It’s Been A Year/What I’m Loving…

It’s Been A Year/What I’m Loving…

Hey guys and dolls,

I know. Before you even start, let’s…not? Okay? It’s been a rough year. I blogged maybe once last year? And then *poof* nothing. I’m sorry. But, then again, I’m not sorry. I was focused on surviving. I wasn’t in beast mode. I was in chronic-illness, get-through-the-day-so-I-can-go-back-to-sleep-mode. And to be honest, I’m still kind of in that mood, but I’m hoping that I’m climbing out and I’ll be here to stay out of the rut a little longer than last time.

So, that’s done, we’ve had a truth moment. Still with me? Great, I appreciate it. Now, can we talk about the good stuff? Like all the stuff that’s been making me smile, laugh, relax and basically get through all the crap? Cool, let’s get into it!

TV

Feeling under the weather a lot means spending huge chunks of whatever free time you have on your couch or in your bed. So I watched (and continue to watch) a lot of TV. Some of the shows that I’m currently loving are some well known favorites and a few that might be a little lesser known, but they’re still so good. 

Power (Starz, Sundays @9pm)Do you watch Empire on Fox? If so, do you love it? Then, give Power a try. Aside from the off screen drama between the two creators (Lee Daniels and 50 Cent, respectively) there’s plenty of on screen mishap, mayhem and good old storylines to last you for at least a good month of binge sessions. Power has everything: love, family, crime, law, complex relationships and friendships, parenting…you name it. There hasn’t yet been a dull moment and the newest season is sure not to disappoint.

Claws (TNT, Sundays @9pm):  Yes, I know, scheduling conflict if you want to also catch Power. This is what On Demand is for. Sometimes, there is no solution. Just pick a show to watch and maybe alternate between the weeks or something. But definitely watch Claws. Again, a lot happening, but all good. I can’t describe the show and do it it’s proper justice, just watch the first episode and try not to be hooked in the first 5 minutes. I. Dare. You.

Undercover (BBC UK/One, On Demand)This show originally debuted in 2016, but I only discovered it this year. This one is for all of my legal, crime and mystery buffs. Stellar acting and the most beautifully woven story, directed with the kind of artistic touch that makes you feel that you’re smack in the middle of the story and living it out with the characters. Emotional, but not depressing. Also, sometimes a good cry is in order, even better if it’s measured and you can quickly let it out and then keep moving (in my opinion).

Beauty

I’m loving a lot in the beauty space right now. But, here are just a few of the items that I can’t get enough of these last few days, weeks and months…

L’Oreal Lash Paradise ($8.99, Target): Whenever I’ve purchased a mascara these past few months, I’ve gone for the darkest shade they offer. L’oreal beats a lot of the competition with their blackest black and carbon black shades. This mascara isn’t any different. Also, it’s a beautiful dupe for Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara, which I loved in the its travel size, but quickly hated when I purchased a full size. This mascara delivers the same (if not better) application and results,  is a great savings ($20!!!) and manages to stay on flake- and smear-free during the day, but slips off so easily when you’re ready to remove. Run, don’t walk to Target and get one. or Two. A lady must always be ready.

JINsoon Nail Lacquer ($68*, Birchbox): This one is tricky. The shade is Vogue Rose. The application is smooth, easy and creamy. The way to get it in your hands and on your nails and toes…that’s the tricky part. It’s apart of one of Birchbox’s most recent Limited Edition boxes. You can buy the entire box full of goodies, which are a celebration of Vogue’s 125 Anniversary and get this lovely shade. Click the link. You know you want to.

Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Metallics Lipstick in Copper Rose ($8.99, Walgreens): This is going to need to be in your fall lip arsenal. It’s gorgeous and dramatic, but still wearable. Wear this when you need a boost of confidence, or for all eyes to be on your lips for…other reasons. This is the confident girl’s lip–even if you have to fake it until you make it. Is she born with it or is it Maybelline? ;)

Obviously, there are more things, but TV and my beauty finds are my main companion these days.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, so you never miss a post–especially because I can’t always plan them! I’d hate for you to miss a thing. Love our chats, missed you dearly.

Talk soon. xo, Layla

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Assurance for When Your Days Run Long and Your Optimism Runs Short

Assurance for When Your Days Run Long and Your Optimism Runs Short

Hello there,

When I started this blog, I always had the intention of not boxing it into a beauty blog. I wanted The Lip Glossy to be an accurate reflection of me, in my entirety.

