One of the pleasures of being a beauty blogger is to be given the opportunity to try out a ton of up and coming products. It’s also great to be able to help and support small businesses! Thank you Every Strand for introducing me to one of the best hair masques I’ve ever used!

everyday strand pic

Every Strand Earthy Hair Essentials sent me this Shea and Coconut Oil Deep Moisture Hair Masque. It is heavenly. The fragrance alone will have me coming back for more. I’m adding this to my hair collection and I don’t see it going away any time soon. What I especially loved was the way it made it easy to detangle my type 4 hair. That’s a huge deal for my tresses.

If you haven’t tried it yet, GO NOW! You won’t regret it.




Matte finishes have made quite a spark in the last few seasons and can look incredibly gorgeous! It’s not all about a glossy lip anymore. A matte finished lipstick or stain lets your shade pop without overdoing it. There is a skill to this for a perfect application though. Cold, windy weather takes a toll on your skin from head-to-toe and your lips are no exception! If you want the best looking kissing machine, it’s all about the application and prep. You’ll want to put these tricks into action asap. Don’t let time fly before giving this matte craze a try. It won’t disappoint!
matte lip pic
SCRUB IT! Do you think exfoliating is only for the body? Hang that up! The lips need it just as much as everything else. All you need are these two ingredients out of your kitchen; sugar and olive oil. Mix and scrub every few days. Those puckers will be soft to the touch by morning and ready for your favorite matte shade.

BALM IT! Locking in the moisture is essential for kissable lips. Especially when you’re matte obsessed! After all, the goal is for a matte finish, not a dry one! The trick is to moisturize at night. You don’t want to be too greasy before applying you lipstick or stain during the day. It has a different effect. Intense color with no shine is the track you want to be on.

PRIME IT! There has to be something that keeps the color on all day right? Primer does the trick, but specifically a lip primer. Here’s a little secret. Dab just a touch of your concealer on your lips before applying. I promise it works and it saves you a few bucks on excess products.

SHADE IT! Plain and simple, a matte shade that is too pale for your skin tone will have you looking like the walking dead. Please don’t! Choose carefully. If the choices are overwhelming, the truth is, a matte finish in any shade of red wins!

BLOT IT! This is the last small step before taking it to the streets. Take a piece of tissue and blot your product of choice for a true matte, long-lasting finish. This helps to take the shine that you don’t want, out. It also intensifies the true tone.

If you’re not sure about this look it’s ok. Some are only the glossy type. Either way, we love to keep our lips looking sexy and youthful. What’s your favorite finish and why?

xo IKA



Most people have a solid daily makeup routine; I do! It’s something that always works. After a long day, and once the sun goes down, there are a few tweaks that I’ve made to my makeup that has brought out an evening glow. The best part is, it doesn’t require me to start from the top! What’s important to know about transitioning from day to night is to decide what you want to emphasize. Eyes, lips, or cheeks. I usually pick one and make it great! Here are my tricks!

CLEAN UP: Here’s where I correct things like smudged eye makeup or wipe away my day lip. You’ll want to fix anything you don’t want before touching up what you do! It may be a good idea to keep makeup remover wipes or q-tips in your bag to clean up any runny eyeliner. For my shiny girls, keep blot paper or powder nearby. This is the first step in getting ready for the night after a long day!

EYES: Instead of adding a coat of mascara to my lashes, which usually causes clump and a look I don’t want, I try to add a slightly heavier application of eyeliner. For some, maybe a liquid or gel will work to make your eyes pop. Since I usually wear a winged liner I add something smokey to the bottom lash line. If bold eyes are your thing, try to put on an eye shadow that is a few shades darker than your daytime shade. This Tarte Eye Shadow Palette does the trick! Make it smokey and have your lids stand out!
day to night image for hos
LIPS: Let’s say heavy eye makeup isn’t your thing. That’s ok. Go for a bold lip like the very popular MAC Ruby Woo! Or something two or three shades deeper than what you wear out during the day. It’s a small effective tweak that works! If a bolder lip always makes you happy, go a little less on the eye makeup. If your eyes are what you love to accentuate, go for a more nude shade of lipstick.

HIGHLIGHT: Some of us are all about the glow. I know I am! Keeping a great highlighter on you and applying to the high areas of your face (top of the cheekbones, tip of the nose, etc.) bring out a sparkle in your skin. This is perfect for a romantic date, drinks with the girls, or even dinner with the family. My favorite highlighter at the moment is the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector!

These are small ways to make big changes to your every day makeup. What other makeup tricks do you think women should keep in their back pocket when going out on the town after a long day? Share with me. I’d love to know!

xo IKA



I can’t believe we’re heading into March already! February was a true product experimentation month for me. No complaints; it’s what I love. But one particular item did stick out…

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream stole my heart this month. I didn’t think I was a BB cream kind of gal but I’m all about it now. Here’s why: This master product saves me several steps in my daily routine. It moisturizes, primes, protects me from the rays and gives just the right amount of coverage for day time make up without doing too much! After applying it I just finish it with my favorite pressed powder and go! Even better, for a night on the town I wear this underneath my foundation and it has been a win every time! I’ve entered the BB cream revolution and I don’t think I’m going anywhere!

Are you a BB or CC cream girl? If so what’s your favorite brand and why does it work for you?

xo IKA