LINK-END ROUND-UP: January 10, 2020

Stained Couture’s weekly series, Link-End Round-Up, features interesting reads I read from around the internet this week.

Happy Friday. This week has felt longer than needed, but we survived! Currently, I’m at the starting line of my yearly 21 days fast with my church, which I’ve been taking part in for over 8 years. This year, I intended to the Daniel Fast, which means no meat, dairy, bread, sugar, or caffeine. I did it a few years ago and felt the best I had ever felt afterwards – physically, mentally, and spiritually. So, I was getting excited to do it, but had to change my plans at the very last minute.

The fast started yesterday and decided to meal prep the first couple of days by making some vegetable soup. I dropped all the ingredients in my slow cooker on Wednesday and woke up some tasty, healthy soup. Unfortunately, the vegetable stock I used had sugar in it. WTF?! I didn’t think vegetable stock would have sugar in it! I guess sugar is in everything. So, for that reason, I decided that I would just fast off of meat, dairy, bread, and caffeine. So far, so good, but it’s just day 2.

However, the soup will be gone by tomorrow and I might restart my fast tomorrow. That’s what I’m praying on today and will hopefully have made a decision before I go to bed.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the articles in this week’s Link-End Round-Up.

LINK-END ROUND-UP: January 10, 2020

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REVIEW: Mary Kay Lip Kit in Cherry

Every now and then, I like to step out of my neutral, everyday makeup and make a statement. Usually, that statement is made with a bold and/or bright lip. Recently, the bright lip I’ve been reaching for is the Mary Kay Lip Kit in Cherry – a true, cherry red.

REVIEW: Mary Kay Lip Kit | STAINED COUTURE

However, this isn’t your normal lip kits, which usually contain a liquid lipstick and matching lip pencil. Oh no, this is not your little sister’s IG crazed lip kit! What makes this lip kit different is that it’s formulated to stay on all day – waterproof and smudge proof. Interesting, right? However, does it actually not smudge and stay on all day? Well, keep reading to find out.

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EMPTIES: Fall 2019

Yes, I did use up some products over the past few months and yes, I’ll share them with you. Welcome the products I emptied over the last few months – Fall 2019 Empties.

EMPTIES: Fall 2019 | STAINED COUTURE

As you can see from the picture, I didn’t use up as many products in the Fall, as I did in the Spring and Summer. However, I did use up enough and I’m pleased. Also, before we go any further, this will be my last seasonal empties post. Last year, I decided to try something different and do an Emptied post for each season.

Unfortunately, it was the best ideal in terms of providing reviews about the products. Sharing products that were great for summer in the fall, made some of the products expired. The other reason I’m going back to the monthly schedule is that it was so time consuming to write a post review almost 20 products. I still cringe thinking about my Spring 2019 empties – both posts!

Enough of the 2020 content changes. Keep reading to see what products I used up over the last few months.

EMPTIES: Fall 2019 (Hair)

I’m so long overdue for a hair appointment – it’s embarrassing. Thankfully, my stylist is off maternity leave and I can make an appointment, which I still need to do. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to make sure my hair always conditioned and moisturized. One I make sure this happens is with weekly deep condition treatments. One of my favorite hair masks I used last year was Eden Bodyworks Split End Repair Mask. This masks felt very decadent for the price point. Plus, not only did it make my hair feel stronger, but also soft.

I rarely use my Sephora points – I rather let them rise. However, every now and then, they have a product that I want to try and worth spending a couple hundred points. That exactly how I tried DevaCurl Leave-In Decadence Conditioner – best use of Sephora points ever! This leave-in is formulated for super curly hair, which is the texture of my natural hair. This leave-in made my curl feel and look hydrated, bouncy, and smooth. I haven’t bought the full-size yet, but it’s definitely my next hair product purchase.

The final hair product that I used up was ORS HAIRepair Intense Moisture Cream. A very wordy product name, but it’s fits. This moisturizing hair cream was great when my hair and scalp felt extra dry. However, I mainly used it on my ends at night and put my hair in a low bun with a satin scrunchie. Every morning, I would wake up to soft and moisturize ends. So, I would totally buy this again.

EMPTIES: Fall 2019 (Skincare)

I didn’t finish too many skincare products this month – I managed to use up a few. The first skincare product that I used up was a travel size bottle of Rosewater Facial Toner from the Heritage Store. I’d wanted to try this toner for a while. So, when I saw that Target had it in travel size, I felt it was perfect way to give it a shot. After using it up, this really didn’t anything for my skin – basically rose-scented micellar water. It’s good it you want a natural toner, but nothing to write home about.

Another toner I used up recently was Clean & Clear Lemon Juice toner. I bought this on an impulsive whim, because it was new. After using it for couple of days, I didn’t really feel or notice any changes in the way my skin looked or felt. Plus, the lemon scent was strong and smelled a lot like lemon-scented multi-purpose cleaner. However, I decided to give it another chance in late summer, which I’m glad I did. After a couple of weeks of use, I noticed that it made my skin appear slightly brighter. In the end, I liked the toner, but doubt I’ll buy it again. My skin needs something a little stronger. However, I would recommend this brightening toner for teenager looking for something to gently brighten their skin.

Another product that I tried, but a took a break on before picking back up months later is Urban Skin RX Even Tone Cleansing Bar. When I first started using this cleanser, I LOVED it! So much so, I made it an IOTW and used it for a couple of months before giving it a break. I didn’t stop using it because it aggravated my skin or anything like that. Instead, I started to listen to my skin and used products to address skin issues or concerns I was having.

