3.15.2009

Recession Beauty Tips 101 - Buppie Style

*Sigh.* All of this "doom and gloom" news about the economy is forcing me to scale back on things that are contributing to my overall well-being. But since I'm STILL in Obama celebration mode here in DC, I'm still spending on social events and enjoying time with friends (I cut back on eating out big time, but I still spend on certain events and cocktails, you know how it is). So, I thought about where I could cut back and it was easy - first, beauty supplies.

I'll admit it, I'm completely fooled by fancy packaging and promises to deliver amazing results if you spend a little extra in a fancy store while being conned by sales people (think Sephora, MAC, etc).

So what did I do? I made the decision to reevaluate some of my beauty purchases, spa treatments, and occasional hair salon visits (4 times/year) if I'm trying to make an impact in my personal savings. Despite this linked article I found on the Wall St. Journal a couple weeks ago, I do believe that Black Women can save money and STILL look fly.

So what did I do? For the last month, I've decided that if a new purchase must be made, I'm going to think twice. I went on a super beauty shopping spree (recession style) in an effort to find some money-conscious alternatives to my usual favs. Let's reflect on some of list of OLD VS NEW (Ressession Style):

Makeup

  1. MAC Eyeliner - $14.50 vs. Maybeline ($4)
  2. MAC Viva Glam lipstick $14 - Covergirl ($6) - but I'm more of a gloss person only anyway so I haven't had to buy any yet.
  3. MAC lip gelee - $14 vs. Covergirl Queen Collection ($5.50)
  4. MAC foundation - (okay can't give this up - but send me a message if you have an alternative for medium-dark complexions - this is the BEST I've found) - $29
  5. MAC Iridescent loose powder (for bronzing effect) - $21 vs. Jane Shimmering Bronzer ($6)
  6. Shampoo - I've found it doesn't really matter what kind of shampoo you use, but how you moisturize and condition your hair afterwards. So call me cheap, but I've switched from Nioxin and Nexxus shampoos ($9-$17) to Suave Biobasics Shampoo ($3.29) and 100% coconut oil.
  7. Deep Conditioner - Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery Treatment ($48) and Nexxus Scalp Therapy ($20) vs. Queen Helene Cholesterol Hair Cream ($3) - add some coconut/tea tree oil and leave on for 30 minutes and it's just as good, lol.
So so far they've been mostly small changes, but everything counts, right? I think it's more about changing my way of thinking. Packaging isn't everything. Brands aren't everything. I'm looking a little deeper. Shout out if you have any other beauty savings tips (best lotions, skin treatments, facial cleansers, etc.). I'd love to hear them. Smooches. <--I hate when people say that or "Toodles", lol.

Spa Treatments
Massage - Favorite DC Spa $100 for 50 minutes vs. a Massage School - 60 minute massage for $40.
Pedicure - @ home pedi is only about $10 max
Manicure - @ home mani is only about $5 max
Wax - instead of waxing I'm not "nairing" and it works quicker and with less pain. I do it only 2 times/week and it takes about 5 minutes. Not the best smell, but it works. I also have at home wax for my brows, etc. It cost me about $10 and will last for several treatments.

Health and Fitness
In my quest to get the toned Michelle Obama physique, I'm all about health and fitness, so here are a few ways I'm cutting back.

  • Gym - $65/month vs. My feet ($0), + there's a gym in my condo bldg. (easy)
  • Organic Foods are OUT. Pretty packaged veggies are OUT. Instead I cut up my own veggies and slice my own fruits. Saves tons. I'm also, trading Whole Foods for Safeway or Trader Joes (although I also love peapod).
  • Lastly I only shop with a purpose. I make a menu of what I'll eat for about 4 days at a time and only buy food for those days. Before trying this method, I'd spend easily over $100/week and throw away half of it. Ugh, the life of a single buppie...

Other Tips:

  • Organize your cabinets/closets - you have more than you realize. Utilize what you ALREADY have before shopping for new purchases. If you like the "new" feeling, have a "beauty trade day" with friends.

2.23.2009

Single Ladies - Church Version

I don't know if this is real or not, it can't be! But this is KILLING me. If this is your church, please let me know. Praise his name.

