Recently I decided (again, because I’m always doing this) to try (again) to take my appearance more seriously. Again. I just want to look better, less tired, more attractive. Left to my own devices I’d do nothing, but that’s just laziness. I could do better. Sometimes I don’t want to do anything because I just feel ugly and I don’t want to be seen as trying to compete with better looking people. Because the only thing worse than being seen as ugly is being seen as an ugly person who thinks they’re cute. Which is kind of twisted. 1) looks are subjective, so even if you don’t look like a model someone somewhere prob thinks you’re adorable and 2) how sad that if someone wants to build themselves up, other people will seek to deny them that happiness out of small-mindedness.
A whole issue/dilemma/situation.
So I started with skincare. No one can fault or bully you for wanting cleaner skin. I got this box of Peter Thomas Roth Made To Mask Kit ($58) at Sephora. I’ve been using sheet masks and had just run out and couldn’t decide on what to get. I saw this, snatched it and ran for the register. I love how this box runs the gamut from light Cucumber Gel Mask to hardcore Purifying Black Mask with Irish moor mud. Long baths deserve the 24K Good Mask, and I’m crazy about putting on the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask for exfoliating before jumping in the shower. Def worth every penny.
I I started feeling pretty good after using the masks for about a month, so it was time lay in a skin routine. I follow Herbivore Botanicals on instagram and one night I saw an ad for the Jewel Box ($58) and I was all in. You get their Prism exfoliating glow serum, Bakuchiol serum for lines and wrinkles, and three of their skin oils (Phoenix, Emerald and Lapis). These are incredible products and I love them. The Prism and Bakuchiol serums have a luxurious texture that doesn’t feel greasy or slimy. The oils absorb into the skin quickly leaving skin deliciously soft. I’ve been using it for about a week and it’s made me feel beautiful. My skin looks cleaner and is moisturized without generating excess oil.
I admit to keeping it in the box so that it’s a whole am/pm ritual using the products.
As shelter in place mostly ended and I looked at a future of reduced work and spotty assignments (this week I sold masks and no contact keys and for the last few weeks it was packing up merchandise to return to a fashion vendor), I have to look at my side hustle and think of how to extend my brand. I have a list of things that I’ll be doing, but today we’re going to talk about soap. I like soap, I use soap quite often and spend a lot of time looking for soap to buy. So making soap was a no brained option…then I realized that I can’t just randomly make it, I need to practice and plan out an actual collection that makes sense.
I bought a variety of molds (amazon) and started experimenting. One idea was using a mold that looked like a faceted jewels, but when it hardened it didn’t look as cool as I’d hoped it would. It kind of reminded me of an eraser. The problem was that while I had driven myself crazy melting, mixing and pouring, I had failed to realize that swirling and color gradations are mostly done in loaf molds, so the effects wouldn’t be noticeable until you cut them. So the big purple lump actually had some fun things going on, just not on the outside. The next step was cutting up the lump (photo 2) and then I just reheated it and swirled it with a pink soap that I made for the occasion. This time, the effects are more noticeable.
I swirled for a good two hours. Starting with the purple and pink, moving to gold, peacock blue and white. This put me in a state of meditative joy that I haven’t achieved since art school. I love making soap. There’s the potential for artistic expression, the fun of experimenting and mixing colors, and the achieved goal of creating something useful. Soap is always useful. I don’t have an in-depth story about making soap, though. I just think people should reward themselves and one great thing to splurge on is some pretty, skin moisturizing soap.
Since I started creating my soap works, I’ve been dropping samples in when people make purchases from my online shops. I’m also going to start selling half bar samples since they are starting to pile up. I got the cutest little pillow boxes that the samples fit into perfectly. So I’m kind of excited about that. I’ll be selling samples on aliwazas, etsy, poshmark and depop, and there will be a buy button on the bottom of this page. Looking forward to spending the rest of the summer experimenting and creating a cohesive line of just plain pretty soaps.
Unique half bars of handmade soap. Various colors. May be a mix of honey, goat’s milk, glycerine and olive oil soaps and will be colored with micas. Can be used for bath or hand soap.
Coconut oil, palm oil, safflower oil, glycerine (of vegetable origin), purified water, sodium hydroxide (saponification agent), sorbitolpropylene glycol(made from vegetable glycerine)sorbitol O’Leary (emulsifier), oat protein (conditioner). White soaps contain titanium dioxide.
Varieties of soap used:
Clear, olive oil, honey, white, oatmeal, goat’s milk, shea butter
*Price includes postage, within the US only.
I was thinking about what to blog about this week as I was scrubbing up in the shower and then I realized that I wanted to write about some of the black owned brands that I’ve been buying from. As a former beauty and fashion influencer, I now hate everything. Partly because I was just used as a lure for big businesses that find it cheaper to throw a party and give away merchandise that they can write off and still profit. Partly because after testing so many products that were not meant for my skin or hair I realized that I was a pure idiot to keep promoting a system that doesn’t really see me as valuable. So, now I try to buy from small, independent and Black companies. If I’m going to influence people, then I want to influence them to help build new companies and business moguls.
