High heels are every fashionable girls' bestfriend. Many of us are also super guilty of putting our discomfort before our own comfort when weraing high heels. Anything in the name of style, right? I've been keeping my collection to a minimum so the urge to splurge on my next pair of stilettos is a tough cookie to break but I have prevailed.

If you own heels, especially over 4 inches, you've more than likely experienced that foot pain we all hate. Ever wonder how Beyonce makes rocking those 6+ inches look flawless (even while pregnant)? - The one thing you'll need is scotch tape or nude medical tape. BAM. Mystery solved. Why?


  • When you wear heels, pressure is created on a shared nerve between two of your middle toes. The 3rd + 4th.
  • Use either tape mentioned and wrap your two toes closest to your pinky toe. 
  • Wrapping them together (not too tight though) will remove the strain and pressure off the nerve allow you to rock your heels like Sasha Fierce. 
You should also take obvious precautions to avoid butt-hurt feet. 
  • Make sure you're wearing the correct shoe size. If you don;t know, go get them sized at any shoe store or luxury department like Macy's/ It's free. 
  • Find a befitting heel preference for your weight and height. I love a good chunky heel but I can also rock a fab skinny stiletto. I wouldn't recommend stilettos daily though unless you're sitting majority of the time - so switch it up sometimes. 
  • KNOW your foot type. In other words - learn about your foot arch and such. A simple way to do this without going to a podiatrist is wetting the bottom of your feet and making an imprint on paper. The outcome will let you know if you have a flat foot or high arch. More here.
  • Thin soles are guaranteed to cause pain so you may want to try wearing heels that have a bit of platform to help offset some of the pressure when you're walking. THIS IS A GODSEND for me. Tip: A rubbery-like sole is great at absorbing pressure.  
Of course, buying insoles for comfort, taking foot rest breaks, and even wearing heels with some coverage or straps across your feet also help (great for blister and friction-prone ladies). The little tape wrap trick I would avoid if wearing open-toe heels though - unless you want to make a fashion statement with tape on your toes in your fashion blog photos, then be my guess. The best way to be 100% pain-free though is keeping a pair flats or tennis shoes handy - ha!

Shoes I'm wearing in the post image is "Birdie" in Mint from JustFab

WHAT WAYS DO YOU USE TO EASE THE PAIN OF WEARING HEELS?



Yes... another ELF product review. I love their stuff (mostly from the Studio Collection) - not all of it though. I purchased their brush shampoo and their makeup mist and set a couple of months ago just to check it out. If you haven't checked out my top faves from ELF, you totally should. I recommend those products highly!

I normally clean my brushes thoroughly with an ACV mix I put together or if it just needs  a quick clean, I'd use their daily brush cleaner. Both work quite well for me. I have a makeup brush case that I store all of my brushes in (including the 12-piece Coastal Scents set it came with.) - You can check that out here. My experience with using their shampoo:

  • The shampoo is very mild and doesn't smell over-powering. PLUS!
  • It doesn't get super bubbly, which I appreciate. 
  • Gives my brushes a very good cleaning. 
I've used the shampoo for the pat two months and have not experienced and shedding or dryness on my brushes. For the price, I'd say it works just as great as any high-end brush cleaner. You can get it for $3 here

Normally after I get all glowed up with makeup, I set with  a powder and go on about my day. When I first learned to apply makeup, I had a bad experience with "makeup mists". I legit sprayed too much, too close to my face and my foundation pretty much looked like it was melting off my face lol - I was a novice back then y'all. Thanks to YoutTube beauty gurus, I got my life right! The makeup mist is:

  • Lightweight and allows my face to breathe.
  • Is free of alcohol so no dry face here! 
  • Made with aloe, green tea, and a few vitamins to keep skin moisturized and smooth. 
I applied the mist maybe 4 times in the past two months. Each time, my makeup, I would say lasted long enough for me to rock my look. I don't keep makeup on all day so it works out for me. It also kept my face looking fresh! If you feel you need to freshen up a bit after a few hours, a little spritz wouldn't hurt. You can get the mist here for $3. 



WHAT DO YOU USE TO SET YOUR MAKEUP? HAVE YOU TRIED THIS ELF PRODUCT?


a few things about kombucha

This may sound like a weird Asian cuisine but it's not. Last week I went into Walmart, late night - shopping for a few items. Naturally, many things caught my eye that I normally would overlook.

