I've been obsessed with all the makeup looks from Euphoria on HBO. There are several mind blowing looks involving graphic eye liner, glitter, pearls and rhinestones. I stopped in Michaels on my way home from work and it dawned on me that all these different  jewel stickers, intended for scrapbooking and such, could be repurposed for makeup! I created a bedazzled wing liner here. I think I'm down for more experimentation.

Double A Makeup is a Black owned beauty brand based in Atlanta Georgia. I just received a PR package with a bundle of their gorgeous mink lashes and lip gloss! This look was inspired by one of my favorite shows, Euphoria. The makeup and wardrobe are on a whole-nother level! I'm wearing the Double A mink lashes in style "Tinkerbell". You can receive 20% off your total order when you use my code SUSHI20. Make your purchase using this link DOUBLE A MAKEUP and please tell them I sent you! 

A few weeks back I wrote about how fitness and movement have been incorporated in my self care journey. But, in order to have gotten to that point, I had several months of talk therapy, was diagnosed with PTSD and was prescribed an antidepressant  medication. 

A series of traumatic events both old and new that span about 20 years, left unattended and ignored, is what lead to my panic attack at work in the ladies room stall. My heart was racing and I couldn't catch my breath despite the deep breathing exercise I was attempting. I was either going to puke or pass out...


Something definitely had to give. I had tried to "handle" too

many things on my own. I had refused help or to ask for it one too many times. And I had told the lie "I'm fine" to one too many people. I finally got it. I had to be vulnerable and do something different. Because whatever I had been doing (or not doing) was never working to begin with.

As a kid I always wanted to go to therapy. I have no idea why, because my only references were from TV and movies. And it did seem glaringly obvious that it was only a thing for white folks. Fraiser anyone? And even after the most traumatic thing in my life happened (I may share at some point) therapy was never even an option.


So, here I am at now-years-old. I am privileged to have health insurance and access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefit that provides a few counseling sessions for free. And thankfully I had been listening to podcasts like The Read and Therapy for Black Girls on a regular that helped me normalize the idea that therapy is for the Blacks too! Next week I'll share how my experience was finding a therapist. Please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram @makeuptrapsushi.

A There were a few very influential factors that brought me to the decision to seek therapy.

1) The Read podcast. This show is hosted by Kid Fury and Crissle, and every week would help me normalize young Black adults going to therapy by sharing their experiences so candidly. They endorse a therapy app called Talk Space. It's like FaceTiming with a licensed professional for an affordable monthly rate compared to traditional in-person therapy sessions.

2) Therapy for Black Girls podcast. Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, Ph. D. has a wonderful website with resources to help Black women find a local therapist. This is where I started my search. 
3) Mental Illness Happy Hour. Former stand up comedian Paul Gilmartin often compares his show to "a waiting room that doesn't suck". He interviews friends and professionals on various metal health topics in a completely judgement free safe space. He also endorses a therapy app called Better Help. It works similarly to Talk Space. 


Please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram @makeuptrapsushi

I found a therapist. Dr. Jean is nice and her approach is holistic. But I couldn't quite let down my guard. The first thing I learned is that therapy doesn't work if you can't be VULNERABLE. And there's also that doctor/patient confidentiality thing.

Once I opened up about how I was really feeling and how much it was impacting my life negatively on multiple levels, she was able to help. After hearing me out after several sessions, she had diagnosed me with anxiety and depression disorders. And due to a recent event that brought up a past  trauma, I was experiencing both severely and had also been trying to mask it and seem as if I was fine for many, many years. Dr. Jean recommended medication. I had to think about it. I didn't really like the idea of being dependent on meds. I asked a lot of questions and she was able to calm my concerns. So, I was referred to a physiatrist to prescribe medication.

I had a one hour session with Dr. Thai. He was thorough and seemed genuinely concerned. At the end of our session he had diagnosed me with PTSD on top of the other diagnoses. Great. He prescribed medication and explained in detail how all these disorders work, their effects on the brain and body, why we can't always "shake" these things on our own and how the medication worked. He started me with a very small dosage and advised that we work our way up to the recommended dosage. Meds also do not work overnight. It's takes several weeks to see an improvement. Overall I have seen an improvement, but I still have a long way to go in regards to unpacking things past and present. 


