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Thursday, August 27, 2015

B.L.I.S.S. Beauty....All about Brows

Eyebrows have taken a major front seat in the beauty area with a multitude of products to groom, style, and primp. There are even specialty bars in popular cosmetic stores devoted to them. So it's no secret that it could be overwhelming and expensive mission to have the perfect face framing brows.

So here are my 3 brow products that do not break the bank, but keep your eyebrows looking lovely.

So before I go on with my picks, I do want to give the forewarning: I do like the natural look for my eyebrows not really into the Nike sign or super thick Cara Delevinge look for me, it's nice on her but my big hair plus big brows...ehhh I'll pass. I made sure to include my brows undone as I do naturally have some sparse spaces in my brows but I have an unfortunate fortune of having a unibrow that causes me to have a twice a month standing visit to the threading salon.
Forgive me for my pictures I've used as I have no other makeup then the eyebrow products that I'm demonstrating and they're very upclose and personal so you can see my brow magic. 
Au Natural brows

BH Cosmetics Flawless Brow Gel in Dark Brows $5.00
With Brow Gel

 This brow gel goes on smooth and leaves a nice shine, I love the fact that it has a built in spooly to apply the product to your brows while taming stray hairs and smoothing as they define your brows. It literally combines the normal steps that I would use to define my eyebrows The gel also goes on smooth, not pasty and last all day. Removing the need for a separate color and clear gel step. 

Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Define and Fill Duo 
$8.99 at CVS
So this was new product at CVS and I definitely wanted to try, it had the classic eyebrow pencil end, but added in a powder to set your eyebrows. This product was pretty simple to use and while I was afraid of the powder making my brows looking a little chalky or like I got my makeup caught in them, in a bad way, I was surprisingly pleased with the outcome. 

With Maybelline
Nyx Brow Cake Powder
CVS $5.00
Okay with this product, I was a bit confused, it didn't come with instructions so any newby to the eyebrow powder game would be reluctant to try it out. Is it me or by the looks of it is it not intuitive at all?!?!?! What about the cute little brushes, what the heck? So here goes the powder are to fill in the sparse spaces in your brow with that little spooly and the gel is to set the powder with the angle brush ! After playing with it a bit, I finally got it (I'm totally a gel or pencil girl, but this wasn't that bad), but in a pinch I wouldn't recommend it, it took way too much work to remember the steps and when I can have one step and do it all why would I want to do both?!?!?!?!

With the NYX powder duo

The Rules for What to Use:
What product should I use?

Brow powders I would definetly only recommend using if I had full brows and just wanted to make them look neater. Stay away if your skin tends to be drier it make me them look ashy, but the gel is a great touch to adding back the sheen.

Pencils are an oldy but goody, but I would recommend this for my sparse brow girl, but remember use feather strokes or risk looking like you have keyboard symbols on your face. Never USE BLACK! It just doesn't look natural, for my darker skin girls, a dark brown is dark enough!

Gels are for you dramatic brow girls who love a thick and luscious brow to wake up your face. I usually use gels right before threading time because it hides most of my eyebrows stray hair and grow out spots . Don't press to hard or you might have the "#Ijustdrewmyeyebrowsonwithamagicmarker" look. Not hot!

Well I hope you liked my brow review! And let me know in the comments below, what are your favorite brow products? Do you like a thick brow or thin? What other products would you like for me to review!

Toodles Darlings,

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Natural Glide Lubricant by VNatural Review

     When it comes to my VaJayJay, I am very particular and I don't play with the products I use. My rule of thumb is, don't put anything in your VaJayJay that you wouldn't put in your mouth. My rule of thumb helps me keep my ph balance right, and a happy VaJayJay is a happy Amira :).With this being said, when it comes to sex it's been hard finding a natural product I felt comfortable using as a lubricant.

     For the past few months, I had been searching for a product I felt comfortable using. I asked my mother who usually knows everything, and she had no answer. In fact she asked me to get her some if I found it! Then finally thanks to Instagram I came across @Kimi_Levadge and her page Kimi LeVadge has created a wonderful product called VNatural made of all food based products, that a basic human being can pronounce. There are only four ingredients (I love products with under five ingredients), and its edible! Meaning I can put it in my VaJayJay and my mouth (cause it be like that sometimes).

