BoxyCharm March 2021 Unboxing + Try On

BoxyCharm March 2021 Unboxing + Try On

This post was done in partnership with BoxyCharm. The BoxyCharm March 2021 box was gifted to me. All opinions are my own.

Hopefully, the Boxycharm March 2021 box brings us all some good luck! As usual, the box is an incredible value for the $25 price tag!

What's in the Box

Every month BoxyCharm subscribers get five full-sized products for $25. According to BoxyCharm, the retail value of the products I received in my box is $137. That's a major discount!

I received three makeup products and two skincare products in my box. All of the brands in my box are new to me which was pretty exciting because I love trying new things!

boxycharm march 2021

Lime Crime Venus 3 Eyeshadow Palette (MSRP $38)

Y'all know I love some packaging. This palette is beautiful and it has a nice large mirror. The eyeshadow shades are absolutely stunning.

boxycharm march 2021

This palette has three matte shades. The rest are satins, shimmers, and duo chromes. All of these shades are very nicely pigmented and I noticed minimal fall out when I was applying them.

The shades of lilac, rose gold, mauve, and brown compliment each other beautifully. I can definitely see myself reaching for this often for soft and bold looks.

Glow Recipe Banana Souffle Moisture Cream (MSRP $39)

This moisturizer is really lightweight and hydrating. It's not scented, so if you're not a fan of fragrance in skincare, you'll enjoy this! According to the brand, the formula is non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic.

boxycharm march 2021

I applied it over top of vitamin C and sunscreen just to test it out. Surprisingly, it didn't pill up or make my skin feel heavy! I also enjoy the texture. It reminds me of the Farmacy Gel Moisturizer in the January box.

Maven Beauty Rose Water Setting Spray (MSRP $22)

The brand claims this setting spray is packed with antioxidants and that it will prevent your makeup from smudging for up to 16 hours.

I do not notice a rosewater scent with this setting spray. It smells more like alcohol to me. In fact, the first two ingredients are water and alcohol denat. Rosewater is listed fourth.

However, I will say that this did set my makeup nicely and seemed to keep in place.

KAB Cosmetics Hydrating Lip Oil (MSRP $20)

This oil promises to give you juicy, hydrated lips. Now, I will say this is more of a gloss than lip oil. Despite that, it does instantly make your lips look juicy and shiny!

boxycharm march 2021

This product comes in six shades. I received rum punch. However, I didn't notice much color when I applied it. I like that it absorbs into the lips while maintaining the shine. It doesn't feel super sticky, so it's comfortable to wear.

The Beauty Crop Avocado Hydrating Eye Mask (MSRP $18)

According to The Beauty Crop, these masks are infused with avocado and green tea. They're supposed to hydrate and depuff the eyes. These are cool when applied, which is really nice.

I applied them before doing my makeup. While I didn't notice a huge difference in my under eyes, the serum didn't cause my concealer to crease or look cakey, which is always nice!

Final Thoughts & Box Variation

I enjoyed this box! My favorite product, by far, is the eyeshadow palette. I can't wait to play around with that some more! I received box number C2103011-BA. Are you a BoxyCharm subscriber? What do you think about this box? Let's chat about it in the comments!

How To: Take Your Own Instagram Pictures

How To: Take Your Own Instagram Pictures

This picture looks like a photographer could've taken it. However, I took it myself using a self-timer! Keep reading to learn the equipment, settings, and editing software I use to produce these images!

how to take your own instagram pictures


I bought a Sony Alpha A5100 years ago. While the quality was better than my phone, I couldn't figure out why my photos didn't look crisp. Turns out, the problem was the lens. I upgraded to a Sigma 30mm lens and whew, girl, the quality jumped out! If you already have this camera I would highly suggest grabbing this lens. I bought it used on Amazon for $158.

The image quality is so much better. This lens also blurs the background a bit more than the standard lens, giving photos a more professional feel.

If you don't own the A5100 and are considering buying it, buy the body by itself and get this lens. You'll save a couple hundred dollars.

A tripod is also key because you'll need something to hold the camera! This one from amazon works great because you can mount the camera horizontally and vertically. Plus, it's under $30!

how to take your own instagram pictures

I have found that mounting the camera vertically works best for taking photos for Instagram. That's because of the 1:1 crop required for the app. When you take your photos horizontally you don't have as much wiggle room for cropping. In addition to that, you'd need the camera to be very, very far away for full body shots.