Please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram @makeuptrapsushi

I’ve always had a love for long bold nails. I’ve been thru some ups and downs with nail techs. And when you find a good one, baybayyy you gotta keep ‘em! Now I’m not one to pit us against each other, but I’m definitely on #TeamClaws. I manage to do everything with these nails. I type (very fast), workout and have no issues using the bathroom (contrary to popular beliefs). I do it all! And I don’t see myself changing any time soon! 

Mented Cosmetics is an AMAZING Black owned makeup brand and they sent me their Semi Matte lip collection to try and review! They have really fine tuned the art of nude lipsticks for all. Just keeping it real, beige isn’t considered nude for most of us. The line comes in nine gorgeous shades and I’m confident you’ll be able to find your perfect match. They go on super smooth and keep your lips moisturized. It’s not too glossy or too matte. Here, I’m wearing the shade Brand Nude. 

Just got back from Atlanta and crossed some things off my bucket list and was introduced to some new thangs!


   Best hole-in-the-wall bar in ATL hands down is El Bar. They play banger after banger and the drinks are cheap. The Trap Music Museum was a must. You enter through a bodega that leads to Big Mama’s living room. You can sit on her plastic covered couch, but beware, DO NOT sit on her pillows! I repeat, do not sit on her pillows! You’re liable to get cussed out.

   There’s everything from a trap house to prison cells to semiautomatic guns displayed along with memorabilia from legends like TI, UGK and Cash Money. No wonder why this is such an Insta-worthy photo destination. I know it seems like this is glorifying criminal behavior, but I think it’s import to understand the circumstances that would give a person no other options to survive.

  We tried to go to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams before the museum, but the line was out of this world at 10 PM. The midnight line was only slightly better. Jeni’s has dairy free options that you can’t tell apart from the real thing. I had Texas Sheet Cake. DEVINE I tell you! I def recommend if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant (like me).

   We braved some oyster shooters at Six Feet Under, did brunch on Sunday but sadly, we could not get our hands on a Popeyes chicken sandwich. This is only my third trip to Atlanta as an adult and it's really growing on me.




Self Care For Real

   On my journey to self care I have learned a lot. One of those lessons is that you have to truly listen to your body and your spirit when it’s telling you something’s got to give.  And I’m not talking the kind of self care that involves a trip to the spa. I mean doing the real work of repairing yourself. Whatever that may look like for you. A small part of my care journey involved getting more exercise.

   I had gained a lot of weight in the past year or so and was not happy with how I looked or felt. I was severely lethargic and my upper back pain had soared to new levels. Not to mention my digestion was getting more and more out of wack.

   To start, I committed to a three week yoga program on the Beachbody on Demand streaming service just to get my body used to movement. It was challenging but not too strenuous. After completing the yoga program I needed to ramp up the intensity but not too much. I started the T20 program with Beachbody instructor Shaun T. I completed a week of the 10 minute test workout. Then a week of the 15 min workout. And followed that with six straight weeks of a 20 minute high intensity workout six days a week.

   It was not easy and I procrastinated A LOT. But I am so proud to say that I completed the program and missed no days (I worked out at nearly midnight on some days)! Besides losing some weight I learned much more about myself and what I’m capable of. And even slightly enjoy working out. I decided to keep going and I’ll be completing a second round of T20. I look forward to updating you all! 




Girl Meets Jordans

Thanks to Nike Chicago a girl getting to check off a box on her bucket list!




Summer Time Chi is Near

I’m using my nails to help channel 90 degree weather into existence! 




Color is The New Black

 Whew chilayyy! I’ve been really enjoying the Moira Sweet Paradise palette which has 16 bright colorful shadows and four highlighters. The shadows are so, pigmented, soft and blebdable. So far I’ve cranked out three looks with more on the way! Let me know what color should be next!





