Happy New Year!!!

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Happy 2014!

Can you believe how fast 2014 arrived? I know I am. 2013 was such a good year. I finished my doctorate, hiked through Carlsbad Caverns, started a blog, and began a YouTube channel that I kept up through most of the year. All in all…not bad.

However, now that 2014 is upon us, I’m in a thoughtful mood. What do I want my 2014 to look like? I’m not sure.

What I will say is that I’m not great at making resolutions. So a new year doesn’t necessarily inspire me to make outlandish promises to myself that I know I won’t keep.

Still, the new year is fresh, full of possibilities, and I can’t help but to be hopeful of what will come next. All I know is that 2014 will be my best year yet. It will be a year dedicated to self-improvement (in the broadest sense of the word). I know I’ll make mistakes and fall off the track along the way. However, if I’m better than I was in 2013, then it will all be worth it. Right?

So, what do you plan to accomplish in 2014?

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Influenster Sunkissed Voxbox

Influenster Sunkissed Voxbox

I received:

-Dr. Scholls For Her High Heel Insoles
-Goody Hair Ouchless Ribbon Elastics
-Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in Light to Medium
-SinfulColors SinfulShine Nail Polish in Banana Appeal

If you want to see my unboxing, the video is available below.

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Zara Clutch Crave

zara clutchI saw this clutch online at Zara.com and I am obsessed. I visit this clutch every day online. However, I’m not sure I want to spend $79.90 on a clutch–especially with so many graduation expenses coming up. What should I do? Should I splurge or wait for a sale? (Does Zara ever have sales?)

This clutch is a really unique piece to add to my wardrobe and it could be really pretty versatile pick to go with jeans or a little black dress. Am I right? ūüôā

I Heart Ulta

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OMG!!! I am totally in love with Ulta right now. They have amazing customer service.

Last week, I was rather upset when I received my Ulta package. I ordered a Stila “In the Moment” eyeshadow pallete and a Just Cavalli perfume which arrived in pristine condition. However, the problem was with the samples that I received.

As a wannabe¬†makeup guru , I love samples-especially of¬†the skincare and makeup variety. And while I recognize that samples are free and should not warrant complaints, I was very surprised that all of the included makeup samples (a Maybelline Fresh Dream BB Cream, a L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier¬†BB Cream, and a Benefit’s Hello Flawless pressed powder) were the polar opposite of my actual skin tone. Tragically, all of the samples I received were for an ivory girl and I am clearly I’m mocha hued. Surely, in the 21st century, beauty companies should profile their customers and act accordingly. Yet, this was not the case and this incident was a sad reminder that I am African American consumer in an industry that predominately caters to¬†Caucasian¬†beauty.

Had this happened in the past, I would have just chalked the misfortune up to chance. Normally, I would have¬†thrown the samples out or would have found a good home for the products with someone they would better suit. However, I spend an¬†awful¬†lot of money on makeup and beauty products and it’s just not fair to have to suck it up time after time when something like this happens. So I decided to do something different–I decided to call Ulta’s customer service. I figured, what’s the worst that could happen? At best, ¬†I could ask for more appropriate samples and maybe receive them. At worst, one of my favorite beauty companies might upset me by being inconsiderate or apathetic to my needs as an African American woman. All I prayed was that one of my favorite companies would be kind with my request. Honestly, I didn’t truly think Ulta would send me new samples. I just hoped they would listen to my feedback and take that into consideration in the future.

Surprisingly, Ulta’s customer service was awesome. They listened to my explanation of the problem and promised to send me new samples. Although they could not promise to send the exact same samples in my shade, they were willing to send me new samples that I could actually use. ¬†And guess what? They followed through and mailed me new samples that I totally love. Although I didn’t receive BB cream and pressed powder samples, I did receive skin care samples that I could use. I received three great items: a Philosophy¬†Miracle Worker moisturizer, a Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil, and best of all—a Benefit Porefessional¬† primer sample.

I guess it really is true “You have not because you ask not.” So lesson learned. Yay Ulta!!!!