My Go-To Highlighters With Swatches

Top left: Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek (Avalon) | Top right: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Topaz) | Bottom left: Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush (Deep Bronze) | Bottom right: Nars Illuminator (Laguna)

Yasssssss to highlighters! They’re so much fun to use and look at. Who doesn’t like admiring a pretty face with a “come-through highlight?” On the flip side, I’ve been seeing a lot of people abuse highlighters – but that’s none of my business…

At the moment, these four products are my favorite illuminators. I’m always on the lookout for highlighters that will flatter my complexion because not all of them are suitable for all skin tones. Nars and Maybelline are my day ones. The other two are recent purchases that I’ve added to my collection. All of these products would work for women with darker skin tones.

When I first swatched ColourPop’s Avalon on my forearm, I thought it was beautiful. It’s a copper, cream-powder hybrid highlighter with warm orange to red undertones. It feels very satiny on the fingertips and has a pearlized finish, so when it catches the light it shifts from gold to pink. It also blends well. When I finally got around to wearing it on my face, I had mixed emotions. I was not expecting it to be so legit lol! The color payoff, texture and longevity for $8 are too boss and I was stunned, intimidated, impressed and confused. You see, it has a pearlized finish which means it’s frosty/shiny which means a little goes a very long way. In my opinion, that’s key for natural-looking makeup. So, be careful with pearlized illuminators because they have the shiniest finish. Eventually, I figured out how to work with Avalon so that it doesn’t look intense and I’m not out in these streets looking cray. It works for me because when I tan in the summer, my skin undertone goes from warm/golden to red. Anyway, I use my fingers or a flat foundation brush to apply this highlighter. A brush helps produce a more sheer finish whereas your fingers provide the most coverage. So, if you’re new to highlighters and want to try the ColourPop, a flat foundation brush or duo fibre brush will suffice to start. ColourPop also promotes the use of these tools on its site.

As far as the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Topaz, I use my fingers, foundation brush, powder brush or fan brush. Really, it just depends on my mood or what’s within reach or how much coverage I want. I like the Becca highlighter, but I wasn’t always fond of it. Becca’s highlighter in Topaz has to be one of the most hyped highlighters ever, and once I tried it – my only reaction was “oh, okay” and not “slayyyyy.” But, whatever. I’m not going to be fake. I use mine faithfully lol. I sometimes suffer from FOMO, so I had to buy it. I would describe this product as a golden, creamy-yet-light powder highlighter. It has the right amount of gold shimmer, but doesn’t look like glitter. It’s cute, long-wearing and feels like silk.

highlighter swatch

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush is my favorite drugstore product. It’s actually an illuminating blush. So, you can skip the blush when using this because it’s a two-in-one masterpiece! It offers a soft, luminous glow in any type of light. However, it’s not as moist and silky like the ColourPop or Becca. The formula is actually a bit dry, which is not a deal breaker for me because the color payoff is exceptional for $9.99! Master Hi-Light is a sort of marble/mosaic of four shades of blush that gives you a warm flush of light when applied to your face with a brush. It doesn’t have as much shimmer as the others and that’s what I really like about it. There’s a great balance due to the two matte blush shades it includes. I recommend using a brush for this particular product. It actually comes with a mini brush underneath the pan. I’ve never used it, though. By the end of the day, the color wears off, but I can still see a bit of a glow in the applicable areas. I have a tip for how to make it last longer. Keep reading.

Nars Illuminator in Laguna is a bronze illuminator. This will be your go-to if you’re looking to achieve a true, natural glow. I repeat, if you want to go bare with just mascara and lip, this is a must-have item. It’s truly the quintessence of Bare With Me. If I could have a mascot for this site, it would be the Nars Illuminator. It has a brown, creamy base with gold shimmer that provides a soft-and-sheer finish. This will not leave any kind of annoying cast including white or pearly ones. I like to mix it with my foundation/tinted moisturizer in the winter. It give me a very warm glow. TipSometimes, I use it as a base highlighter teamed with Maybelline. I find that it helps the Maybelline Master Hi-Light last longer since it has something to adhere to.

abh glow kit

A honorable mention is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit.

abh glow kit palette

It’s a palette that includes four “metallic powder highlighters.”

abh highlight

I only use Golden Bronze. Everything else looks like shimmering ash on me. Not cute. ABH describes it as a “sultry, warm bronze with a gold-flecked finish.” I would describe it the same way. The palette will last a very long time as they are highly pigmented. Golden Bronze is intense, but also long-wearing and feels like velvet on my fingertips. I recommend swiping this on once with a brush and a light hand, if you want a more natural glow. I tend to use this for nightlife while I’m on vacation since it’s so luminous. It’s also very good for photo shoots.

