Matte Lipstick 101


I remember trying my first matte lipstick like it was yesterday. Beauty bloggers and makeup lovers were all raving about MAC’s Ruby Woo, so I decided to try it for myself. The makeup artist at the mall handed me the blue-red lipstick, and I applied it excitedly.

The thrill quickly ended when I realized it was more like chalk than lipstick. “Is this stale or something?” I thought. I wiped it off in horror and swore off matte lipstick…

Until I learned the tricks and trades of course. If applied properly, matte shades can give you a great bold look. All you need is a little practice and these tips to avoid a dry and flaky disaster:

Are You Who You Were a Year Ago? | The Importance of Rebranding Yourself

A Year Ago

I was at the mall the other day debating a trip to the food court, when a huge advertisement caught my eye. The Aeropostale ad read “ARE YOU WHO YOU WERE A YEAR AGO?” Though meant to be a campaign for the store’s rebranding, it served a greater purpose as I reflected on the person I was only 365 days ago.

For starters, I was in the midst of what I thought was the worst summer ever. At the age of 22, I felt I was supposed to be on track to becoming the editor-in-chief of my own magazine. You see, I had it all planned out: I would have an amazing internship at my favorite magazine, they would of course love me, and from there I’d work my way to the top while squeezing in a 2-year stint in graduate school. It made sense and I didn’t see how it wouldn’t happen.

Until well, it didn’t. I didn’t get that dream internship. I didn’t get any internship to be honest. Instead I lived at home and worked 10-hour sweaty days at my local water park. For someone used having her plans work out, it was rather sobering. I began to feel bad for myself as I saw countless peers starting to live out their dreams on social media. They were interning, traveling, and hustling- all while making time for happy hour specials.

I was beginning to chug the haterade, until I realized I didn’t even know myself anymore. My limited thinking caused me to question if I was really destined for the fabulous life that I planned. I had once believed I was perseverant and ambitious, but in the mirror I saw someone who was bitter and filled with self-pity. Where was the Tara who never fretted, but instead exclaimed in her best George Lopez impression, “I got this“?


Whether you are adding stamps to your passport or hustling at your internship, I hope everyone is making time to enjoy the sunshine. It’s hard to believe that we’re already a couple weeks from August. I’m watching K-Mart’s back-to-school commercials and wishing summer would take its sweet time.

The Importance of Sisterhood

Living Single

Sadly, on numerous occasions I have heard women claim that they don’t have many female friends because they are catty, disloyal, and full of drama. They claim to prefer the friendship of men because they are amicable, loyal, and drama-free. I find this troubling on many levels, as it reminds me of patriarchal dichotomous thinking which implies that women are the negative opposites of men.

For example: Men are dominant, therefore women are submissive. Men are strong willed, therefore women are weak.

Dismissing sisterhood is dismissing a bond like no other. I love my guy friends like Moesha loved Hakeem (before they hooked up and it felt weird), but there are times when I just need my girls. Those are the times when I want more than empathy. I’m looking for someone who truly knows and understands what it’s like to be a woman. Someone who knows what I strive for, what I struggle with.

I often credit girl talk with my best girl friends for keeping me sane at the end of a tough work week or during a bad breakup. According to a NY Times article I read, some studies would agree. It detailed how “sisterly chats” make people happier. Although it dealt solely with biological sisters, I feel the same applies to friends whom I would call a “sister from another mister.”

A perfect instance would be a call I received the other day from a girl friend of my mine from middle school. I was feeling rather blah, for lack of a better term, and I was happy to hear from her. We discussed trivial things like shopping and even cracked up as we made fun of the countless engagement announcements from our peers on Facebook.

“You know, I want to go to a wedding and just be a hater the whole time as I sip from the free open bar.”

“Yes! And say, “I got their gift on clearance anyway!”

After the laughs and hateration, I hung up the phone with a smile. Though we didn’t discuss our worries or troubles, it was as if I just finished a 45-minute therapy session. Your girl friends may know how to push your buttons, but they also know the right time to check on you- even if it means talking about the mundane details of everyday life. As the NY Times article stated, “These seemingly pointless conversations are as comforting to some women as ‘troubles talk’ conversations are to others.”

Falling in Love With NYC (Again)

Falling in Love with NYC

There’s just something about New York City. You can’t pinpoint it to a single word, phrase, or even a song. When you’re there, you fall in love. And no, not with the cutie in the suit on the 6 train, but with the city itself.

I found myself back in my future home this past week and it felt like I left a piece of me until the next time.

When I was 14 years old I left the Empire State with my family for sunny South FL. The weather was nice and the cost of living was even nicer. During my 9 years of living here, I began to consider NY as a part of my past that I would occasionally visit for Christmas.

That is, until a grad school visit a year ago. When it hurt to leave, I knew deep down that I was meant to be a New Yorker again.

So this time around I was in that beautiful dirty city to take care of some business before the big move back. And of course I had to enjoy some food, fun, and shenanigans. My trip consisted of three B’s– brownstones, Brooklyn, and brunch

Nevermind if I have to pay a kidney and then some, I will own a brownstone one day. I could stare at them for moments at a time and imagine how I’d decorate it with cool art and eclectic furnishings.

Falling in Love with NYC 6