Where they keep all the good and extremely death sugary fruit juices and such is where I found the healthiest-looking product I've ever seen (lol) - a fermented tea-based probiotic drink.

I've heard of Kombucha a few times in the past few months so I'd like to consider this as fate. The price may be a bit steep per bottle for some at $3 but for me anyway - it's a tax right off. So I bought all 4 flavors.

A little about Kombucha:

  • It's a fermented tea (colony of yeast + bacteria) that results in vinegar, B vitamins, and numerous chemical compounds.
  • Claims to be the "Elixir of Life"
  • Helps boost immune system
  • Helps rid liver and gut of toxins
There are a few precautions to take if you're a first-time drinker. You should only consume up to 4oz in a day just to see if you have a reaction to it or not. For breastfeeding mamas like me - it's safe to drink AS LONG AS YOU ARE HYDRATED. These drinks have a few traces of alcohol. If you were already consuming Kombucha on a regular basis, you should be just fine. Though some say it should not be consumed period for women who are pregnant or nursing.

a few things about kombucha

These drinks are considered detoxes so of course, you don't want your little one drinking your bodily waste or harm them in any way while nursing. Which is why being hydrated is a must that way the detox won't look to purging directly through your skin and breastmilk. So far my nursing has not been affected and my son is great. If you do give Kombucha a try, do drink responsibly.

The brand I purchased by GT is organically produced, vegan, and non gmo. YES!!!

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED RAW KOMBUCHA? WOULD YOU, IF NOT?


Learn More:


Disclaimer: This post is not meant to diagnose or represent a 100% accurate  medical study, only my personal experience and basic knowledge. Do speak to your health provider if you'd like to consume these drinks if breastfeeding or dealing with any health related problems.

shades of brown series amber janae

Welcome to Shades of Brown, a blog series centering around black beauty and love for all things flawlessly flawed. The goal is to allow women like you to express how our flaws make us who we are. The focal point of this will be the shade of lipstick each woman will wear to describe her divine power. 

Today we're loving on Amber Janae, a blogger who encourages me to always show myself love and live fearlessly!  If you haven't discovered her Self-Love Sundays, you're missing out. She's also an author you want to know! Her spirit has always been beautiful to me and we've only connected via the inter-webs. She dominates in the balance between classy and sexy! Get to know HER...

1. "A beautiful thing is never perfect." - What does that reflect for you?
The above is a reflection of me. It’s a reflection of every unique soul on this earth. If we expect to be our best and beautiful selves we will never be perfect. The beauty is in the ability to embrace the imperfections and wear them as a badge of honor, not be ashamed of them. 

2. My definition of flawless beauty is owning everything about you. When I think of flawless beauty it is less about the image or how a person looks. To me it is more about the actions displayed. Are you confident? Do I look at you and get inspired instantly to love me just a little bit more? Flawless beauty is loving the skin you’re in no matter what it looks like. 





3. What do you feel more women should do to show more appreciation for themselves? 
As women we can learn to do a lot. One of the biggest things is stop down playing ourselves. We tend to shrink ourselves out of fear of appearing overly confident or self-absorbed. When we do that we are creating the belief in our own minds that we are only half of what we really are. We need to learn to appreciate ourselves by learning that we are more than what we say we are. We are not our thoughts. When we learn to be confident we develop a new found appreciate for self. That appreciation has no choice but to trickle down into other areas in our lives. 


4. I'm beautiful because I am unapologetically me. I am beautiful because I see no limits in how far I can grow, always striving to be a better version of the person I am at this very moment. I am beautiful because I know that my external appearance says less about who I am as a whole, it’s more about what’s going on internally. I am beautiful because I know that no matter what I wear and how I wear it doesn’t define me. I am beautiful because I know the power of loving other women for their beauty too, fully accepting and understanding that the beauty of my sister does not diminish my own. I am beautiful because I love with no bounds or limitations. I am beautiful because I am forever true to me. 

5. I wear this Smoked Purple lipstick because it signifies my strength. 
When I wear it I feel powerful. I feel beautiful. I wear it because it reminds me that even the darkest shade hold timeless beauty. This shade reminds me to be fearless.




