Living Room, wide view
Light filters into the room through two domed 5 ft windows.

It’s Sunday morning in Brooklyn and the light pouring into the living room paints the walls with streaks of sun. This is life around my way these days. It’s been about three and a half years since I moved back to New York and a short five months since my boyfriend Brian and I moved into this cozy apartment in the neighborhood of Bushwick and turned it into our vibrant, but infinitely peaceful, Brooklyn home.

Moving in together required a lot of downsizing—well, for me at least. I had been living in a fairly large two-bedroom/two-bathroom apartment in Sunset Park (a neighborhood in southern Brooklyn) and my digs comfortably fit all of my big, sturdy Virginia-sized furniture. I had two different roommates during my time in Sunset Park. Both came with a minimal amount of furniture so I was generally left to my own devices when it came to decorating the common areas.

The old place

I knew that things were going to be different with Brian because this man has OPINIONS. He also happened to own furniture and was not shy about expressing just how much he hated mine. (I mean, it wasn’t the most amazing stuff in the world and I didn’t buy it because I loved it, but damn. He didn’t have to be so cold, you know?) We moved in together a little sooner than planned: his roommate decided, with 30 days notice, that she was ending his lease. So instead of having a few months to find a place that we both liked, we had a few weeks. Fortunately for us, but mainly for him ’cause he was about to be homeless, it worked out.

Something New

Another view.
Another view.

As you can see, the new space is much smaller—and that’s what makes it so much better! Most of the decorative touches that give the room its personality were things that I already owned. It’s pretty cool to look back at photos of my old Brooklyn home and see things used in a totally different way, i.e. the mirror that was hanging over the couch has found new life as a leaning mirror between the windows.

A round glass coffee table helps preserve a sense of space and airiness in a smaller space.
Brian picked up this table for a steal. It fits perfectly into this little nook and since its seats are designed to snugly frame the tabl, we are able to keep it flush against the wall. It’s my number one small apartment win.

And of course, sine I began writing this post in March, we have replaced the couch and the main rug. But you may have to wait another half of a year to see that new set up…

I am back. Let me rise from the ashes on this most sacred of days. . It is a day of deep analysis and reflection where we gather together to reflect upon the previous night’s events— it is the day after the Met Gala.

Too much?

It is true that this morning, I woke up inspired. It has been a while since I’ve seen a fashion event and just breathed, “YES.” This year’s gala theme was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” and the attendees played with religious wear, form and symbolism in a way that befitted one of the world’s most ornate and artistically productive religions. Though the Gala’s theme is not prescriptive, it is descriptive and laid the groundwork for my favorite looks of the night.

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Raise your hand if you were blessed with perfect skin! No hands? Yeah, I thought so. Even those among us who have “pretty good skin” tend to have some things that they’d like to refine and polish. I, like so many other women of color, deal with a bit of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation occurs when too much melanin, the very essence of #BlackGirlMagic, gathers in the skin. Hyperpigmentation occurs for any number of reasons– hormonal changes, heredity, acne, sun exposure– lots of things. When you have to hide hyperpigmentation, here are the steps you should take.

1. Skincare– Don’t you DARE skip the sunscreen!

The best way to combat hyperpigmentation is prevention, no doubt about that. Your skin is your largest organ and is regenerating all of the time. That, my friends, is good news. With careful– aka not aggressive– exfoliation, you can slough your way to new, fresh baby skin. All that fresh skin only stays that way if you protect it, though. Melanin, the pigment that caused those dark spots in the first place, is activated by sun exposure. So if you’re trying to hide hyperpigmentation and banish it for good, you best be dodging those UVA and UVB rays and slathering on the sunscreen.

2. Spot Treatment

You’re impatient, I get it. You want to hide that hyperpigmentation and you want to hide it NOW. But yes, you could go straight to the dermatologist and have them annihilate your face with a laser or you could exercise a bit of patience and try some topical solutions. When you’re looking to fix those dark spots, look for the “lightening” and “brightening” and occasionally, especially when you’re diving into the world of Korean beauty, “whitening”. I know, I know. Though those words can feel straight disrespectful to the beauty of your melanated skin, these are the keywords that will lead you to the products that will treat your hyperpigmentation issue.