Camera Settings

Connect the camera to your phone with the smart remote. That will allow you to see exactly what the image is going to look like and activate the self-timer with your phone. Amazing, right?! Here's how to access the smart remote: menu > application > application list > smart remote control.

After your camera and phone are connected, adjust the image quality. Here's how: menu > quality > RAW & JPEG. By doing this, your camera will save two copies of each photo. One will be RAW, the other will be JPEG.

Zoom will not work whenever your quality is set to RAW & JPEG. However, RAW images are very high quality. Therefore, when you crop you won't lose much quality. In addition to that, many editing presets perform better on RAW images.

Shooting in Manual will also improve your photo quality. On your phone, you'll be able to adjust the ISO to brighten or darken your image. Staying below 640 is ideal!

The shutter speed will also adjust the brightness of your pictures. Play around with these two settings until the lighting is how you prefer. Then, hit the self-timer button and quickly move your phone to an area nearby that won't be visible in the picture. Sometimes I hide mine in my pocket or waistband!

Editing The Images

I use Adobe Lightroom for all my photo edits. Start by cropping and straightening the picture, if necessary. For Instagram, you want to use the 1x1 photo crop option. Then apply a preset, if you want. Lately, I've been loving the Marrica Evans Bright & Airy preset. Check out the difference it makes in that before and after!

how to take your own instagram pictures

Export the images at 100% quality so they're nice and crisp. That's it! Now you've got beautiful images that (almost) look like you hired a professional photographer! Did you learn something new? Let me know if this was helpful, and if you'd like to see more content creation tips!

Make It BLACK: Morphe and Maybelline


According to Make It Black, "in 2020 less than 1% of available capital went to Black-owned businesses." That's why Pull Up For Change is starting this initiative.

make it black

Make It Black is advocating for the redefinition of Black by partnering with brands to turn their most iconic products black. In addition to that, 100% of the net proceeds from purchases of these products will go to the Small Business Impact Fund to support Black Founders. Grants will vary in size from $25,000 to $100,000. The organization plans to start distributing the funds after live pitch contests, which will start in June 2021.

Products in the Collection

There are 12 products in the makeup collection. They're available on the organization's website, and at Ulta Beauty.

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick ($9.49)

This is my first SuperStay lipstick, and they definitely aren't playing around with the staying power! It's a really pigmented black. I really loved the way the color looked, paired with a dramatic winged eye look. I can definitely see myself reaching for this to spice up my look!

make it BLACK
Morphe Continous Setting Mist ($16)

While I have used Morphe products, I hadn't tried this setting spray. So, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to test it out.

I love the continuous spray feature. I think it makes it easier to get an even distribution. The spray is hydrating and helps the skin look more like skin after applying powders.

Do You Plan on Supporting the Collection?

I love that this initiative is aimed at creating meaningful conversations around the definition of Black, with products aimed at showcasing the beauty of Black. In addition to that, it's a great way to support the development of Black businesses. Do you plan on picking up any products in this collection?

Current Skincare Favorites + Saving Coins on Skincare

Current Skincare Favorites

Shoutout to Cherie! They invited me to a zoom panel with dermatologists. I learned one major thing.

Cost doesn't necessarily equal quality when it comes to skincare. I know, we've been scammed! According to the dermatologists on the call, cleanser, moisturizer, and retinol should be the cheapest products in your routine. Sunscreen should also be inexpensive. However, people of color may need to spend more on sunscreen that doesn't leave a white cast. We don't want to look ashy! You should invest in actives and additives, like Vitamin C. I used these points as a guide when it was time to revamp my skincare routine. Here's what I'm using.

Morning Skincare Routine

CeraVe Hydrating Cream to Foam Cleanser

This stuff is legit! The amount of product for the price is fantastic. I love that it starts off creamy and lathers up easily. It helps remove makeup without drying out my skin. I was using the Fenty Skin cleanser before this, and I don't think I'll be going back to that.

skincare favorites
Herbivore Bakuchiol

This serum was gifted to me by Cherie. It's billed as a natural alternative to Retinol. The consistency is really nice and thick, almost slime-like. What I really like about this serum is that it can be used in the daytime and in conjunction with Vitamin C. While I haven't noticed any changes in my skin with this product, it's a cute little serum that I enjoy using.