I realize more and more how important self care is. Doing the things that bring me joy. I got a fresh set of nails at my favorite nail salon. I found a new frozen yogurt spot in my neighborhood that happens to be Black owned. And an afternoon downtown is usually stressful for me, but this weekend was strangely peaceful. 




Where My Nerds At?

I’m no longer shy about expressing my inner nerd. It is what it is. With that said, here are a few bingeworthy things I’m currently obsessed with:


Love Death + Robots (Netflix) - is an phenomenally animated series. If Black Mirror and Adult Swim had a baby this would be it. If you’re into computer animation this will not disappoint. Each short is unique and provocative expressed in different styles of animation.


Us (Universal) - This one is on my list of must see movies this month. I missed opening weekend, but I shall return with my commentary!

*Update* Saw the movie and was a scaredy-cat! I’m really not a horror movie fan, but I still needed to support this film. No surprise there’s a lot of social commentary and no way to catch it all im the first watch. 


ASMR - Now, I know the face of ASMR videos is folks smacking their food directly into mics, but that’s only one subcategory (mukbang). ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s something many people experience throughout life without videos. It’s the tingles you get when someone plays with your hair. These videos have gained popularity by becoming an accessible non-sexual means of intimacy and relaxation. Don’t @ me.


Game of Thrones Season 8 (HBO) -  Winter is here! The finale is coming April 14th! I still can’t believe the white walkers have their own dragon. They left us hanging in August of 2017 and I thought 2019 was so far away. But here we are.


Stranger Things 3 (Netflix) - Returns July 4th. It’s a cult favorite amongst anyone remotely obessed with Sci-Fi and 80’s pop culture. And who can resist Gaten Matarazzo’s interesting face and the super adorbs Caleb McLaughlin aka Ricky Bell from The New Edition Story?!






“Flewed” Out!

Whew chilayyy! After two back to back trips I think it’s safe to say I need a vacation from my vacation. 


It’s been entirely too long since the last time I saw my Dad’s side of the family. I made my way from Chicago to Alabama to help celebrate my granddad who turned ninety! It was bittersweet as he is in the later stages of dementia, but he most definitely still has a sense of humor and I’m so happy I made the trip.


Next stop was Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! I had been before for a destination wedding. But this time it was all about me! We stayed at the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort where every room has a beach view! I had the buffet breakfast every morning at El Meson. And the marina and downtown area are only a $2 bus ride away. We made a new friend “Ryan” who insisted we take shots of twenty-five year old tequila complete with an entire rattle snake. The weather was perfect and I seriously considered not coming back (jk, jk).

All my outfits were styled by Chiquita Carey

In Style I Trust

Cabo Wabo

Sweet Home Alabama




Breaking Up With My Old Moisturizer 

I’ve been using the same face moisturizer for many, many years. In fact, I’ve had a pretty basic skincare routine despite my experience as an esthetician. Nothing fancy. The truth is that I don’t like change unless it’s with makeup. If it works, why mess with it?


Neutrogena Oil- free Moisture has been my go-to since my days at ULTA. It’s meant for combination/oily skin and is fragrance free. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin but this seemed not to make anything worse.


I discovered the MOIRA brand after attending the Makeup Show last Fall. They’re a Korean beauty brand from Cali and have a very simple skin care line. Plus, K Beauty is now all the rage! My old moisturizer is fine but it doesn’t contain any ingredients that promote any kind of improvement.


MOIRA had a Valentines Day sale and I just decided it was time to try something new. The package was shipped the same day I ordered and it arrived in two days. It’s got a nice fresh scent and it’s main ingredients are meant to aid in hydration, oil control, skin texture, soothing irritation, fighting bacteria and anti-aging.


I've only been using it for a few days and so far I love it. This may be my new staple, just don’t tell my old moisturizer. 




2019 Makeup Challenge: #BratzChallenge

If you’re a part of the online makeup community then you’re familiar with the plethora of “challenges” and trends that are over just as quickly as they started. I’m usually not moved to partake, but I am always in awe of all

the talent and creativity I see.

