make healthy choices, eat clean, and have the body AND life that I desire.

So hell yea to eating clean.  Hell yea to all those recipes on my instagram and pinterest.  And hell yea to broadening my foodie pallet... once in a while.  I don't want to fall off the wagon again!

Are you a Clean Eater?  How often do you indulge?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

65 Hours in Paris

Paris.  The city of beauty and love.  The city of Eclairs and Crepes.  The city of...too damn expensive!  Money aside, we had such a fabulous time in the love city.  Rob was sick and I was getting over a cold myself, but we had a lovely time nonetheless.  Can't say that the weather stopped us from enjoying it, but I really wish it would have been warmer.  Paris in the spring with all the flowers... Ahhh that would have been super romantical. That is probably my biggest complaint.  The sun peeked it's head down every now and then, but not long enough to make a big difference.

I tend to do this thing where I romanticize the hell out of things.  I image them to be what I see on TV or in cartoons.  Like Egypt.  I don't know what the hell I was thinking before hand.  Rob says I was imagining flying carpets and Aladdin jumping around from the rooftops.  He may have a point, jerk.

We left our home at too damn early o'clock (4 am) and drove to load onto the tour bus.  We had a long drive ahead of us, but I was bubbly as ever.  As you can imagine, I was over the top excited.  We had a few pit stops along the way, and ended up at our hotel at 3 pm.  The Hotel Mercure exceeded my expectations.  I imagined a little hole in the wall spot on the outskirts of Paris, but what I got was a large hotel with a bar and a restaurant, wifi, and delicious breakfast.  Rob and I spent the first night tucked in the room so he could feel better, but it was up and at 'em the next day.

We started the day with what was equivalent to a Big Bus Tour and received a beautiful taste of the city.  We even got the chance to stop at Napoleon's Tomb.  The Parisian's absolutely worship the tiny general (even though my husband tells me he was actually 5'7").

Beautiful buildings everywhere.

And we jumped off to take some pics with the glorious Eiffel Tower.

 After that, we jumped on a boat tour and sailed the River Seine, taking in the beauty of the city. Even with the wind blowing and the tour guide's french voice bumping over the sound system, it was still beautiful.  The carvings and all the tidbits adorned in know I wanted to reach up there and grab that shit.  #dontjudgeme #ImstillFromNYC

Notre Dame

N stands for Neal!
 We met this amazing couple from - Surprise- Atlanta.  I know right!  They were a Korean couple, so we had that to talk about, who lived in Atlanta, and also lived in the Bronx, and they just came in from Italy.  It was like Kismet.  We really enjoyed their company!

After the boat ride, we did more touring, and walking, and then we had to stop for some eating.  We took lunch in a quaint little restaurant on the back side of the Eiffel Tower.

These Eclairs gave me all the life in the world!

We were picked up and taken to a restaurant for a group dinner that included unlimited wine...and boy, did I take advantage of that!  Then we went up to Monteparnasse for a delicious view of the city and the Eiffel Tower light show.  Day 2 was probably my absolute favorite day.

This post is turning into one big photo album.  Yikes.

The next day we went to Disney Land Paris.  It was too much fun.  It's got nothing on Good Ole Florida, but it was nice nonetheless.  After Disney, we went up a bazillion stairs so we could see Sacre Cour.  Literally a shit ton million stairs.  Then we had our portrait drawn in the artist square.

I love this picture

In an effort to keep the post from taking over my entire blog, I'm going to end here.  The trip was amazing.  I can finally cross it off my list.  Now we concentrate on the big move, selling cars, shipping dogs, and finding a new house.  Exciting times!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Secret Valentine's Day Vacation Revealed!

Ok, so maybe it wasn't a super secret! But we made it.  Sick, gross and slightly feverish- but we made it to Paris. Finally.  Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting for this?  Years and years!  So sick or no, we are going to be out there tomorrow checking out the Eiffel and eating crepes and shit stuff.

What is you dream Vacation?

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I initally posted this on my facebook page as a picture with text, but I thought the idea was worth posting here as well.