I came across Goldenbrownskin LLC after they posted on Fashion Bomb Daily’s instagram page. I started with the Rose lip gloss ($4) and ended up going back for the Coconut and Rose brown sugar scrub ($27.95) that looks super expensive and pretty in the bathtub edge. My items were created, packaged and shipped quickly, and the owner was really nice about answering messages and whatnot. You really feel that there’s a human being behind the screen making beauty magic for you.
One night I was looking for something to buy and I noticed that they were offering Wholesale lipgloss. You get 40 to 100 tubes custom made for you. I chose five flavors and GBS worked with me to create the colors that I wanted. They basically went flavor by flavor with me specifying my color choices and then sending me photos of the progress. I sell them and give away tubes with items that I sell in my online shops and people adore them.
Of course I had to be nosy. I love finding out about people’s processes and ideas. So here, in her own words, is Goldenbrownskin LLC:
SEB Market BK: What made you start a business for yourself?
Goldenbrownskin LLC: I started a business for myself because I noticed I work better alone. I’ve always been a leader, a creative & I enjoy helping others.
SEB Market BK: What inspired your Upcycled designs? Did you go to fashion school?
Goldenbrownskin LLC: I have a lot of old clothes & I don’t like being around crowds of people so I normally just rework the items I have. I love to see ideas come to life. I’ve never been to any fashion school, I just watch a lot of YouTube, lol.
SEB Market BK: Your lipgloss is amazing! How did you get into creating your collection and what got you into selling wholesale?
Goldenbrownskin LLC: Thank you so much! I started making lip gloss because I wanted to experiment with a variety of products, that women would shop for all the time. I enjoy doing wholesale more than making individual lipgloss because I like helping others start their own business.
SEB Market BK: You’re taking orders for custom t-shirts now. Are you going to be designing a collection exclusively for Goldenbrownskin?
Goldenbrownskin LLC: I have started taking t-shirt orders, but I am still practicing. I’m not sure if that’s something I’d get into, I really enjoy making custom tees for other people. But of course a branded t-shirt with “Goldenbrownskin” has to happen!
SEB Market BK: Tell me about your latest product, Dragon Butter. It looks like the secret to perfect summer skin!
Goldenbrownskin LLC: Yes, so my body butters are my new favorites. Everything is natural & homemade. My fav body butter is the dragon butter, I love the strawberry scent. The body butters a natural raw African Shea butter. The Shea butter is great in healing and evening out your skin tone. Works great for individuals with any skin disorders via eczema, psoriasis, rashes etc
SEB Market BK: You’ve been really outspoken about the protests. How has the current climate affected you and what are you doing to make a difference?
Goldenbrownskin LLC: I haven’t personally been too affected by what’s been going on. I have a blended family so it’s a hard subject to speak on, but I have been donating 30% of each order to fund the BLM movement. It’s a very sad situation, something I truly don’t understand.
So, basically a savvy business owner with empathy, kindness, and social conscience as part of her business plan. In other words, a Queen building an empire of love. Yes, I do see what just wrote. I said what I said. Click to check out Goldenbrownskin, and follow her awesome instagram, too.
I mentioned in last week’s post that I had decided to make bath bombs and since I had so much fun doing it, I decided to make a whole post about the experience. Since quarantine started I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time on instagram, which is how I found out about Organically Bath Beauty. They’re a Black owned beauty brand that sells a whole kit with everything you need, including a reusable tin mold.
They have already pre-measured the dry ingredients like baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salts, etc. They include the mica for coloring your bathbombs, fragrance, emollient and dried rose petals lavender and mint to beautify your project. Organically Bath Beauty does video classes, so you can learn on your own time. And since you get so much in the kit, you can experiment with different molds to see what you like.
This is how easy the process is. Measure out your draw ingredients (I used a cup, and a teaspoon of the mica). Then add your oils, fragrance and dried herbs or flowers. Mix them together with your hands. Just get in there and give it all a good smush. Add tiny amounts of water to make the mix stick together. Once you it starts clumping together then you can pack the mold. I used the spherical mold that came with the kit, as well as some plastic mocha trays, and then I went crazy and used a plastic soap dish. The soap dish wasn’t the best idea, because it crumbled, but I can rewet the ingredients and try again.
Aren’t they gorgeous? I had so much fun making these, but the best was tossing them in the tub and watching them fizz, knowing that I had made this for myself. I tried the orange creAme, lavender and eucalyptus kits. And it’s definitely ignited a fever to make more bath bombs! Do yourself a favor and head over to Organically Bath Beauty and cop a kit for yourself. They’re $25 and refills are $20.
I don’t love makeup, but I’m ok with wearing it. It’s more of a toy than a necessity, but if I buy anything I want it to be the best quality so that I can feel comfortable and confident while I have it on. If anything I want to forget it’s there and just go about my business. I had a birthday/rebranding photo shoot in May so of course I had to exercise the credit card at Sephora to update my makeup wardrobe. I wanted to amp it up for a sunkissed basic beat that put a frosted gloss on my usual naked face. It’s not perfect, but it was different.