This year I’m committed to saying “yes” to more things (not everything) instead of listening to my initial gut reaction that usually wants no parts of anything that might make me feel uncomfortable. 

I've never even owned a Bratz doll so I’m surprised this even appealed to me at all. There was a bit of a challenge finding a variety of Black Bratz dolls to duplicate. There’s also something inherently problematic about these dolls anyway. But I digress. Here’s my take on #BratzChallenge!   





Slaying My Edges/Baby Hair

My affection for styling baby hairs are inspired by love of the nineties. And I low key use it as a small way to rebel in white dominated corporate spaces (aka work). This tutorial was a request and I hope you enjoy!



Styling baby hair has been a “thing” in both the Black and Latino communities since the seventies? No wonder why we give a side-eye when we see them co-opted by the likes of Katy Perry and Kylie Jenner (oh, and don’t forget braids, wigs, nails and our bodies. Basically, Black women’s over all schmood!).




Soft & Smokey Eyes

I achieved this eye look using my Morphe 35OM and 35OS palettes


Get the look:

Lay down your transition color all over lid

Blend in a darker shade in the crease

Blend same darker shade on lower lash line

Line upper lash line in black (wing is optional)

Pack on a dark bronze shimmer shadow on top of the lids

Add lashes for drama 

Finish off the look with Double A gloss in “Cash Cash”


Receive 20% off your Double A Makeup order using my code SUSHI20






Does It Live Up To The Hype?!

DERMAFLASH PR sent me their award winning skin care device to try out and review! Watch my full review to see how it works and my end results!





All About Highlighters




Got Barely There Brows?

Watch My Tutorial!

December 7, 2018


The wait is over! My first makeup tutorial is now up on YouTube and we’re starting with BROWS. Please make sure to comment, like and SUBSCRIBE to my channel!




MobiColor Presents 90s Classic Movies

November 26, 2018


Coloring for me was more than a hobby when I was a kid. It was a LIFESTYLE! You weren’t ish if you didn’t have the 64 piece Crayola Crayon box. Whatchu know about cerulean, maroon or periwinkle?! About a year ago I met Paris of MobiColor and he introduced me to his dope adult coloring books and I was hooked. His books are full of iconic moments in black culture and he puts on the best events.


I think they’re great because the vibe is always super casual, the people are open and friendly and I get to color! All of these things are so key to reducing my social anxiety. Not to mention food, drinks, photo shoot session and getting to take home a mini OSCAR trophy! This weekend’s event was themed after 90s movie classics such as New Jack City, White Men Can’t Jump and Boyz N The Hood. I HIGHLY recommend his events even if you think you’re not artistic. It’s the most relaxed way to meet new people that I have ever experienced.


You can pick up your own MobiColor coloring book here: MobiColor


And follow on Instagram here for the next event: @MobiColoring


Make sure to follow me on social!




Throwback Makeup

November 19, 2018


    In high school I loved a good roller lip gloss. One stroke of white or silver liner on the lids was all you needed. None of this fancy shadow blending. I was introduced to M•A•C Cosmetics (original Fenty if you will) and I was obsessed over their Lip Glass. And if you’re familiar you know it is the world’s thickest lip gloss! And I kept a Revlon Colorstay matte lipstick in raisin. Because what’s fall without a dark red matte? I created an updated version of  my fave high school beauty trends. 


Make sure to follow me on social!




Minimalist Nail Design

November 12, 2018


    Pinterest has definitely been a source of inspiration for my nails as of lately m. I’ve really been into the idea of simple design. Minimalist I guess. Who knows how long I’ll be into this. I tend to change my mind often. 


Make sure to follow me on social!




Nicki vs Cardi

November 12, 2018


    I really both LOVE Nicki Minaj and CardiB and I refuse to choose sides. I believe there’s room for everyone. I honor them both with these makeup looks for their contributions to the #culture as well as the #MUAs that created these New York Fashion week looks that inspired me. My hope is that we realize that we’re stronger together than divided. 