LaRoche Posay Vitamin C Serum

I have a love-hate relationship with Vitamin C. Many of the serums I used in the past had a watery consistency, so I don't feel like they performed well.

skincare favorites

This serum is really nice and thick. It absorbs into the skin fairly quickly. My skin looks brighter and more even-toned after using this for a few weeks. It does have a bit of fragrance, so that's something to be aware of if you're sensitive to scent. However, y'all know I love some fragrance in my skincare!

Always, always, always apply SPF as the last step in your morning skincare routine. Yes, even if you're staying inside! I don't currently have a favorite sunscreen. I've been trying out a few but I don't have one I absolutely love, yet.

Evening Skincare Routine

Peach & Lily Glass Skin Serum

When Ulta put this on major sale, I grabbed it! Now, I don't think this is changing my skin at all. However, I do like the way my skin looks after I apply it. It sort of gives your skin a smoother, slightly more blurred, appearance. This is a water-based serum, so I do like that it's hydrating and it serves as a small barrier before I apply Retinol.

The Ordinary Retinol

I have to admit, I was a little worried about adding Retinol into my skincare routine. I've heard how it can really wreak havoc on your skin before you start seeing results. Fortunately, the only issue I had was dry skin for a couple of weeks. I definitely feel like this has helped with the overall texture of my skin. I also believe it's keeping breakouts at bay. I haven't noticed any since I started using this!

skincare favorites
Base Butter Radiate Face Jelly

This moisturizer was also a gift from Cherie. I'm not usually impressed by moisturizers. However, when I opened this up I was really surprised by the texture.

It really is jelly-like! It feels cool when you apply it, and it easily absorbs into the skin. This definitely helps counteract the dryness from the retinol.

If you've been here before, you know this routine probably won't last forever. I'm always switching things up and trying new products. But, I do plan to stick with this for at least a couple more months. What are your favorite skincare products right now?

New Makeup: Morphe Filter Effect Foundation

Morphe Filter Effect Foundation

Morphe's Filter Effect Foundation is promising hydration, blurring, and long wear. Whew! It's available in 40 shades.

Shade Rich 30 is the best match for me. Y'all know packaging is my jam! This bottle looks great.

This foundation is $20. So I'd say it's in the middle ground between drugstore and prestige. However, I feel like the packaging makes it feel more luxe.

morphe filter effect foundation

The formula contains Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, and Glycerin. It's free of oils, fragrances, and parabens. A note on the smell. While it doesn't have a fragrance, to me it smells like hydrocortisone cream. It's not a bad scent, but more like an ointment smell. If you've tried this, let me know if you agree.

The coverage is great! It starts off medium, but it's easy to build up to full coverage. Plus, it feels very lightweight.

This is perfect for dry skin, because of the hydrating ingredients. My skin is on the dry side right now because I added Retinol into my skincare routine. Despite that, I didn't have any issues with this foundation.

Saying this foundation makes you look like you're wearing a real-life filter is a bit much. However, I did notice that this foundation helped smooth out my complexion.

morphe filter effect foundation

My skin looks smooth and radiant after applying this. In addition to that, the radiance doesn't fade after applying other products. The finish reminds me of the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation, it's very skin-like.

Ulta threw in the Morphe E63 wide angle foundation bush with the purchase of the foundation. The brush is great! The angle really hugs the contours of the face. Plus, the bristles are really soft.

morphe filter effect foundation

I'm definitely a fan of the Morphe Filter Effect Foundation, especially for the price point! Have you tried this foundation? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

Black Owned Beauty: Uoma and Bonsu

Black Owned Beauty

Lashes, lipstick, contour, and highlight are part of this black owned beauty spotlight! This post features goodies from Uoma and Bonsu Beauty.

Uoma Beauty

Double Take Contour Stick

Uoma Beauty has been on my radar for a while. I'm excited to finally try out their highlight and contour stick!

Both of these products are really nicely pigmented. They apply very creamy and are easy to blend out. I picked up Brown Sugar. While I could've gone down a shade, it's the perfect shade for doing a full glam contoured look.

black owned beauty

The highlighter is infused with lychee extract to hydrate your skin. The contour is silicone-free. According to Uoma it's made with 28% naturally derived ingredients and 30%pure pigments.