Connect with Amber on Twitter @WhoIsAmberJanae and Instagram @whoisamberjanae
Visit her blog - www.whoisamberjanae.com
how postpartum blues forced me to cater more to myself

This may not be much of a major issue for some women but as a fairly new mom still to a nine month old infant, my love for myself sort of spiraled down a quick slope. Don't get me wrong, I'm not referring to allowing others to mistreat or run me over - my tolerance with that declined greatly over the years - but I stopped doing the little things I enjoyed most. Mostly because I felt hindered and stripped of my "freedom".

Before having my son and even throughout my entire pregnancy I'd cater to myself by dressing up, putting on makeup, painting my nails often, changing up my hairstyle, and even admiring my evolving figure in the mirror. I'm a woman. I feel all women should admire themselves and highlight that. Heck, last year on my birthday, I gave my face a fierce beat, put on some clothes, and took myself to Walmart just because I felt like it.

I love and adore motherhood and all the long nights and poopy diapers but sometimes it does get super overwhelming. Especially since I have a knack for wanting to do everything myself. So much happened after I gave birth that also added to my postpartum "depression" if you will.

I was dealing with betrayal and confusion so you can imagine the issues I had to face not even a week after becoming a parent. UGH!

Life sucks the calm out of you sometimes. I had a conversation with my mother recently that put my need to love more of myself back into perspective. she shared how much she admired seeing me become "flawless" whenever I'd take the time to simply dress up in heels or apply my epically famous winged liner. Many other things were shared but she was right - I loved doing those things for myself because it always made me feel better. I don't need makeup or a fierce stiletto in my everyday life but when those things are so accessible to me, I should take more advantage. I decided to:

  • Allow more of myself to accept the help and love around me
  • Get extra cute for a random day out of each week
  • When it's totally necessary - stop, take a break, and be more still
  • Not allow motherhood to be an excuse for why I can't do something.
These are personal commitments I've made to and for myself because I deserve to do so just for me. If you follow me on Twitter, you can be sure to catch wind of the may things I've already shared so for the next few weeks starting off - #Cater2Thyself will be my hashtag. Follow my journey or join in so I can see how you love on yourself. *insert floating hearts*


WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU'VE COMMITTED TO DOING MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE FOR YOURSELF?
10 random places to grab post ideas for your blog

I'm not the only person who finds amusement out of embarrassing things like mistakenly hitting yourself in the face while trying to snuggle in bed as a post to share with the world - right? I'm not. I find myself with a ton of ideas everyday from the most random things but I will accept this gift. I'm sharing a few places you can grab random inspiration to keep your blog fresh and alive!


1. Step Into Your Closet
This is a great place to start, especially if you have a lifestyle or fashion blog. I recently got inspired by my own closet which is how my post on the winter boots I failed to wear came about. 

2. The Foods You Eat
It's no secret that I am a true fatty when it comes to food. I love to eat. I also think that some meals are worthy of a blog post - like these quick meals for lazy foodies like me. Gon' girl and blog about those that meal you and your boo enjoyed. 

3. Your Product Stash
In other words, your collection of makeup, beauty, and hair care. This may not be too uncommon of a choice but I often find myself blogging about a random product I just have laying around that I can talk about if I like it or not. 

4. Look In Your Bag
Whether it be from your recent trip to Target or your small cross-body, I'm sure you can grab an idea from something in there. I did when I shared a few essentials to keep in a small purse.

5. Jewelry Is Always Nice
I haven't personally blogged about my fave accessories to wear YET but its a good idea. I did get inspired by one of my favorite necklaces when I wrote about my fave Brown Girl Bloggers - the photo I took for that post was good enough lol.

6. Got A Kid?
Yep, I'm a mommy so for my parents or god parents - guardians however, out there I find inspiration all the time. I recently shared a few weird things new moms do which I figured most could relate to. Your kids are great sources to blog about.

7. That "Might Be Boring" Thing
Sometimes people actually enjoy reading my random musings on things I thought wouldn't be of great interest but blogged on it anyway. Crazy right? Last year I shared how to discreetly store your Ms. Flo items - got more views than comments so point taken.

8. Your Crappy Feelings
Depending on what you define as crappy though. I just got over my Spring cold so sharing how to kick sick ass naturally seemed to be a great idea at the time. If you're feeling hurt, sick, or even betrayed - that's great fuel for a highly relatable post.