Make sure to follow me on social!






Seasons Change and Makeup Does Too

Makeup Details:

M•A•C Cosmetics - Studio Fix Fluid

LA Girl - Pro Conceal

Black Opal - foundation stick for contour 

Black Radiance -  powder contour/highlight palette

Fenty Beauty - highlighter

Danessa Myricks - highlighter 

Morphe - 35OM palette

Stilazzi -  lashes & brow gel

LA Colors - lip gloss

Don’t Judge Me.

October 22, 2018


Getting older doesn’t always equal getting wiser. It’s something you have to do on purpose. The older I get, the less judgemental I have become. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still guilty of judging. But now I try to process why I’m doing it. In the past I’ve been guilty of passing judgement on some really trivial things like a person’s weight, material things, their past or where they come from. Most people would rather eat glass than to think of themselves as superficial or bigoted. But truthfully, most of us are. I spend a lot of the week commuting and during that time I listen to podcasts. I gravitate towards shows and hosts that are polar opposites from me. When you start to shed your bias you’re able to learn about the unique experiences of another person you otherwise wouldn’t have known. And you actually find that you have more in common than not. 






October 19, 2018


    No shade, but I’ve never really been a huge fan of reality TV. I don’t know anybody’s Real Housewife or Love & Hip Hop. I prefer to get my drama from makeup. It’s probably best for everyone that way.

Product details are below!

Make sure to follow me on social!





Makeup Details:

M•A•C Cosmetics - Studio Fix Fluid

LA Girl - Pro Conceal

Black Opal - foundation stick for contour 

Black Radiance -  powder contour/highlight palette

Makeup Revolution - highlighter

Morphe - 35OM palette

Tarte - black liner

Stilazzi -  lashes & brow gel

LA Colors - lip gloss




Rodan + Fields Radiant Defense

October 14, 2018


   Jesse Lahart is a dear childhood friend that I grew up with in Japan. She’s shared some  Rodan + Fields products for me to try out. She’s also been killing it in sales! If you’re not familiar with Rodan + Fields, they are the two Dermatologists behind Proactiv acne products. They have expanded into a full skin care line that caters to an array of needs and their newest product line is called Radiant Defense.

   It’s a “Cosme-ceutical” which is a cosmetic product with some skin care benefits built in. It’s a lightweight tinted moisturizer with ingredients like antioxidants and SPF 30 to help give your skin defense against the environment and sun damage. It comes in six flexible shades and I approve this product for folks of color. It can be worn alone for sheer on the go coverage. I used mine underneath my makeup at a tinted primer.

   It feels great on the skin helps to even out skin tone without having to apply full foundation.  It retails at $66 for 1.69 fl oz of product. Just for comparison, my MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation is 1.0 fl oz and it’s plenty of product! They also have a great shade finder tool on the website to take the guess work out of finding your perfect shade. My “Before & After” is below! Shop R+F with Jesse here  Rodan + Fields and make sure to follow me on social!









Surgery Day: Removing My Fibroids

October 5, 2018


   It’s been a quite a journey figuring out what exactly was wrong with me but I’m happy to say I’m hopeful that I’ve found a solution. December 2017 was the first time I really noticed that my periods had become a lot heavier than usual. But not really any cause for concern. This continued and was manageable until March 2018.

   While working on a photo shoot I experienced what felt like having an entire period spill out of me at once. I had to leave the shoot immediately and I called my midwife (yes midwives do a lot more than just deliver babies). The same thing happened the next day even though I was already wearing a tampon.

   Midwest Center for Women’s Health is a wonderful network of Obstetricians, Gynecologists and Midwives. An ultrasound revealed that I had a three uterine fibroids that could be the culprit. We first tried birth control to curb the heavy bleeding. I had also switched from using tampons to a menstrual cup (an entire blog post on its own). We waited for two cycles to see if there was an improvement. And there was not. In fact, it had gotten worse. The bleeding had gotten heavier and constant.