Lipstick and Lip Liner

You know we love packaging around here. I couldn't resist grabbing the Total Badass kit when I saw it! Although the kit isn't available anymore you can purchase the lipstick and lip liner separately.

black owned beauty

The "Self Made" kit included Badass MF Lip Liner in Simone and Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Aretha. Both are richly pigmented brown shades.

black owned beauty
black owned beauty

The lipstick is matte without being drying. It's comfortable to wear. I also love that the tube says, "a badass does not talk about being a badass." OK! The cap and base are magnetic. The little click as it closes makes it feel luxe!

This lip liner is the most perfect shade of brown! It pairs nicely with the lipstick. I can also use this when I'm going for a nude lip. I can definitely see myself repurchasing this in the future!

Bonsu Beauty

We love a good lash over here! Bonsu Beauty will give you the fluffy, flirtatious, dramatic lashes of your dreams! The brand is owned by Ohemaa Bonsu. She's a beauty content creator and influencer.

black owned beauty

I think Burkina Faso is a perfect everyday lash. It's full, fun, and flirty. It gives just the right amount of drama without being too over the top for daytime looks.

black owned beauty
burkina 1
burkina 2

Give Dem gives your eyes life! This lash has a lot of volume in the outer corner. These work really well for adding drama to cat-eye looks. They are fluffy and fabulous!

black owned beauty
give dem 1
give dem 2

Togo is the most dramatic out of all the styles I picked up. This style has volume all the way across. If you're into dramatic, full, fluffy lashes, this is definitely the style for you!

black owned beauty
togo 1
togo 2

All of these lashes are $9.99! I think that's a steal for the quality. According to the brand, you can use them up to 20 times with proper care.

Do you plan on trying any of the products from these black owned beauty brands?

Valentine’s Day makeup 2021: Pink Glam

Valentine's Day Makeup 2021

So you've got date night planned, now it's time to serve a LWEK! Let's get into this Valentine's Day 2021 makeup!

All Pink Glam

There is a such thing as too much pink. However, I don't think that applies to Valentine's Day! Check out the step-by-step YouTube tutorial above to learn how to put this look together. Here are some of my favorite products for creating pink glam looks!

Pat McGrath Rose Decadance ($65)

This palette just screams Valentine's Day. The two matte shades are perfect for adding depth and dimension.

valentine's day makeup 2021

The pink shades are truly special. Plus, I love that this palette includes gold and copper shades that compliment the rose tones.

Pat Mcgrath Celestial Divinity Palette ($78)

While this palette has a variety of tones, there are three matte shades that all work well for creating pink looks.

In addition to that, there are some really beautiful pink shimmer shades. I absolutely love CosmiK. It's a duo chrome diamond sparkle pink. Odyssey is also very pretty. It's a lilac taupe with pink sparkle.

Juvia's Place Sweet Pinks Palette ($14)

The name says it all! This palette is filled with beautiful sweet pink shades and a wonderful price point!

valentine's day makeup 2021

There are three matte shades and three shimmer shades. All of these eyeshadows are really pigmented and compliment each other well.

Are You Trying Pink Glam For Valentine's Day?

Let me know what your favorite pink palettes are in the comments!

BoxyCharm February 2021 Unboxing + Try On

BoxyCharm February 2021

This post was done in partnership with BoxyCharm. The BoxyCharm February 2021 box was gifted to me. All opinions are my own.

BoxyCharm is bringing the romance in the February 2021 Box. We're getting pink, sparkles, and hearts! The theme is XOXO.

What's in the Box

Every month BoxyCharm subscribers get five full-sized products for $25. According to BoxyCharm, the retail value of the products I received in my box is $159.95. That's a major discount!

I received three makeup products and two skincare products in my box. However, one of the makeup items is a duo. So, I would count it as four makeup products.

BoxyCharm February 2021

Wander Beauty Getaway Eye and Face Palette (MSRP $36)

I am not a fan of eye and face palettes. Usually, they only really work for my eyes. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this palette!

boxycharm february 2021

While it would have been nice to have more variation between the two matte eyeshadow shades, the color story of this palette is lovely. The eyeshadows are all warm-toned. They give the eys a nice bronzy glow. There is some fallout with these shadows, but it's not too bad. The blush is nice. It's not super pigmented, but it is pigmented enough to get the job done. The highlighter is bomb. It's the best part about this palette! It's very nicely pigmented and it gives the skin a beautiful glow.

Tula Skincare So Poreless Deep Exfoliating Blackhead Scrub (MSRP $32)

This scrub is formulated with pink salt, volcanic sand, and witch hazel. It's supposed to target blackheads to deeply purify and minimize the look of pores.