9.  A DIY 
I'm not talking about your Pinterest- famous posts on making your own hanging flower pots but something more subtle like how to use cutting shears. I grabbed that idea from my experience as a cosmetology student who still has her supplies hanging around. You can even share how to tie your shoes while your nail polish dries - ha!

10. Thin Air, Of Course
Whatever you find shareable at the time. I enjoyed writing about my obsession with my LG G3 so our personal indulgences are the real MVPs. From your fave phone apps to help you sleep to your failed yoga pose attempts. The best ideas come from authentic joys in our own lives.



WHERE DO YOU FIND YOURSELF GRABBING YOUR MOST RANDOM BLOG INSPIRATION?


Welcome to the first installment of Shades of Brown, a blog series centering around black beauty and love for all things flawlessly flawed. The goal is to allow women like you to express how our flaws make us who we are. The focal point of this will be the shade of lipstick each woman will wear to describe her divine power. 

Today we're loving on a fierce lifestyle blogger, JoAnn. You may recognize her from my post on  things Brown Girl Bloggers taught me. I fell in love with her energy. The vibe you get from stalking her Instagram or reading up on her posts always creates a good time. She's a powerhouse - dancer, model, yogi, foodie, and epic fashionista. Get to know HER...


1. Maya Angelou said she was a phenomenal woman - what is something special that makes you phenomenal? 
I feel like my ability to recover from negativity makes me a phenomenal woman. I've been through some things that may leave some hateful, hurt, physically sick, and pessimistic, but I've always found a way to let it fall away to the past.

2. I am a Queen with the gift of resilience. My beauty is not determined by society but instead it is determined by me


3. What does self love and adornment mean to you? Why? 
  • It means reciting affirmations to remind myself of my worth.
  • It means having a pamper day when Im not feeling my best.
  • It also means taking control of my life by doing things that make me happy.
4. Do you feel loving your flaws as much as your strengths should be worth the admiration? Why? 
YES absolutely! If anything women should admire their flaws more, that's what makes us unique and REAL. If we focus on the strengths more than the flaws we aren't loving our entire selves.



5. I wear this purple crush lipstick because it signifies my boldness.




Connect with JoAnn on Twitter @iamj0ann and Instagram @iamj0ann
Visit her blog - www.iamj0ann.com

my experience with tidal

Tidal - something you may feel is the greatest failure in music history if you only go by what others tweet throughout Black Twitter. I wanted to think the latter and give it a fair chance before passing judgment. Even more so after catching Jay-Z defending the company with #TidalFacts this past week.

If you're not familiar with Tidal, think of it as the Hulu Plus version of Spotify vs the Netflix version. No, Jay-Z does not own 100% of the company but he does hold a pretty penny portion of stake. Tidal is a lossless audio streaming service. In other words, quality is way better when it comes to HOW you listen to your music.

I gave Tidal a try. They have two subscriptions available that will each allow you to take a test drive for 30 days. Tidal Premium is the standard version and sound for $9.99 a month and Tidal HiFi is the lossless high fidelity sound quality version that's 19.99 a month. I chose to give the HiFi a go since I can experience standard on free streaming apps. My thoughts:

Pros

  • Very Hi-Res video (1080p)
  • Sound quality is immaculate compared to Spotify app.
  • Love the exclusive behind the scenes footage.
Cons

  • I don't listen to music enough to truly enjoy the app.
  • $19.99 a month is pointless to pay in my case.
my experience with tidal
My Smartphone Screenshot


A lot of people call Tidal a fail simply because of what they saw. It's a "These folks rich already, why should I pay to listen to your music when I can do it for free?" - it's not about paying them more, it's about the experience they want their fans to have. I'm not a fangirl but hey. Of course, they'll continue to make their bread. It's a business. 

In my opinion, the overall experience is definitely great but unless you're a die-hard music addict or blogger in the industry niche for this, then you might not find Tidal of any use and just stick to the freebies. I did appreciate the exclusive footage though. If the goal of Tidal is to support more "underground" artists or however, I feel that celebrity conference should have enlisted the underground artists to represent instead of the multi-millionaire artists who have already "made it".

Overall, if you haven't given Tidal a try, check it out here. I'm still in my trial period (like many) but I'm sure continuing my subscription will not happen.


HAVE YOU TRIED TIDAL? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?


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