   This left me stressed because I had to be prepared at all times. To be sure I could avoid having an accident at work, in the car, while running errands or at home. This also left me tired and weak from losing so much blood. It was time to bring in a doctor for possible surgical options. Midwife Gina and Dr. Ellman worked to get to the root of the problem and to find a solution that was as non invasive as possible.

   After two more ultrasounds, a fourth fibroid was found and was determined to be the problem. It was protruding into my uterine cavity. My uterus, thinking it was a foreign object, was now constantly trying to get rid of it which was causing me to bleed so much. We all agreed that a Hysteroscopy Myomectomy was the way to go and would ensure I could still have children if that is something I want to do. I included a brief animated video so you could get the gist of the procedure.

   Fast forward to surgery day. My mom travelled up from Orlando to be with me. I was surrounded by love. My cousin Kish and my girlfriend Tonja were also there with me. Everyone was calm and encouraging. I could not have asked for a better surgery crew. I was the first case of the day, so we arrived at 7:00 am sharp. I received a fast acting anesthesia from an IV and remember none of the surgery.

   The procedure took about an hour and I am still recovering. I feel good so far but I feel it’s too soon to give a final assessment on the success of the surgery. I’ll be checking in with an update. I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to my Mom, Akisha and Tonja! Y’all are the real MVPs. And also to my other family members and friends who supported me throughout this entire ordeal.

   Thank you to everyone on social who listened to my story and offered their support and shared their own stories with me. My hope is to bring more awareness to fibroids and the various complications that can come with them. And to erase any negative stigma around women’s reproductive health. I did not even know what fibroids were until they became a problem for me. And I don’t think women share about this enough and there isn’t any reason why we shouldn’t. 

OTR II Houston: VIP Experience!

September 18, 2018


I was offered the chance of a lifetime to see Beyoncé and Jay-Z perform for not only OTR II, but with Club Carter VIP access and in her hometown of Houston?! That means stage and runway views of Bey up close, access to two full bars (which I didn’t even utilize) and an OTR swag bag. Mind. Blown. Like Chiquita’s friend Sherausha says... “Say less!”. I’m there!


I mean the show was pure adrenaline from beginning to end which is why alcohol was not necessary. Plus, I just didn’t want to miss a minute of it. DJ Khaled opened and brought out H-Town royalty. We caught Bun B (RIP Pimp C), Slim Thug and Paul Wall. Shout out to the south and early 00’s!


Can we talk about the visuals for a sec? Man, I am just really living for all the aesthetics and this story. Like, it’s really possible to redeem your relationship from the ultimate betrayal if true love is really there and both people are equally invested. Or, at least that was my interpretation. The wardrobe and costumes are even more amazing in person. Photos do not do them any justice.


I lost it when  APESHIT came on! Like, Everything is Love is my shit right now! This was the quickest out of town trip I’ve ever made but it was SO WORTH IT! I was able to spend time with my girlfriend and her family who graciously invited us to experience this spectacle. I had never been to a Beyoncé show let alone the OTR Tour. And I def wouldn’t have seen it in VIP! Shout out to Kareem and Evelyn for making dreams come true out here! Love y’all!

Jazzin at the Shedd

September 10, 2018


I was introduced to this event when I first moved to Chicago and I go every summer. It’s super chill vibes and provides a different way to see the Shedd Aquarium in a nearly kid free atmosphere complete with food, cocktails, dolphins and live music. Tip: Illinois residents can attend free at the end of the season. The event runs until October 3rd. And I highly recommend it for date nights or for marine biology nerds. 

In a 90’s Kinda World...

September 3, 2018


Like many #ElderMillennials such as myself, the 90s was an era that cultivated my taste for pretty much everything I’m attracted to today. Everything from TV, movies to snacks and clothing. Oh, what a time to be alive! Our latest team photo shoot was inspired by the 90s and beautifully shot by Randal Finklea. Here’s list of random things I obsessed over in the 90s.

The Fugees

My high school in Japan voted Killing Me Softly as the official song for our homecoming. Lauren Hill is single-handedly responsible for my love of dark matte lipsticks.



was also a personal fave. I asked my Mom once if I could cut and bleach my hair like T-Boz and the answer was a resounding, “Absolutely not”.