3. Color Correction

While you may be taking care of your skin, practically rolling in serums and spot treatments and slathering yourself thoroughly in sunscreen, you might still desire an immediate solution to your hyperpigmentation problem. That solution? Color correction.

Color correction can be used to combat a variety of skin woes but when it comes to dark spots, think peach.  The deeper your skin, the deeper your peach corrector should be– on my tone, a nice orange (seriously, it’s ORANGE) corrector will do the trick.

There’s basically no better way to explain this magic, so I’ll show you instead!

 

Dark under-eye circles are my thing. I was born looking wan and tired.

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I use the corrector under my eyes, primarily, and spot treat other areas. Notice how the orange corrector balances with my skin tone? This is the goal.

No one will catch me out here with crusty lips!

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Makeup done. Skin even. Hyperpigmentation conquered.

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Don’t be mad at me, please. TRS fam, I KNOW that I have abandoned you this summer. Before you swear me off forever, I promise I have a good reason: I MOVED! Yup, your girl packed her bags and crammed her copious amount of stuff into her car and drove up north. I spent the early part of the summer hanging out in New Jersey, safe and well taken care of thanks to some amazing family friends. It wasn’t long before I started to get the itch to get on the road again and finally head to my intended destination– ladies and gentleman, your girl is a New Yorker now!

I’m living in Brooklyn and figuring life out. I can’t say I’m quite at my destination yet but I have done some pretty interesting things along the way:

1. was invited to The Color Purple’s Tony Awards Watch Party! I met Oprah.

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Yes, that is gum in my mouth. Yes, I am screaming. (I wasn’t the only one acting brand new. I swear!)

2. I alsooooo met Dannielle Brooks aka Taystee from “Orange is the New Black”

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This is a terrible picture of me and a beautiful picture of her. Such is life. I posted it anyway.

3. I made it into an “Improv Everywhere” flash mob video!!


One moment I was straight chilling in Bryant Park and the next, I was on stage clapping it up with 100 random people in the park.

4. I’ve been working on my other blog, Selfies and Snark.

I haven’t given up on writing, my fine friends. Not even a little bit.

That’s just a taste my friends. Tell me, what have you been up to?

Glow. Glow. Glow. Word on the street is that if you say it three times you can make it so. I personally believe that my highlight is the foremost way in which I win friends and influence people, so you need to know that I am treating this review like SERIOUS BUSINESS. Thankfully, the Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick Illuminator is worth it.
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Product received courtesy of Influenster. All opinions, of course, are my own.

I’ll admit it, I was highly skeptical when I first opened up this illuminator. I received the color “Spotlight”– Marc Jacob’s universal shade. As a brown skinned lady, I always meet the word “Universal” with a healthy bit of side-eye. When I saw this beautiful, bright white pearlized stick, I was nearly positive that this highlighter was going to make me look like Casper with a tan.

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See what I mean? This is one swipe, applied directly from the stick to the back of my hand. The color is bright but beautiful, a silverish goldish pearl that catches the light of the back of my hand. But still. There was no way that this color was going to work for me. Right?

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I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong. I blended the swipe in with my fingers and the stark shade melted into my skin and left a lovely soft gold highlight behind. No sign of ghostliness, no obvious chunks of glitter, just a really nice soft glow. If I was able to achieve these results with one thick swipe and rudimentary finger blending, how would this translate onto my face?

MarcGlowStick_Blended

VERDICT

The Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick Illuminator is a win in my book. The formula is easily blendable and leaves skin with a very natural and very dewy “lit from within” type of glow. You won’t find a trace of chunky glitter here. The packaging is…different…but its generous size and oblong shape do serve their purpose– I can see you swiping this stick straight on the skin and patting it in with your fingers. And yes, the color “Spotlight” tells no lies– the universal shade lets you and your glow be the star of the show.

Watch the video and see how the shade looks in action!