Sure, I love beauty, fashion and the like, but I also love a good novel, steaming cups of tea and hot cocoa in winter, a cold glass of iced tea in the spring, summer and fall and most of all reflection.

I think we can sometimes underestimate the power of looking back on a situation and reviewing how we felt, thought, and handled it. It helps us grow and become better people. That can never be a bad thing.

Sometimes, we need reflection the most when we’re in the midst of change. Although change can be for your growth and benefit, it can be hard to adjust and learn the new things required. I’m experiencing this right now in multiple areas of my life. It’s scary but I’m also hopeful concerning all the great things it can bring about if I continue to work hard. The same can be true for you.

So, what’s my plan for adjusting, flourishing and excelling? Here’s what I plan to do:

  • Get my bearings–don’t take forever to do this, but don’t rush myself either
  • Give myself a break: I’m human and I’m still rather young, there is a lot of learn and all I need to do is being willing to learn. Mantra: I do not have to have all the answers
  • Put my best effort forward: do my best and leave the rest for my next chance
  • Check my attitude and delivery: be mindful of how I am interacting and reacting to others. Most of all, be kind whenever possible. Every time.
  • Take things one step/one task at a time
  • Employ effective time management skills
  • BREATHE. Go about the day one breathe at a time.

We can do it glossies!

I hope by sharing my experiences and thoughts that it will help each of you.

I’ll be back tomorrow to chat about product–promise. After all, products can help us feel pampered and renewed and that’s key to staying on track as well.

Appreciate you for reading,

xo, Layla

I’m Over This Year…So I’m Planning for the New One

I’m Over This Year…So I’m Planning for the New One

To be fair, this year has been pretty decent to me, if for no other reason then it brought me my own apartment: space to breathe and build a life for myself.  That being said, I’m over 2013–like severely over it. Over it the way you’re over a first date where the guy expects you to pay the whole tab over it. So instead of sulking until 11:59 pm on December 31, I decided to do something: I made one of my trusty lists. (You know you love a good list too ;)

I made resolutions for the first time in my life. I’m not married to it. They’re things I’d love to focus more on and do, but if I don’t then I won’t beat myself up (that’s actually resolution #10–cut myself some slack)

Here’s my full list:

  1. Exercise more
  2. Take more vitamins
  3. Burn more candles
  4. Wear lipstick EVERY DAY
  5. Kiss more
  6. Laugh more
  7. Get outside: visit places, see things
  8. Wear dresses
  9. Cut out soda completely, almost replace with more water
  10. Cut myself some slack
  11. Travel
  12. Pay down debt, save more money

Notice a theme? MORE. Everything is about doing things more often and taking small, safe chances for me in 2014. Baby steps.

In case you’re wondering, I’m most excited about #3, #4, and #5–mostly #4 LOL

Will you make any resolutions for 2014?

Share them with me in the comments below? I’d love to see what you all want to accomplish, etc. next year. Either way, cheers to it being our best year yet!

xo, Layla

101 Ways To Save Money Right Now: Easy Tips Every Girl Should Know

101 Ways To Save Money Right Now: Easy Tips Every Girl Should Know

This is the ultimate BFF style advice. I see more than a few tips I will use. What about you?

StyleCaster

When it comes to money, we all could use a little more. But, it’s a grim reality that between paying rent and bills, socializing, eating, dressing, downloading, and pretty much everything else we do, saving isn’t exactly an easy feat for most young women. Which is exactly why we decided to compile a handy list filled with 101 ways to save money today—without drastically altering the lifestyle you’re used to.

MORE: 101 Fashion Tips and Tricks Every Girl Should Know

While it’s key to know how to stick to strict budget and manage your long-term finances, it’s also key to know easy tips and tricks to save a little immediate cash if you’re feeling short, if you’re looking to splurge on a particular item down the line, or if you’re simply seeking peace of financial mind.

Read on for 101 ways to save money right now, and let us know which tricks you…

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Healthy Living: Mighty Leaf Organic Teas

Healthy Living: Mighty Leaf Organic Teas

mighty-leaf-tea-african-nectar-tea-organic

Why yes, yes you are. Unfortunately, for me that means I’m part ginger-ale (Schweppes, ALWAYS. Don’t play) mixed with equal parts espresso and Jamaican Kola Champagne. Obviously my liquid diet needs a bit of work, but I wasn’t in any rush to make any drastic adjustments just yet, I mean, COME ON, it’s not quite time for resolutions.