Delia’s & Seventeen Magazine 

I regularly lost myself for hours in Delia’s catalogs and Seventeen magazines. I loved Delia’s quirky and carefree style although, I never ordered anything. And Seventeen made me think outside the box in regards to makeup. My favorite section was always the editorial shoot at the end of every issue.

I loved Lil Kim and Foxy Brown! Just don’t tell my parents. Despite their supposed beef, they managed to change the image of women in Hip Hop forever. You could be tough, have sex appeal, get what you want on your own terms and be unapologetic for it all.


Missy changed it ALL the way up for me. She epitomizes what it is to truly be an artist and to think outside the box. The real definition to the words “free thinker”. She had me at Supa Dupa Fly...


Aaliyah was the girl all my friends wanted to be. Super laid back, had flawless makeup and hair. I believe she was the originator of what we call “ athleisure” today. 

Super Nintendo/Sega Genesis/Playstation

Once upon a time I was a gamer. I fought my little brother all the time for the Player 1 spot. We played Sonic the Hedgehog and Mortal Kombat on Sega and the Mario World on  Super Nintendo for endless hours over summer break.

My brother and I saved up our allowance and took it to the “Yen Store” just outside the Air Force base. The owner sold all the Japanese candies and snacks we loved including Pocky sticks and umeboshi (pickled plum). She also sold Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z cards we traded  with friends at school. The other magical thing about Japan is that you can find a vending machine that sells virtually almost anything. Soft drinks, coffee, hamburgers. You name it. 


At the time we lived overseas, all the tv programming was chosen for us and it was also delayed. Not only that, but the American commercials were cut out and replaced with military ads. (I’ve managed to find some really old ridiculous ones on YouTube). Some of the shows in heavy rotation at our house were Fresh Prince, Martin, Moesha, SNL and Living Single. I know Sister Sister was a hit, but I HATED it! I did not want to be Tia or Tamera and Roger’s character reinforced the trash concept of coercion for boys everywhere. 10 No’s that turn into a Yes is still a No... 

I was a real book nerd too. Goosebumps and Babysitters Club were my favorite series. BSC still gets props from me for diversity. The writer created both Black and Asian characters and did not making either one of them adopted by a white family. I also read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. I want to re-read this one because I’m sure I’ll get more out of it now that I’m older...

Who could forget about the movies? I loved anything touched by Tim Burton. Beetlejuice, Edward Scissor Hands, Nightmare Before Christmas. I HATE horror movies, so they were a a nice in bridge between comedy and horror. Plus the goth vibes we’re so freaking real. My other all time fave is Clueless! No lie, I have seen seen this move no less than 50 times. I LIVED for Cher and Dion. It’s too bad real life Dion turned out to be such a lame.

I’m always get my “Black Card” threatened when I admit I haven’t seen some of our classics in their entirety. Such as Boyz N the Hood and New Jack City. I plan on catching up one day. But, one I just cannot stand more than the rest. And that is Love Jones. Sorry, not sorry. Partly because I grown when I finally saw it for the first time. And second of all, who falls for the spoken word dude? Not to mention there are some inaccuracies of Chicago that are depicted.

Blush Isn’t Just For Cheeks

August 13, 2018


I get bored rather easily with makeup and these days my IG feed is just more of the same. Dumb makeup challenges and more cut creases you’d ever know what to do with. I have been feeling so uninspired. I decided to change it up and look elsewhere for inspiration. I found exactly what I was looking for in my Pinterest app!


I decided to start with a makeup basic: Blush 


Now, you can just wear it the good ole fashioned way and just apply it on the cheeks and call it a day. But that’s super boring. I decided to give y’all three different takes on the same product:


Look 1 is apretty basic blush application layered with a highlighter


Look 2 is a bit more dramatic with the addition of shadow and lashes. I applied more highlights to the brow bone


Look 3 was definitely inspired by anime and cosplay makeup styles. This is really a thing, look it up. Blush is applied over the bridge of the nose and underneath the eyes as apposed to just the cheeks.