I started using this again a couple of months ago when my skin needed some regular, gentle exfoliation. Again, this cleanser made my skin look and feel smoother and brighter, as well. I will be buying this cleanser again, because it needs to be one of my cleanser options.

EMPTIES: Fall 2019 (Makeup)

I only used up 3 products that pertain to makeup – 2 of them were lip products. The first was a lip oil by Ulta, which made me briefly fascinated with lip oils. Lip oils help moisturize your lips, but with the look of a lightly tinted lip gloss. I’ve bought a couple other lip oils since, but the Ulta one is still my favorite.

The other lip product I used up was Milk Cosmetics Kush Lip Galze. Since this balm was very thick, I mostly used it when I was really diligent in lip basting every night. In the end, it was a really good lip balm. If you like thick and shiny lips, you will love this. However, at an $18 price point, I doubt I’d buy it again.

The final makeup product that I used up was Pixi Beauty Glow Mist. You know what? I really loved this mist. It was helped set my makeup, hydrate my skin, and smelled lovely! If I was ever in need of a face mist while browsing around Target, I would totally buy mist.

EMPTIES: Fall 2019 (Misc.)

A few months ago, I went through a phase of wanting to collect different scents. That led me to pick up Whisky Noir from Urban Outfitters. This scent has a musk and vanilla scent that was perfect for fall. Unfortunately, the scent doesn’t last most of the day, which made me use it up pretty fast. I like the scent and the $20 price point. So, I would probably pick up some other scents in the future, but with the knowledge that it may not last long.

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LINK-END ROUND-UP: January 3, 2020

Stained Couture’s weekly series, Link-End Round-Up, features interesting reads I read from around the internet this week.

LINK-END ROUND-UP: January 3, 2020 | STAINED COUTURE

Well, what do we have here? The first Link-End Round-up of 2020? Maybe, it’s the fourth post I’ve published this week? What if I said it’s all the above? Well, it’s all of the above and I’m so proud of myself.

Listen. I don’t do resolutions, because they automatically leave the door open to not achieving. So, instead, I choose to find a couple of areas in my life that I would like to work on  – good or bad. No matter the outcome or length, I just like to dedicate some time to working on it.

Earlier this week, I shared a list of things that happened to me in 2019 that changed my life. Although it wasn’t at the top of the list, being laid off was the main thing that defined my 2019 – good and bad. That event trickled to various areas of my life, including this site. Even after I got through that season, it took me a minute to get back on a path.

Now that I feel comfortable with the path that I’m on, I’m ready to pour back into writing and creating content for the blog. I feel content and look forward to growing this space again.

As for my plans for this weekend, I plan to eat anything I want. Why? Well, Monday is the beginning of my church’s yearly corporate fast and your girl has decided to do the Daniel Fast. The Daniel Fast is pretty an extreme vegan diet, because you can’t meat, dairy, sugar, nor caffeine. No morning coffee, quick sugary treat between meals, or wine after a long day. *inhale, exhale*

However, I’ve done the Daniel Fast before – maybe 4-5 years ago. It was a challenge that I wasn’t prepared for, but completed. Plus, it was the best I had ever felt – mentally, physically, and spiritually. After last year, I feel that this is what I need at this time and I’m looking forward to it.

In the meantime, in you see me somewhere in Memphis going in on some hot wings or burger – mind your business. Instead, click on one of the reads in this week’s Link-End Round-Up. Thanks in advance.

LINK-END ROUND-UP: January 3, 2019

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LUST-HAVE LIST: January 2020

Stained Couture’s monthly series, Lust-Have List, features items I’m wanting this month.

LUST-HAVE LIST: January 2020 | STAINED COUTUREew

Welcome to “Roaring ’20s” and this year is all about 20/20 vision! Are ya’ll tired of the 2020 cliches as much as me? I hope so.

This year’s January Lust-Have List is filled with items I wish I had asked one of my Santas to get for me. Maybe, every year’s January LHL is just a list of things I wish someone had bought for me for Christmas. *face palm*

Keep reading to see the list of my December regrets – I guess.

LUST-HAVE LIST: January 2020

  • Algenist GENIUS Liquid Collagen – I need more collagen in my life, because my skin is starting to shift down. After spending an insane amount of time researching products, Algenist Liquid Collagen seems the be the best collagen product on the market. I wish I knew this when I was able to get it for 20% off during the Sephora sale. Hopefully, I’ll bite the bullet this month.
  • Black Faux Croc Buckle Boots – Another I need more of in my life are shoes with texture. Faux croc is one of my favorite textures, which is why I’m feeling these boots. Plus, they come in wide width. Cute wide with boots still exist, ladies.
  • Gold and Diamond Libra Necklace – If there is something that says “Libra”, I want it and every color. Although this zodiac necklace doesn’t say Libra, it’s gold and diamonds, so I’ll be okay. Plus, the price is affordable for the quality and materials. I want to collect real gold jewelry from now on.
  • 2020 Create & Cultivate Planner – Over the past few days, people on my IG feed have been on a mad hunt for the Create & Cultivate journals. The journals are only available at Target and sold out online. Some people have been able to find them in select stores. I know of one in my area, which I’m planning to hit this weekend. Wish me luck.
  • Heavenly Luxe Complexion Brush – This past weekend, I rediscovered my love of dual-end makeup brushes. Courtney Kerr of Kerrently.com uses this IT Cosmetics double-ended brush, which she praises highly every time. I have a couple of It Cosmetics brushes and the quality is amazing. So, I know I won’t regret this purchase.
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