     The four ingredients are water, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum and citric acid (a natural preservative). Refrigeration is recommended, but the citric acid is a preservative so its optional. I researched (via google) all of the ingredients, and they are all products you can purchase and feel comfortable using. The products are easy to pronounce and there aren't many, which made me feel very safe.

     Now to the nitty gritty, when being used this product feels great. I tried it warm (before I refrigerated it), and cold (after refrigeration) and it was great both ways. Its very thin and has a very minimal stick to it. A little goes a long way and one bottle will last you a while depending on your frequency of use. It smells good (I have a thing for smells) and yes it tastes good! I was hesitant to taste it since I've never tasted a lubricant before, but if I want to stay true to my rule I had to. It tastes almost like a melted icicle (clearly I tasted it cold), its slightly sweet in a refreshing way and pretty tasty.

     After tasting VNatural, there was no bad after taste or sick feeling whatsoever. Also, the fact that its edible and tasty makes it a must have for a mix of oral and vaginal play! After trying this product I am sold, and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a natural, healthy and edible addition to their sex life. The product is great for use with toys if your a solo star, or with your partner. My VaJayJay was more than happy after using it, and its now a part of my supply.

I would also encourage you to check out for all of your bedroom supplies, because they carry a lot more than just lubricant! With your purchase you also get a pretty clever sexual fact and coupon off natural condoms! I think I've found my new go to for my bedroom supplies, head on over to and check them out for yourself, ooh and tell them I sent you!

Love, Light and Peace!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pura Vida!!!! Jacquel's solo trip to Costa Rica

Pura Vida everyone!

I have returned from my solo trip to Costa Rica.....Yes, solo trip you have heard right!

How did I end up doing  a solo trip you ask?
Well as the clock struck 12:00 on my 31st birthday, I found myself sitting alone on my couch lurking scrolling through Facebook. As people posted their pictures of travel and people enjoying their lives, I found myself feeling envious. Here I was at  31, single, fabulous, with a great career, and blessings in abundance and my life had become existing and not living. So on a whim I googled "safest places for solo women travelers" and Costa Rica popped on the list and something said "yes here". I rationalized that it was  not too far away (I'm very afraid of flying) and before I knew it I booked my flight and found an amazing and cheap villa in a small coastal town called Quepos ( I paid $60 per night) on Air BnB and I saw myself click the book button and  by 12: 45 am my solo trip was booked. Then the panic set in.........

WTF did I just do!!!!! I was shitting bricks  extremely panicked. This was so out of character for me! I hadn't done any research, I just clicked and clicked. This was sooooo not like me, but I shrugged my anxiety away enough for me to go to bed. I woke up looked at my credit card the charges were there, but I was still in denial, I  texted  Amira  and then it became real.
 I was excited. As I began to tell more people, I grew scared. I got a mixture of responses. Some people admired me for conquering my fears and not letting the lack of people stop me from doing anything I wanted to do in life. While others admonished me on how could I be so foolish to travel alone. Two weeks before my trip, I started doing more in depth research. Then the fudge moments started, Quepos is 2 1/2 hours from the major airport in San Jose, I panicked and then my awesome airBnB host email swooped in to save the day as it was full of plenty of info. It contained shuttle, taxi, and an offer to solidify a driver, at cost, for my travel too and from the airport. Sold! Then I learned public transport via shuttle starts at 6 am and ends after 6 pm, my flight landed at 8:30 pm and my return flight departed at 7:20 am (double fudge, since you have to be at the airport 2 hours before for international flights). I was able to adjust my villa stay duration and get my money back and get a hotel in San Jose for the night I landed and I coughed up the $175 for a shuttle ride home as I 'm a nervous nelly driver in the US, I wasn't prepared to drive 2 1/2 in a foreign country at 2 am in the morning alone.  The relief set in an now I could finally enjoy my trip.