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My Heart is in New Orleans

July 9, 2018


    I’ve wanted to travel to New Orleans for the longest. I had been pricing airfares thru my fave travel app Hopper. Tickets were $300+ for months and I wasn’t sure about taking so much time off work. But when I got a notification that it had dropped down to $142 I jumped on it! 

    I tagged along with my girlfriend Tonja and her mom Gwen who had already made their own travel and hotel arrangements. I started making lists and researching places to see and where to eat. I got to do plenty, but did not cross everything off my list. That’s fine, it only means I have to visit again.

    The vibe is just completely different there. The people are genuine, they look you in the eye and they are passionate about their city. We stayed at the Marriott on Canal St. just a few blocks from Bourbon St. The Hand Grenade is a staple beverage that is a mystery concoction with a melon flavor. They serve it on the rocks or frozen. You really only need one to get you thru the night (or day).

    The food is amazing, however, I recommend you eat away from Bourbon St. Beingets are a must from Cafe Du Monde. My advice is try not to inhale or exhale while biting into it. The powdered sugar will get everywhere! Our Uber driver, a thirty year resident, recommended Willie Mae’s Scotch House for fried chicken. There may be a line, but it’s worth the wait! Another place he advised was Dooky Chase’s. This place has a long history in its involvement in the Civil Rights era and serves Creole and souls food favorites and the menu changes daily. The line was a two hour wait and we did not make it...

     We traveled to Slidell, LA for the Cajun Enounters swamp tour. I was a bit hesitant getting on that boat but I was fine. It was actually peaceful and insightful. Our guide taught us about all the vegetation and wildlife out there. There were def alligators. And we saw several large structures that had been washed into the swamp by Hurricane Katrina that remain unclaimed.

   We caught the very first trickles of folks coming in for the Essence Festival and it was insane! Our hotel put on a full on party in the lobby and at some point we forgot all about going back to Bourbon St. It says a lot that a business like the Marriott would conduct such a celebratory welcome for their guests of a festival with a primarily Black presence. I would not expect to see anything like that in Chicago.

    My trip to New Orleans was wonderful and  it is highly recommended you visit. I really want to go back and attend Essence Fest next time. 


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Unconventionally Black

June 25, 2018

    I spent the better half of my childhood raised in Japan, which is an island in the Pacific inhabited by very few Black faces. My Mom and Dad also grew up as military dependents and lived overseas as kids, so this wasn’t unusual at all. As I get older, I become more appreciative of my family’s service to this country and for the life experiences their service has afforded me.

    When we made the trip back to the states (for good) we were stationed in a small midwestern town surrounded by corn fields. My worst nightmare. I was enrolled in a nearby middle school and it was made very clear that my life experiences thus far were not “normal” and I did not fit in.

    In gym class I was roasted daily by two classmates. They scrutinized the way I talked, my clothes, my hair and apparenty “I thought I was cute” which warranted more shit from them. My interests did not align with that of my new peers either. I read manga (you can Google it), watched cartoons (and still do), wore makeup and obsessed over Delia’s catalogs.

    Looking back, we really weren’t that different. We all had teenage drama, insecurities, hobbies, friends and family we love and care for. TBH, I had let this experience taint my ability to make friends with other Black women for a long time. Over the years I have learned to let go of my apprehensions and be open to friendships. I also have grown to love my unconventional interests and upbringing. And as for the two girls who gave me shit during gym class... Let’s just say they peaked in high school.


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New Looks + Double A Makeup

May 6, 2018

Arielle Antoinette is the beautiful owner of Double A Makeup. She’s an Atlanta based Makeup Artist with celebrity clientele including Toya Wright, Reginae Carter and Zonnique Pullins. I absolutely love her mink lash line and have been wearing them for months. She just recently launched a matte lipstick and I LOVE IT! I’m wearing the line in the looks below.

Use my code SUSHI20 for 20% off your order at Double A Makeup!


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