I find that one of the hardest part about change is the reaction from friends and family.  When you are trying to completely change your habits, your mind, and your body, you can be met with "Since when have you_____", or "Why are you acting brand new", or  "Girl please, you better eat this____".  Of course, they are not trying to sabotage on purpose, but change is hard.  It is my great desire to get to a place where they idea of fast food does nothing for me; where the idea of eating french fries is a sweet memory, or something I do on a rare occasion (I haven't had a french fry in 2014).  I want to be THAT person.  You know the one.  The one who always makes you work out with them or asks you how much water you've drank today.  The one who makes you sick with her peppy happy healthy demeanor.  The one whose house will have the healthy (yet tasty) BBQ instead of the traditional heart hurting stuff.  Yea, I am striving every day to be that person, but I surely wasn't that person before, and everyone knows it.  I takes a long time to change, and even longer for the people around you to register the new you.  Don't give up, don't get mad, just keep swimming.  Act as if you already have those habits that you want, and soon it will be natural and everyone will see it!

Have you experienced this with your friends and family?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Our Honeymoon in Egypt

We got married on April 9th, 2012 at a tiny little Justice of the Peace in Pittsburgh.  Of course, I wanted to the big wedding and THE DRESS, but that was not in the cards (or the budget), so we had our little wedding and then we had a huge party in my parents backyard.  It was a great event through and through.  Even though Rob and I had a few fights, it was still an amazing time.  After the wedding, we wanted to do something really special, but if we couldn't even afford that how the hell would we afford a honeymoon.  Answer- we couldn't, and we didn't.

One of my favorite pictures of the wedding party

We decided to have our Epic honeymoon a year later, and it was totes worth it. I spent the better half of May 2013 planning out the perfect honeymoon for us.  We thought about Paris, or Morocco, but in the end, Egypt won out.

We arrived at our beautiful hotel after only about 3 hours on the plane.  We opted for all inclusive so we were picked up and taken directly to our hotel by our Red Sea Holidays Rep.  This made things so much easier.  Although we arrived after dinner hours, they had food for us and date juice (Which I did NOT love but drank to be polite) to wash it down.  Our luggage was taken to our room while we ate, and then we were led there with a guide showing us around.  After we saw the room, we took some time to explore and found ourselves on the beach with just the light from the stars.  Hubba Hubba.

Most of the our days were spent lounging by the pool, tanning, and eating all the super deliciousness that was pool side and unlimited.  Yea, unlimited burgers, fries, ALCOHOL, buffet, crepes, and Belgian waffles. Needless to say, I was not well behaved.

And we also went snorkeling in the red sea!

While our time there was absolutely amazing, we couldn't help but notice the pain of the people.  Egypt has such a rich and beautiful culture and history.  The time we spent at the museum in Cairo was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  Seeing king tuts tomb of gold, pharaohs, mummies and mummified animals, jewelry, ect- it was literally mind blowing.  There was no way to see it all in a day, and according to the tour guide, if you spent 5 seconds in front of every piece, it would take you 2 months to see it all.  Wow.  But you look at all that, then you see the state of poverty the country is in now.  You see the garbage on the streets because they are protesting the government.  You can almost see the anger waves coming off of their heads like a heat wave in the summer.  Little did we know, the shit would hit the fan government and the people were about to clash in an awful way, resulting in the death of so many people.

Sorry to go morbid and sad there, but the beauty and history of this place was so clouded by the state it's in now.  I loved our resort and all the people and tour guides, but when we talked to them seriously about their lives, we learned that their smiles are just for the job.

To get back to happiness.  We loved seeing the pyramids and the sphinx, we even got to go down inside of it.  We stayed just long enough to take a pictures because it was 100 degrees in Egypt and 1,000 degrees inside the pyramid.

We did all the things you do when you go to Egypt, museum, pyramids, quad bike riding, pool lounging and snorkeling.  It was an amazing time.  And now, for a million pics.

Sorry about the boob spillage!

A shot of the pyramids and the Sphinx

I decided to call my camel "Nikki"

After Quad biking
We had a romantic dinner on on the sea

With Abduh, he was the pool boy, but we really got to know him and loved him!


That's it.  These are some of my favs.  It was one of our dreams trips and we had such a good time.
And if you're interested, a video of our time!

So you have a dream vacation?  Where to?