2.22.2009

C. Breezy - Really? REALLY!

OK, I must admit that when I first heard this story I was giving Chris Brown the benefit of the doubt. I mean, what business was it of mine? I assumed there was yelling, screaming, possibly a shove here or there, ya know...an argument (not a boxing match). There was WAY too much speculation and rumors flying through the airwaves for me to make an educated judgment on what occurred that night until I saw this damn photo! Nothing, and I mean NOTHING can legitimize how much he beat this woman that night. I mean WTF?! And now I hear that she's not pressing charges and wants him back. WHAT, eWHAT?! Ladies, we need to do better. Jeeezus.

2.12.2009

Bizaaaaaaaaack! Anybody There? LOL

Ok ok, we've been slippin'. I know! My bad. Ok, here are my excuses.

1. I've been celebrating/partying my ASS off. Barack Obama is STILL President. WHAT?!
2. My job has gone completely INSANE and I've been working ridiculous hours (oh and they blocked this site at work, can you believe that?!) I have GOT to win the damn lottery because I can't take this! SO over it.
3. I just haven't been all that inspired! I know, with SO much going on in the world, I can't think of a THING to blog about. So go ahead and leave some comments about some different topics you'd like to discuss, because I'm completely blank.
4. Still going through that quarterlife crisis and I'm in desperate need of a vacation. (I need some vacation ideas ASAP).

Ok, those aren't the "best" excuses, but how about I just vow to do a little better? Are we cool? ;-)

1.05.2009

Media Scrutiny of Obama Kids - It's Starting...

I'm feel so horribly that Malia and Sasha have to grow up in the spotlight in a world that is not yet color-blind. I remember the exact moment when I realized that racism still exists and how I felt as a young black girl in a classroom where I was treated differently than the other children. I was 8 years old and it's a very life-changing experience. So, not only am I worried about them being scrutinized as the President's kids, I'm worried about them being scrutinized as black children and having to carry that burden at such a young age. I almost feel as though they are part of my family and I want to protect them from the hateful words I've seen so far. Not in the articles themselves, but in the comments sections. TMZ, Politico, the Drudge Report, etc are just a few of the news outlets that have reported on the girls' first day of school. Do you think that their father's position requires them to be under such scruitiny? I mean I understand it, but I just do not agree with it. *Sigh*

Check out TMZ's article (and the comments):

[TMZ] - Obama Girls -- The Lil' Ladies Who Lunch

My favorite reader comment: "Be nice to Malia and Sasha. Your kids may work for them one day." (MESSAGE!)

1.04.2009

Different Perspectives on the state of the Economy (Bush vs. President Elect Obama)

Sorry this isn't a fun post, but this economic recovery is on the brain a lot lately. Check out the different viewpoints of our soon-to-be FORMER President George W. Bush and our President-Elect Barack Obama.

He's not an economist but...long story short, the man is in denial.


Looks like our optimist is turning into a realist. Check out his statements on our "economic recovery" (I'm not getting the warm and fuzzies, *sigh*):

12.29.2008

Murders of Black Teens are up 39%

Happy Belated Holidays,

I know we've been on hiatus for quite a while, but between the holidays, work, and school we've been swamped. The headlines have been plentiful, and just when I was going to do a pointless post on the "Puff the Magic Negro" song, I came across this Wall Street Journal article on murder rates among Black American teens! It's outrageous. In case you don't have time to read the short article, here's the summary:
"Murders rose among black teens in 2006 and 2007 as overall homicides dropped compared with the previous year. And the 2000-07 rate of increase among black teens was more than twice the rate of increase among white teens, the study found. An overwhelming proportion of the killings involve black-on-black crime. James Alan Fox, co-author of the study, said the cuts in law-enforcement programs and activities geared toward youth disproportionately affect African-Americans because they are more likely than their white counterparts to come from communities where there is inadequate adult supervision, high rates of single-parent homes, inferior schools and widespread gang activity. "Cuts in support for youth have a much greater impact on black families who don't have alternatives," Mr. Fox said. "

Now, we can all blame the Bush administration for cutting programs that benefited underprivileged neighborhoods, but I must admit that since I've been on my own, I've done my best to stay away from the 'hood. Not because I'm in any way ashamed of where I've come from, but because it's depressing. I always wanted to be the person to go back and volunteer and start a non-profit to benefit my community, but I haven't done ANYthing since I left but benefit myself. I know that if we want change in our communities it starts with us.

