Benefit Cosmetics Make Up Haul

For the New Year I decided to treat myself to a few new products from Benefit Cosmetics.

Make Up Haul

I was a little leery at first but after the very nice Boot’s employee gave me a mini-makeover using the products I knew I’d finally found ‘The One.’

Benefit Pore-fessional Primer

The Pore-fessional Primer is oil-free and light weight.  It basically felt like air on my skin.  I rarely wear foundation and never use a primer.  Previously, all I needed was Origins tinted moisturizer and I was happy.  But now that I live in London and no longer have that Los Angeles sunshine to naturally brighten my skin I now find it necessary to wear foundation, which means the primer comes in handy.

Benefit hello flawless foundation

The Benefit Hello Flawless foundation is supposed to be good for your skin.  It feels nice going on, doesn’t clump or get all crusty looking and does the job of making my skin look brighter.  Paired with the Hello Flawless powder, I feel camera ready and pretty rockstar.

Benefit Hello Flawless Powder

I don’t know why it took me so long to finally get into Benefit (probably the price tag – eep$$$!  But totally worth it.) but I’m glad I came around.

Maybelline Falsies Mascara

I’m also using the Maybelline Falsie’s Volum’ Express mascara and I must say I’m in love.  The product really makes my eyelashes look longer, fuller – to the point where someone recently asked me if I was wearing falsies.  I was flattered because obviously I don’t have the patience to put on falsies for real so it’s nice to know that the mascara is doing the trick.

Bonus!  I went to a Christmas dinner where there was a secret santa gift exchange.  My gift was a figurine of a solar waving Queen but by some happy turn of events I ended up with an amazingly perfect gift set from The Body Shop that contained body wash, body butter and this coconut hand cream.

The Body Shop Hand Cream

This London weather has me on the hunt for a new skincare routine and especially for lotions that actually work.  I truly lucked out with this Body Shop gift set because it got me through my ten day Holiday in Italy.  Thanks extra Secret Santa!

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All New Things

I anticipated taking on a lot of new things when I moved to London. LondonPaying almost double for a grande Americano at Starbucks was one I was prepared for.  Cleaning Day was not.  But when you live in a shared space compromise plays an important part of establishing a healthy, happy living environment.  So it looks like my cleaning day falls on Saturdays.

Still doing the healthy eating thing.  It actually hasn’t been as challenging as I thought it would be.  The past week I’ve eaten the most delicious healthy homemade meals all for about £4 each.  I had to get creative because London is expensive and I have to pinch pennies (pences?) if I’m going to survive.  So far I think I’m doing OK.  The biggest challenge is finding healthy snacks to eat and resisting the cookies and cakes that I’m always craving.  But at least as far as the meals are concerned, I don’t have to worry too much about doing the actual cooking.  Yay!  I will do a post about a week of fabulous healthy dinners soon.

I had my first official week of classes and I think I’m really going to enjoy this first semester.  I’m still job and internship hunting.  My social life seems to be picking up as well.  Bowling was a lot of fun.  Also went to the cinema for the first time.  Did you know they don’t serve butter for your popcorn in movie theaters??  I was appalled.  But at least I know for next time that I have my choice between sweet or salty popcorn.

Because of workload and job/internship hunt I may have to scale back to weekly blogs for now because things are getting busy.

But I think it’s a good problem to have.

Outfit of the Day (#OOTD)

Shirt – Forever 21

Faux Leather Skirt – Forever 21

Tights – Primark

Blazer – Primark

Sunglasses – Michael Kors

Officially a London Student

After the chaos of my whirlwind orientation day settled down I had a chance to collect my thoughts and the realization that I’m actually back in school finally hit.

London

I’m experiencing at least 50 different shades of anxiety, nervousness and fear but overall I’m excited to have yet another opportunity to go back to school and also explore another new city.  hashtag blessed =)

London is amazing.

I try very hard not to look around in wonder like a tourist but sometimes it simply can’t be helped.  I’m still adjusting.  Haven’t figured everything out yet and I’m not quite ready to give up my trademark shorts and sheer shirts but I’m sure I’ll find a way to keep part of the old me and somehow blend it with the new me to come.

London

Classes start this week.

Already I have a sneaking suspicion that life is about to get truly hectic for the next few months.  I’m OK with that and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to handle it.  But this won’t be like undergrad or musical theatre school.  This time around I’ll actually have to show up for class (sober) and do the work.

Also, I have to maintain a B average.  Not that I ever had bad grades in school but it’s one of the first things they stressed during orientation so I’m assuming they take that sort of thing pretty seriously around here.  It’s a good thing though because I definitely slacked off way too much at NYU.  I plan to make up for it this time around.

I do hope I won’t get too busy to keep up with my blogs and Youtube videos.  I truly hope there will be time to fully enjoy London.  Speaking of which, it looks like bowling and salsa dancing lessons may be in my immediate future.  Additionally, I may have found a free outdoor bootcamp to attend on weekends.  And I managed to find a Black hair supply store as well as a Black hair salon right near where I live.  Yay!

Let’s see what else is in store for me.

 

Outfit / #OOTD

Sweater – The Limited

Scarf – Primark

Cut Offs – Macys

Tights – Primark

Back In London

Things are falling into place already.  

I have a sneaking suspicion that I live in close proximity to one of my favorite UK Youtubers and so far the weather has been perfect!  The past couple of days have required no coats – maybe a light jacket or sweater – and there’s be sunshine.  I love it.  I know it won’t last but I love it.