My trip:
My flight was majorly delayed, totally ruining my preboarding wine buzz, and I didn't land until 10 pm CST (12 am EST), I was so glad I stayed in San Jose! I arrived at my comfy hotel 15 mins and $30 later, the taxis will get you, but I was only taking legit taxis so it was worth it. I woke up nervous to what was around me and was blown away by this super modern town. I found myself anxious to wander and get some yummy food, and I wasn't disappointed
The view outside of my hotel window
High Rise apartments in San Jose
Yummy food. Rice and beans is a staple feature in every meal in Costa Rica.

I left San Jose after check out and after a 2/1/2 hour ride/mini site seeing tour ,with an eclectic group of tourist from as far as Scotland, I arrived a cute little town and my very nice villa.
 This is "La Casita"
La casitia in Casa Pargo

"La Casita"  Pool and Ocean Views
The Pool

I had 2 bathroom, one bedroom loft style apartment and I'm obsessed with lofts, access to a swimming pool, and walkable distance for food and a not really popping nightlife, but every Spanish country has to have a discoteca, of course.

My stay in Costa Rica was amazing! I was able to walk the streets no one bothered or harassed me and having been in foreign countries, you stick out like a sore thumb as an American. I walked into to stores and ordered food, no one marked up prices, and actually they were elated to have the business and I had amazing service in the Sodas (these little storefront like stores, that had cheap and super yummy food). Although no one tried to rip me off , but be careful to count you change and convert it back to US dollars if you use it as your currency, as I did my whole trip without a problem, as they don't always recognize the value of our dollars (Looking at you Wacky Wanda's bar).

I did two excursions, I did a catamaran and a horseback riding, both were under 100 each. The catamaran came with 8 alcoholic drinks, a lunch of rice beans, fish, and salad. Two Jacuzzis, water slides, and snorkeling. Some people jumped off the side of the boat and swam (NOT I! I traveled thousands of miles by myself that's all the adventure I need.) I did snorkel and it was so much fun, although I saw nothing.
I'm on a boat

This where they filmed Jurassic Park

No one likes a shady beach crop top
Macy's Junior size Large

Fatkini life!
Shades Charlotte Russe
Belle Lingerie swimsuit top
Lane Bryant Swimsuit bottom

My 2nd excursion I went horseback riding, I got both breakfast and lunch that were super delicious and  I got to push a JAG!
Whipping the Jag!
Convertible book bag/pocketbook bag and sneakers

Chasing Waterfalls

Horseback riding was my Cardio that day!
Texting is my cardio shirt
Sears Juniors

Jaguar the horse that it is! I had never ridden a horse, but it was one of the most liberating albeit painful experiences ever (I had on yoga pants, you constantly bounce, and are using thigh muscles you didn't know existed, to hold on. In the moments Jaguar galloped, I felt so free and a sense of elation and giddiness overcame me. I knew then Costa Rica was where I needed to be, I was supposed to be there, this was living life.

Most of the trip I mellowed out by the pool,ate, and it explore the town. I did meet people, but I think the two people who impacted a lot were David and Amanda. A sweet and devoted couple who were on there own adventure through Costa Rica and we happened to meet on their  stop through the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. They were both from  the Northeast Coast, like me, and they were amazing. We had deep conversations about life, God, and what it means to live a life and live it on purpose. I needed to meet them, without going too deep, a lot was happening inside of me, emotionally, and it was meeting them it helped me come to a resolve. Although they never knew what they did, I thank them for that.
Dave and Amanda aren't they just the cutest

David feeding the monkeys

Costa Rica was a trip that needed to happen for me. I got a lot of time to recharge, relax, and breathe. I hadn't realized how outside of me, meaning my personality, I was living. I needed to plug back in to the essence of Jacquel. I think that traveling alone truly allows you to stop listening to all the voices around you and listen to your own voice as there is no one to talk to and collaborate with but you. I think I connected and heard God in my trip.