That’s me in the featured image wearing both Colour Pop and Becca (heyyyy!). You can watch a tutorial of how I use Colour Pop and Becca to achieve a natural-looking highlight here.

What are some of your favorite illuminators? Please share.

Thanks for reading!


M.A.C Sample Sale Haul With Swatches

M.A.C Cosmetics had its first public sample sale in New York City this past week, and I went! I planned to go on Tuesday, the day it started, but my friend got there first and told me the line wrapped around three blocks. I had an oh-hell-nah moment at my desk and decided to take my cute self home. I finally made it on the very last day (yesterday) just hours before it ended (4 pm EST). The event was very organized; I was impressed. There were still plenty of products, too. I thought I was going to be able to cop some paint pots, concealer, bronzers and blush – but I thought wrong. It was only selling seasonal or limited-editon products. However, everything was 60% off! Here’s what I purchased:

mac stuff
Velvetease Lip Pencils in Oh Honey, Ready To Go, Velvet Teen & Anything Goes – $8/ea.  |  MAC +Brook Candy Studio Eye Gloss in Black-Yang – $10

I purchased several lip pencils, so maybe I’ll do a giveaway one day. The pencils literally feel like velvet on your lips and dry down to a semi-matte finish.

mac swatch 1

M.A.C claims these are matte lip pencils. Imo, they have more of a semi-matte finish.

  • Anything Goes is described as a “rosey fuchsia.” It’s a bright red with cool, berry undertones.
  • Ready To Go is a deep red with warm undertones. M.A.C describes it as a “deep brick red.”
  • Velvet Teen is a deep, eggplant purple. It’s similar to Smoked Purple, but a lot darker. M.A.C describes it as a “deep blackened plum.”
  • Oh Honey is a light, muted brown with pinkish-peach undertones. It’s described as a “warm chocolate.”


The M.A.C + Brooke Candy Studio Eye Gloss is so relevant to the the oily, glossy-eye trend. Black-Yang is a glittery, deep blue with sheer coverage. It works for a glossy, smokey eye look. M.A.C describes its Studio Eye Gloss as a “gloss for the eyes that provides high shine with buildable coverage.”

mac eye gloss
Studio Eye Gloss Black-Yang swatch.




mac lips
Cremesheen Lipsticks in Black Night and Midsummer Night – $7/ea. | Glaze Lipstick in Ring My Bell – $7

The cremesheens are very much what they sound like – sheer lipsticks with a creamy finish.

mac swatch 4

  • Black Night has some shimmer in it and a glossy-to-creamy finish with sheer coverage.
  • Midsummer Night is a sheer, muted brown with pink undertones.
  • Glaze Lipstick in Ring My Bell offers a creamy, metallic finish with sheer coverage. It could build up to opaque depending on how many times you layer it on. Ring My Bell reminds me of M.A.C’s Lipglass in Explicit. Explicit was one of my first buys from M.A.C as a teenager. Both products have a cute 90’s vibe, which I love – and they’re very on-trend considering the metallic-lip buzz that’s been happening, so buying Ring My Bell was a no-brainer.
mac nails
Nail Lacquers clockwise: Anti-Fashion, Delicate, Sour Cherry & Midnight Sky – $5/ea.

I have a thing for nail polish, especially dark cream shades, metallic shades and neutral, cream to sheer shades. I love all the colors I bought!

Everything was final sale. It’s only been one day after the sale, but I have no buyer’s remorse lol. However, if I could exchange one thing for another thing it would be the Cremesheen Lipstick in Midsummer Night for an Aim To Please lip pencil.

I’ll be trying these products out soon, and then I’ll post photos on IG. Updated: See all these lipsticks on me here.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! 🙂





GRAPHIC PHOTO | Laser Tattoo Removal On Brown Skin

blister tattoo
What my tattoo looked like the day after my second session. A blistering mess.

I decided to write about this topic because some people think that tattoo removal on brown skin is impossible. They also think it will result in a higher rate of pigmentation problems and scaring than people with low concentrations of melanin. Even though these things can occur, they can also be avoided by having an experienced professional remove your tattoo the right way with the right laser. Regardless of your complexion, the risks and side affects associated with laser tattoo removal are the same. This post is here to enlighten curious minds about the process and what it may look like to get a tattoo removed. I am currently undergoing treatment to remove one of my three tattoos because I simply don’t want it anymore. And, nope, it doesn’t matter that I can’t see it. Below is my story:

First off, you’re encouraged to schedule a consultation before you begin the removal process. During this time, a specialist informs you of the protocol, assesses the tattoo you want to remove, gives you an estimate of how many treatments you may have to sit through and how much it will cost, if the price wasn’t already established. I knew how much I was paying because I purchased a deal off of Groupon. I did my research about the cosmetic office, too. This is key.