I’ve already managed to attend a lecture at Birbeck University as part of the Black History Month celebration thanks to an invite from a UK naturalista with whom I’ve developed a friendship (Hey Sian!).  I love that Black History Month is celebrated in October over here.  It’s a nice change though I do still plan to celebrate it again in February.  Why shouldn’t we have two months?  Hmmm?

In the next couple of weeks I hope to attend more natural hair events as well as some blogger events.  I’m just jumping in feet first I guess.  Don’t want to waste any time.  I want to enjoy as much of London as I can.  Please follow my Youtube channel as I will be vlogging about my life here in addition to my regular advice, comedy and beauty videos.

In other news, I’m still feeling a bit jetlagged.  I’ve not been sleeping well at all.  For instance, today I woke up at 5am and for the life of me could not get back to sleep.  Yesterday I was up at 7am.  Unheard of.  Unheard of.

I feel a bit homesick, to be honest.  I know it’s only been three days (and I’ve got many more days to get through – classes haven’t even begun yet!) but already I find myself thinking about specific things I used to do in Los Angeles and kind of missing them.  To be clear, I’m missing specific parts of my life as it existed in LA.  I’m not necessarily missing LA.  I think it’s because I didn’t give LA a proper goodbye.  Instead I sort of quietly exited stage right.  Maybe I did that wrong.  Maybe I would have closure had I left LA in traditional Dawn Style – with a party.

It’s OK though.  In my own way I did say goodbye through a series of Youtube videos I’ve affectionately titled “Letters to Target”  I had to quickly come to terms with the fact that there are no Targets in London.  I’m already not really a fan of Boots.  But I am checking out some other spots where I might be able to get the products that I need.  Anyway, the “Letters to Target” series features one minute videos in which I prepare to leave LA and let go of what is familiar.

Watch the first 4 Letters here:

There may be one or two more Letters to come.

So please stay tuned!

Back to School Advice – Real & Honest

back to school pic-1Most of this advice can be applied to anyone from 6th grade through undergrad – but towards the middle of the video I do break it down for Middle School, High School and Undergrad.  Check it out!

Don’t forget to Subscribe to my channel.  And if you haven’t checked out That Former Sidekick Girl I’ve got new blog posts over there too!

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xoxo

Common Black Girl | Common White Girl Tag

In lieu of doing two separate videos for these tags I just thought I’d combine them into one.

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Former Sidekick Girl Preview

I had this post scheduled on my new blog for next month but I felt it necessary to post now.  So here’s a preview of what I’ll be writing about on That Former Sidekick Girl.  Blog launches August 3rd!  Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss my weekly posts!

“Don’t Be Someone’s Muscle”

Remember those mean girl movies like Jawbreaker and Heathers?  Or pretty much any movie where there was a mean girl and her two (usually ethnic looking) sidekicks?  I would watch those movies as a kid and think that if those sidekicks weren’t standing right there this little mean girl wouldn’t have so much mouth.  She wouldn’t act all tough and think she could get away with doing terrible things.

The truth is this mean girl secretly needed to be flanked by her sidekicks to feel tough. She needed to send her cronies or sidekicks or “muscle” out to do her dirty work.  She didn’t want to get her hands dirty or face the consequences of her actions so she encouraged her friends to rally in her defense.

But here’s the thing- why would you take on someone else’s battle?  Why would you decide to take on someone else’s adversary?  Don’t you have your own battles and adversaries to overcome? 

Another important question that comes to mind is…. Why doesn’t this person deal with her own problems herself?  Why did she choose you to deal with them?  What kind of friend puts their issues into someone else’s hands?

And so that we don’t play the blame game let me also ask why would you oblige this friend?  Why would you do this person’s bidding?  Do you want to be her sidekick?  Do you really want to put yourself in that category?  Do you really want her to think of you as the person she could turn to to handle her drama?

No.  You don’t.  You’re no one’s backup or sidekick or muscle.  You’re better than that. 

Sure you want to be a good friend and show support to your friend.  But show your support by encouraging her to handle her drama like a mature adult not by sending you out to try to intimidate someone on social media.  That’s the kind of cyber bullying we are cracking down on.  (And if you think I’m going to stand for it for even a second you’ve got the wrong one.)

I used to be that girl.  I’d jump into my friends’ battles and run off at the mouth like nobody’s business.  I was that loud, obnoxious, stereotypical “black best friend.” Even though I made unnecessary enemies I thought it was worth it because I foolishly believed that when something happened to me my friends would stand up for me.  They’d support me.

They never did.  Not once.  On more than one occasion I found myself in trouble and in need of support and those friends were nowhere to be found.  That’s when I realized there was something very wrong with those relationships.

The friends I have now don’t step in and fight my battles for me. In the past I’d wish they would.  Then I’d feel supported or protected.  Maybe then people wouldn’t think they could mess with me if they knew I had backup who would retaliate.  But one thing I noticed about my friends now is they aren’t about that life.  When something bad happens to me they uplift me, encourage me, comfort me.  They remind me to focus on the bigger picture and help me not to let my emotions get out of control. 

Now I realize these are my true friends. They really care about my well-being.  Because when you think about it…once the emotions get out of the way the drama no longer has any power.

When I was running around with the wrong friends they wanted to see that drama.  They wanted to be entertained.

But I’m nobody’s court jester.  And I deserve to be taken seriously.  Like a person.  Not like this person you can send into the fray when you’ve got drama.

Take a close look at your friends.  Take notice of what they ask of you and what they use you for. If you find you’re being used to fight someone’s battles (either verbally or physically or through social media) put a stop to it. Think for yourself. Don’t be anybody’s TOOL.

Go Be Happy.  Now.
That Former Sidekick Girl