It started with a change of eye color. While I was researching and watching makeup tutorials, I noticed that people were changing eye color like shoes. I felt like making a bold statement so I went for these Polar Ice Grey lenses that help show off the curves of my eye and make a striking contrast with my skin. It’s not better than my brown eyes, and it’s not worse, it’s just different. Also cheap, they were about $25 with free shipping. Get a 10% discount off your own TTD Eye lenses using this link. Use the code SEBMARKETBKEYES at checkout.
I spent a month making sure I drank enough water, washing my face with Cetaphil and doing a weekly homemade bentonite clay mudmask. The day of the shoot I woke up early, took a long bath and gave myself a hydrating facial (they stopped making this mask and I only have one more left. I’m devastated.), then put these Tarte eye bag masks on while I toweled off and put lotion on my body. Once I had brushed my teeth and everything I applied Ancient Cosmetics Even Skin face cream. I use this cream morning and night, and I love how it just melts right into the skin without leaving a greasy feel.
This is how this goes- I put a little of the Smashbox blurring primer in my palm and then I pump a little MUF HD foundation on top. I swirl it together with the beauty blender and then pat onto my skin. I use BlackUp concealer under my eyes and this Kat Von D powder to set the whole thing. I am not a contour person at all. I feel kind of annoyed at doing this much to begin with. If contouring became mandatory I’d prob just throw all this stuff in the garbage.
I mean this.
I am a sucker for neutrals, nudes and shimmery metallic sparkles. I’m trying to break out of it? But if I see something like the Natasha Denona mini star palette in this photo I’m incapable of not buying it. I love how rich and pigmented the colors are. I could do stuff like carve out the eyelid with this. The other palette is from a drugstore brand, Black Radiance. Not the greatest, but I think I’ll try wetting the brush before using these colors. I got this Fenty highlighter along with a mini lipgloss. I’m still practicing highlighting techniques. I need to blend more and I have a tendency to forget.
Once I got the eyeshadow situation sorted I had to finish the job. I use Anastasia brow pomade (previous pic), and today I went with eyeliner pen because I felt like a sharp outline was the best way to go. As you can see from this tube of eyelash glue, eyelashes are not my strong point. Normally I just use a lengthening mascara.
Buy this: Pat McGrath Lust Trance lipgloss in Bronze Divinity, $28. I love this lipgloss. LOVE. IT. It smells delicious and the shine is high fashion gloss without being sticky. It’s a substantial size, and the wand makes you want to stand in the mirror just gently putting on more and more candy smelling gloss while looking deeply into your own eyes. The smaller pencil is lipliner and I think I put the black eyeliner in the photo by mistake, forgetting that I was supposed to shoot my concealer.
What do you do to get ready for a big day? Do you find yourself obsessing over every little detail or do you just sleep like a baby? Do you lay out everything you’ll need before you go to bed or just get up and do whatever comes in your head? I’m usually paralyzed with anxiety the day before I do anything, thinking of all that could go wrong or how I might get laughed at.
It usually ends up fine, but even if things go horribly wrong I know I did my best and that’s all that anyone can reasonably ask from me.
See you next time!
Faith/SEB Market BK
Shop my look:
Upcycled grunge plaid shirt
Customized Mossimo Athletic Fit plaid button down shirt hand treated with bleach. Unisex. Decorated with stars, studs, and bleach treated denim stripe, then bleached again. Denim panel is hand painted. Soft, 100% cotton and machine washable.
Measures 30 inches from shoulder to hem. 25 inches from armpit to armpit. 19 inches across back shoulders. Sleeves are 26.5 inches. *Shipping is included in the price. **United States only.
Silver Love You More necklace
Love You More silver/zinc alloy block letter necklace. Chain is 9.5 inches long with 3 inch extension. Pendant is 1 inch square and rests on breastbone.
Love all day long.
Comes with gold lamé pouch. *Price includes shipping. **United States only.
I saw this recipe on Pinterest for cellulite scrub and decided to try it out. I mixed coffee grounds, brown sugar and olive oil together in an old gelato jar and gamely headed for the tub. I am not sure if it had any effect on my cellulite, but by the same token I’m still not sure if my cellulite problem is real or just my over active imagination. If it’s real, it was still there after a week of scrubbing. My skin looked great, though. The scrub was an effective way to exfoliate and moisturize at the same time.
Unfortunately it stopped up the drain, so if you do this have a plunger or liquid plumber handy.
This one was easy: lemon deoderant. I saw this woman on instagram toss away her dove deoderant and use a lime half on her pits. I had some lemons, which I like better anyway, so I cut one in half and for a week straight swiped my underarms with it.
Verdict? Odor was neutralized, but you will still sweat since it’s not an anti-perspirant. That said I swiped yesterday then went out and sweated. I took a good sniff when I got home and there was no odor. It’s summer, so wetness is no big deal, just not smelling funny so this is a win. If you’re afraid of wet pits it might not be for you, though.