I received my consultation and first treatment session on the same day. During my consultation, the specialist informed me that there is no guarantee that my tattoo will be completely removed. She continued to say I may experience permanent scaring, hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, it would just depend on my skin’s reaction to the laser. This means that even if all the ink was removed there would still be an impression of where it once appeared (cue hyper or hypopigmentation). She showed me an example of the area where her tattoo once was and yes, I could still see the impression. She has fair skin and the impression is lighter than her (hypopigmentation). Lastly, she stated that I may have to undergo eight sessions. I was not expecting to hear that number as I thought this was going to be a quick fix lol. She asked me if I wanted to proceed considering everything we went over plus aftercare. Keep in mind, I started this journey in May. Basically, summertime. Problem alert! After you start your treatment, your tattoo cannot be exposed to the sun. If you know me, you know I barely wear clothes in the summer and live for outdoor activities. I go to the beach, cookouts, picnics, outdoor festivals, etc. Initially, I couldn’t wrap my head around this problem because it was rocket science to me. Like, how was I supposed to escape the sun? Soon enough, I figured it out.

After the session, my skin was obviously very tender. As the days went by, my blisters popped. My tattoo began to itch, crust and the skin started to shed, all of which is normal. This is basically the same process your skin would go through if you got a scrape, cut or burn somewhere. It’s all an indication that your immune system has started the healing process. As far as the aftercare goes, I apply Aquaphor to my tattoo after every shower, and then I leave it alone to breathe. I don’t cover it up with a bandage. Well, I did once. It was only because it looked like it did in the blistering photo, and I had to attend my best friend’s birthday party. People are annoying and I didn’t want them to touch it, breath on it, poke at it, etc. Also, I avoid sun exposure by wearing clothes that cover most of my neck or I carry a light scarf. Honestly, taking care of it in the summer is not that bad because I spend most of my time at work (indoors) during the week. On the weekends, I’m more conscious of what I’m wearing. When night falls, I wear anything.

fade tattoo
Eight weeks into my tattoo removal experience.

Oh, and let’s not forget that laser tattoo removal hurts like shit! In my opinion, getting a tattoo is painful but not as painful as getting it removed! It feels like hot chicken grease jumping on your skin a million times for about 60 seconds or it feels like someone is popping a rubber band on your skin a million times for about 60 seconds. Either way, it’s a horrible feeling. The discomfort is “reduced” by a tube of cold air directed at the area that is being treated. The cool air is bullshit. It still hurts. Essentially, you’re getting your skin burned off. It’s not a chill experience. Pun intended. The pain after the treatment varies from person to person. I was in pain for an hour. Good times.

There’s no point in stopping now, so my third session is scheduled for later this month. My tat is fading fast, and it’s because the ink is not very deep. My specialist even said the ink is breaking up quicker than she expected. I already see some hypopigmentation going on, but that’s expected because skin does this when it experiences any kind of injury.

Additional Info 

The office I go to uses the Q-Switched laser. Q-Switched laser tattoo removal system is a high-powered laser of pulsed light that targets pigment and breaks it up into fragments that eventually disappear.

Treatment with the laser lasts for about 60 seconds, depending on the size of the tattoo. The number of treatments depend on the following:

  • Size of tattoo
  • Location
  • Depth
  • Colors
  • Age

Black ink is the easiest to remove. FYI, my tattoo is comprised of red, green and black inks.

If you have any questions about my experience, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. I’ll continue to update this post to show you all my progression. Thanks for reading!



Please keep in mind that this is MY story. The removal process is an individual experience that depends on a variety of variables. This is general information and should not replace a doctor’s advice. Arrange a consultation, if you are thinking about getting your tattoo removed.

Product Review: ColourPop Ultra Metallic Lip With Swatches

Top: Man Eater; Bottom: Zebra

ColourPop. The social media makeup sensation that broke the internet with its low prices and richly pigmented products, released its latest line of liquid lipsticks with metallic finishes a few weeks ago. I decided to get hip and bought two ultra metallics and three ultra mattes (not pictured). I’ll be reviewing the items in the above picture since they’re currently VIP items in the social media makeup world and VSO (very sold out). Updated: See the ultra metallic and ultra matte lip products on me here.