Enter my new reality: a prescription regimen that includes a drug that heightens the effects of even the smallest amount of caffeine. Seriously. Sometimes I’d be up until 4am in the morning, this drug is no joke. My caffeine habit is coming to a screeching halt. I’m a little bitter about it, I won’t lie. I don’t like to drink tea unless it’s in the form of a Tea Latte. Tea isn’t particularly as soothing as taking that first sip of espresso mixed with foam. It doesn’t relax my muscles like a soy caramel macchiato. I digress. My world is changing and it must happen. I must cooperate to be healthy. It’s almost a disguised blessing–ALMOST.

Once again, my Birchbox comes to the rescue! In my November box, among some other nifty treats, I received a sample pack of three (3) Mighty Leaf Organic Teas. While only one of those offerings was caffeine free, it was enough to get me thinking that drinking more tea wouldn’t be so bad after all. I tried the Organic African Nectar blend and was pleasantly surprised at how balanced it was. I expected it to be overwhelmingly fruity, which it certainly was not. It was a mild, unassuming blend that was absolutely delicious. I’m definitely going to purchase a full box of this blend and happily sip my bitter unwillingness to let go of the comfort that is a cup of coffee dissipate.

If you are what you drink, then I need to be water and tea with a healthy sprinkling of a fresh pressed green juice and let the benefits of giving my body adequate and balanced hydration take over. I know the difference it can make. But it’s certainly a commitment. A commitment I have to make and follow through on.

For more information on Mighty Leaf Organic Teas, visit their website at http://www.mightyleaf.com

Wish me luck!

Cheers!!

xo, Layla

I <3 My…alice + olivia for Starbucks Designer Double Wall Ceramic Tumbler

I <3 My…alice + olivia for Starbucks Designer Double Wall Ceramic Tumbler

alice and olivia for starbucks

Hi, my name is Layla and I’m addicted to all things coffee (and Starbucks naturally)…I’m 0 days sober and proud of it.

All things considered, I feel I have my addiction under (relative?) control. I’m sure there are numerous friends who would disagree, but look at the progress that I’ve made: only 2 years ago, I lived on about 16 shots of espresso in some way or form…usually in a latte or cappuccino. Sometimes straight if I was desperate and hating the ENTIRE world.

Fast forward to now: I drink a lot more (caffeinated) tea and Signature Espresso Drinks at Starbucks are decadent treats and moments of self soothing. You can just self soothe in anything, right? RIGHT. So what you do is get yourself an awesome friend, whose company you never tire of and get him or her to sort of, kinda, force you to buy it by saying how much it suits you.

This latest designer collaboration with Starbucks is a perfect match for me. I’ll wear black every moment that I can and love a good “classic with a twist and a little glam” design.

It’s one of my newest inspirations for a myriad of things: LG posts, home décor and design, even wardrobe makeover ideas.

I’ll sip to that.

Link

NY Times: Mascara Ads Draw Criticism

NY Times: Mascara Ads Draw Criticism

It’s confession time ladies (and gents.)  We’ve all seen them. You know of the trickery I speak about. Mascara ads. 

God love them, or curse them all of eternal damnation, we give them the intense perusal befitting of forensic science, looking for that slight difference that justifies yet another mascara purchase in less a month.  (Have I given myself completely away yet?)

Quite a few friends call me a mascara whore. I’m not ashamed, I embrace it. I keep a different mascara in rotation for every day and purchase any and all new formulas within my reach. I love the way they can transform an eye, or your whole face depending on the formula and brush.  Mascara is that one little secret that makes you look as though you’ve slept for 10 hours when really you were up all night doing heavens knows what. So, what’s my gripe right?  The false advertising that is the “styled with lash inserts” variety.  Whenever I see a new ad for a mascara launch, I’m instantly excited about the new look(s) I can achieve, only to be hampered with the fine print reminding me that it’s all a fairy tale and I won’t instantly transform into the gorgeous, near perfect model with flashing, radiant eyes looking up at me, beseeching me to spend my hard earned money. 

As beauty junkies, we’re a savvy bunch, which only makes the “lash insert” or “photo shopped” fine print even more insulting. Of course we all hope to look like our favorite super model, but we know that short of (superb) plastic surgery that will never happen. We do look to our beauty products, however, to help us achieve an outward version of our best selves–to mirror how we feel about ourselves internally. 

What a shame that these beauty giants don’t give us credit.  And what a lazy lot for not making their products to live up to claims without the visual trickery. Not to mention that it’s not plain stupid. 

I digress. I must, because I will buy mascara from now until eternity. 

What about you? How do mascara ads styled with lash inserts, etc make you feel? Tell me in the comments.

Layla