Some people asked me if I would travel alone again, and after deep thought, I said it while it wouldn't be my first choice,I got lonely the 2nd to last day, I don't think the prospect of being alone will ever stop me from going anywhere or doing anything ever again. As while I was fearful, fear is the lack of faith. I want to start having more faith, in the universe and especially in myself.
I hope you enjoyed my story and thanks for reading.

Please hit up the comment box below if you have any questions, need tips, or want to share your solo travel journey with us.

Toodles Darlings,
P.S. Enjoy some extra pictures from my trip!

Say hi to Mr. Monkey

Leaving my footprints in the sand

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Clemantine Wamariya Interview

In 1994 the Rwandan genocide began, it was a mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority. During the 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994, an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed.

Clemantine Wamariya  who was six, and her older sister Claire were barely able to escape when soldiers came to their home. The young girls were separated from their family and lived on the run in refugee camps in seven different countries. Clemantine and Claire lived in eight countries and five different refugee camps since 1994.

By miracle, they were able to escape the killing in Rwanda and found themselves in Burundi. They then moved to The Democratic of Congo for a year to start a new life; but then war began there as well so they fled to Tanzania and lived there for a few months.

In the refugee camps people were starving to death, diseases were taking the lives of people every day, there was no way out for many people. Next they went to Malawi before heading to Mozambique for a few months. They moved to South Africa soon after and stayed for few years. After a few years of peace, they tried to head back to Rwanda but got caught in another war in Congo in 1998.

They ended up in Zambia until the International Organization for Migration (OIM) brought them to Chicago in 2000. At the age of thirteen Clemantine began her formal education and amazingly went on to graduate from Yale University in 2014, with a degree in comparative literature.

What you've gone thru, many Americans cannot even fathom. How do you feel your story should impact those of us that normally feel so removed from such atrocities? 
 We need to examine our humanity and come up with innovative ways to understand each other. I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m here to encourage us to work together. Human beings are capable of a lot more than they believe. There’s beauty in good, even though there’s evil and hate, there’s beauty in all of us.

What are some of your biggest challenges?
 I see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. The main challenge for me now is to decide what I want to do next. First and foremost, I want to make sure that I remember to care for myself even while taking care of others. I am mentoring many students all over Africa and the US right now. Unfortunately, I never have enough time in a day and sometimes energy. I wish I had someone who can help me manage my crazy and wild life! To me nothing is impossible if you allow your imagination to run wild, why not!

What advice can you give to people struggling to overcome adversity?
Taking action is the opposite side of hate. After all, imagination can only take us so far. I do believe in the power of imagination, but I also believe in the power of work and the power of gratitude. If you want to see your circumstances change, take action.

What is one of the greatest life lessons you've learned?
This advice came from my sister Claire, " We must carefully learn all kinds of ways to survive and thrive in our given lives with every resources, tools and people we have around us" 

                     What is the greatest challenge you are facing right now?
My greatest challenge is having other people try to tell me who they think I should be. With all the respect I have for them, it’s hard not to listen. I can see clearly who I want to be and the challenge is to convince these people of that. I feel like a lot of people can probably relate with me on this. I will say I’m tackling the challenge though. I want to be the Clemantine who won’t shut up about poverty, oppression, and wars. I keep choosing that Clemantine and I hope that it will be enough. 

 Where's your happy place? 
Wherever/whenever I am around kind, loving and caring people. People bring me joy. All kinds of people. I am attracted to people who love life. I love hearing people’s stories. Everyone has a unique story and a different way of telling it. You get someone’s story from their hand gestures, their accent, or the emotion in their voice. I could listen to people telling their stories all day.
 What are you most grateful for?   
People and opportunities that enable me to serve people all over the world.
Where will Clemantine be ten years from now? 
I take life one day at a time, focusing on today. Tomorrow is a mystery.
 Lastly, whats your personal motto?  
Ben Okri quote "The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering."  Knowing truth in myself and others. 

Clemantine serves as a board member of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, based on an appointment by President Obama himself. Recently, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization described Clemantine as “a compelling storyteller and fierce advocate for girls worldwide.”

To see Clemantine's reunion with her family on the Oprah show click the link below!