So, let’s talk about it… I’ve been on a nude-lip diet these days. That’s why I only purchased two items. There are four metallics total. The other two colors didn’t appeal to me as much as Man Eater and Zebra. The others are cute, but I wasn’t hype to get them even if they’re just six dollars.

colour pop swatches
Top: Man Eater; Bottom: Zebra


  1. The color payoff is legit. There’s no need to apply more than one swipe on the bottom and one swipe on the top of your lips, unless you want a more opaque coverage.
  2. The finish is legit. It goes on wet and creamy, but dries down to a metallic finish.
  3. It does have a comfortable feel on the lips and isn’t overly drying.
  4. The formula doesn’t dry down very fast, so if you do decide to apply more than one coat, it won’t look too cakey.


  1. My lips had a sticky/creamy feeling when I would rub them together, which may have a lot to do with the reason why the brand claims “the formula is not completely transfer resistant.”
  2. The brand also claims the formula is “extremely long wearing” but that claim doesn’t make any sense because you can’t have a product that is not completely transfer resistant be extremely long wearing. The color will wear off after some time, especially if you do things like eat and drink – which means it is not extremely long wearing. Now, if you decide not to eat and drink – your lip color will obviously last longer.
  3. Zebra moved around a bit and started to fade off my upper lip (I smoked hookah that night, had one cocktail with a straw and a little chapstick underneath). When I wore Man Eater bare, the product also started to fade off my upper lip after having breakfast (piece of bread, oatmeal with a spoon and bottled of water). Both products started to fade within four hours of being worn.

Overall, it’s not a bad product for six dollars. Just know it won’t last very long, so take your pictures ASAP! I would buy more colors in this finish, if they appealed to me. My favorite color is Zebra because it’s not too loud even though it has a metallic finish. I love it alone, too. Man Eater would have to be worn ombre style with Zebra, with a dark pencil underneath or something else. I would never wear it alone; it’s not flattering on me.

If you have these colors or the other two colors, what are your thoughts about them? If you have any questions about these two products, please ask in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you asap.

Thanks for reading!


Want To Look Bomb In Minutes? Do This!

Do what? Do your eyebrows! Why? Because your eyebrows are everything! Your brows literally hold the highest value when it comes to your face, especially since they are the first feature at the very top of your face. They come first and should be treated with respect. It’s that serious. Not only do well-groomed eyebrows add symmetry to your face, but they also brighten your visage and add a youthful appearance. Groomed eyebrows manage to give you an instant makeup-in-minutes look without having to put on a full face. It’s the one thing that may just “save face” when you’re in a rush and want to still look cute and alive. If you have no time to do your makeup in the morning (like me), at the very least – do your eyebrows. It’s a game-changer. It’s the only thing I do every morning for sure – aside from showering and brushing my teeth, of course.

eyebrow tools

The above image includes my eyebrow essentials:

  1. M.A.C. Select Cover-Up – NW45
  2. Maybelline Great Lash – Clear
  3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz – Ebony
  4. Nars Precision Blending Brush #13
  5. M.A.C. Small Angle Brush #266

Application tips:

  1. The first thing I do is brush my errant hairs upward and over with an individual spoolie brush. This typically allows for smoother application. If you’re using ABH Brow Wiz, one side comes with a spoolie brush, so you’re covered. I find it’s too rough to start with and usually save it until the end. I prefer using something a little softer to start. 
  2. Next, I fill in my brows with Brow Wiz using soft, light strokes. I build on this until I’ve achieved my desired coverage.
  3. Now, my favorite part. Concealer! Basically, I go in and conceal my pencil mistakes and define my brows even more, which results in a more polished look. Concealer is used for concealing blemishes, highlighting, etc. and in this case – I’m using concealer to subtly highlight and define my brows with a shade that matches my complexion. Finding a concealer that matches your skin is key to achieving natural-looking brows, especially if you don’t want to wear foundation or tinted moisturizer. Please keep in mind that I don’t add more product to my angle brush when I’m cleaning the top of my brow. It’s really not necessary as you can use the residual product from when you cleaned up the bottom part of your brows. This is why I like to start with defining the bottom first.
  4. After that, you want to blend your life away using a blending brush. I even use my fingers to blend since that warms up the product and helps to blend it into your skin even more.
  5. Then, I use the spoolie end of ABH’s Brow Wiz and brush my brows upward and over to evenly distribute and blend the color for a more natural finish.
  6. To complete my eyebrows, I use Maybelline’s Great Lash in clear as a gel to hold my brow hairs in place.

Eyebrows, done! Add some mascara and gloss and be on your way! This is all I do for work, usually. Sunscreen and eyebrows. Basically, bare. 

I didn’t always know what I was doing, though. Curious about my eyebrow journey? Read on. Continue reading “Want To Look Bomb In Minutes? Do This!”