Now don't get me wrong, I do not assume that all of you buppies came from the "urban mecca's" that are responsible for these despicable crimes, nor do I think that we should be the sole saviors of the black race (I mean parents and educators should share some responsibility, right?), but I do know that each of these communities would benefit if we donated some of our time and money to volunteering and giving back to children in need (through education and social organizations). I do not feel that the situation is hopeless. After this past year, neither should you. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is hopeless.

What are your thoughts? What are the causes for these numbers? What are some possible solutions? Do you still identify with these communities even though you may be living in an entirely different community? Do tell...

12.12.2008

Oh Hell Yes: Tip Your Waitress, Boo!

Tipping...... ahh - I am a really fair tipper - by all means. 20% at least. 20% is always easier for me to calculate than 15%, so I take the easy route. Even when I get bad service, I leave a tip. There may have been approximately 5 times in my 28 years of living that I have walked out without tipping - for TRUE reasons of course..... check the tips AND please check the video at the bottom of the post. Damn! I miss true blood.


Tips on tipping:
At a salon: The standard amount for salon gratuity is 15% to 20% depending on the extent of the services, the skill of the stylist and whether or not you intend to frequent the establishment and the stylist again. Given all these factors are positive, you'll want to offer a tip in the 20% range. Don't overlook the people who shampoo your hair and those who get you coffee and magazines--they get at least a dollar for their services.
At a restaurant: Offer up 15% to 20% of your total bill. Keep in mind that the amount you tip reflects the total price before any coupons, gift certificates, etc. Just because you get a discount, does not mean that your server did not serve up the full order. If you are part of a party of more than 8 people, you should offer an amount closer to the 20% marker, if not more, depending on the needs of the guests in your party. If, for example, one of your guests insists on getting the salad dressing on the side, extra bread, more water and no avocado, then you definitely want to compensate the server who extended service to include these extras.

At a club or bar: Tip the bartender between 10% and 15% depending on the complication of your drink order. If you just order a beer in a bottle, there's not too much effort involved in providing the service, but if you order a mixed drink that takes time and includes a lot of ingredients, then offer up a more sizable tip, somewhere closer to the 15% range.

Transportation: Whether you hail a cab or take a limousine, you best offer a gratuity between 10% to 15% of the fare. If the drivers are particularly rude or unhelpful, give them the minimum. But if they are attentive to your travel needs and help you in any way beyond the norm, remember and thank them with a 15% or larger gratuity. If you use valet service at a hotel, restaurant or shopping area, offer the driver 10% for the service, but never give change. Another guideline is simply offering the attendant a back or two for the parking and retrieval of your car. And if you're traveling through an airport, and utilizing the aid of skycaps, offer a dollar per bag and up that amount if the bags are particularly heavy or large.

At a Hotel: It is standard to leave the maid a few bucks for tidying your room. If you have additional needs such as more towels, soap, an extra toothbrush, etc. thank the maid with an additional dollar or two. When checking in and out of a hotel, remember the bellhop with a gratuity of a dollar per bag, unless, once again, you have particularly large or heavy bags.

Check out the video:
Yeah - take that, take that.

12.11.2008

Daily Prayer: "The Upper Class"


I cry. You cry.

Speechless

Did anyone else see Keyshia Cole singing at the Oscar De La Hoya Fight last weekend? Please comment on the singing, wig, and ensemble. I have no words...


And have you seen "The Way it Is" (Keyshia Cole's Reality Show)? If not, enjoy the preview. Check out the fam (high-tech shit):

Real Housewives of Atlanta "NeNe" Evicted from Home

Daaaaaaang NeNe. Fox blew her WHOLE spot - damn...

Polls Show a Large Majority of Americans Approve of Barack Obama

I'm all smiles today after reading this article. We are on our way to progress! Story Here - Washington Journal

12.09.2008

A Buppie Bailout Message, from "The Big 3"

Gotta click to enlarge - funny ish (depressingly funny, but funny nonetheless).

GM, Chrysler, and Ford are gangster - like literally.

12.05.2008

Alum Shoutout: FAMU to Play in Obama's Inaugural Parade!

According to my sources, FAMU's Marching 100 was asked to play in the inaugural parade. Awesome news and I had to share. Yay! Ahhhh, how I miss undergrad...

Marching 100


Super Bowl



Grammy's

In the Name of...

May God Bless originality. Amen.

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