BoxyCharm February 2021

While I'm excited to try this, I'm holding off for a little while. I introduced Retinol into my skincare routine. So, I'm trying to avoid exfoliating since my skin is a little dry right now.

I did do a little patch test though, and the formula feels really lovely. It doesn't seem too abrasive and it has a light citrus scent.

Trestique Eye Duo: Good Vibes Mascara + Eye Pencil (MSRP $44)

This eyeliner is great! The formula is gel-like and it glides on very easily. It is very nicely pigmented. Plus, the eyeliner doesn't set right away. So, it's easy to smudge out.

However, the mascara is really the star of this duo! There's a lash curler on the cap of the mascara bottle.

boxycharm february 2021

The curler is easy to use, and I feel like it gives my lashes some lift. The only downside is that it isn't very wide. So, you have to curl your lashes in small sections. The mascara is nice and gives my lashes additional length and lift. Y'all know I love fake lashes, though. While this won't replace my falsies, I do think this product is really unique and innovative!

Glamierre Pink Luxe Glitter Eye Brush Collection (MSRP $29.95)

These brushes are so cute! They're housed in a sparkly hot pink holder. The brush handles have little hearts and sequins in them that move around as you use them.

There are four brushes in this set. Although the packaging is amazing, my first thought was, "will these actually work?"

boxycharm february 2021
boxycharm february 2021

I have some good news! I used three of the four brushes to try out the Wander Beauty palette and I didn't have any issues with them! As it turns out, they're pretty and functional.

NCLA Beauty So Rich Love Potion (MSRP $18)

This is a limited-edition Valentine's Day version of NCLA's So Rich formula. The formula contains safflower seed oil and Vitamin E. I feel like cuticle oil is one of those products that I don't really think about.

boxycharm february 2021

While I haven't purchased cuticle oil in quite some time, I am happy I received this. It definitely nourishes my cuticles without being greasy. I can see myself reaching for this a lot, especially since I'm washing my hands more often than ever before.

Final Thoughts & Box Variation

January's box was so great, that it set a high bar! While I liked this box, it wasn't as great as the one I received last month. I received box number C2102006-BA. Are you a BoxyCharm subscriber? What do you think about this box? Let's chat about it in the comments!

Valentine’s Day 2021: Date Night at Home

Valentine's Day 2021

Staying in for Valentine's Day 2021? You can still have a great time! Try one of these five, easy, date night at home ideas!

valentine's day 2021

Game Night

Embrace your competitive spirits with a game night! Choose a few (or more) of your favorite games and go head to head! Then, choose a sweet reward for the champion.

Maybe their favorite meal, or breakfast in bed? Check out this post for some game night inspiration!

Dance Lessons

Learning something new is always a lot of fun! Hit up YouTube University for some dance lessons. Although we chose salsa, there are tons of different dance lessons available. After you get the steps down, dress up, and take them for a spin in the living room. Getting dressed up helps break the monotony of spending so much time in loungewear!

Wine Tasting

Continuing with the theme of learning new things, try a wine tasting at home. Grab a few wines you haven't tried before. Then, take turns tasting them blindfolded. See who can correctly guess which wines they're tasting. We found a new wine we really liked during our tasting!

Paint Night

If you're not artistic, you may be wondering, "how can I create a paint night at home?" It's actually pretty simple. In this blog post, I share two easy ways to create this experience!

valentine's day 2021

The best part about a paint date is that you'll always have the artwork! I love looking at all the pieces we created together.

Movie Night

Spice things up for movie night by adding a backlight to your TV! It's a really simple project that packs a punch. The lights transform the room, really giving you a theatre-like experience.

Grab some of bae's favorite snacks and you're all set! Oh, and don't spend more time looking for a movie than actually watching one!

I'm sharing some of our favorite movies and series in this post. Hopefully, you haven't watched all of them already!

Date Night at Home Series

We had a lot of fun creating these date night at home experiences. Do you plan to try any of them out? Let me know in the comment section!

Danessa Myricks: Black-Owned Beauty Brand

Danessa Myricks Beauty

Please tell me you've seen the colorful, glossy, wonderland that is Danessa Myricks Instagram page! It inspired me to try out some of her beauty products.

Colorfix Glaze and Gloss

Seeing Danessa use these products is mesmerizing. So, of course, I had to try them out! I picked up Color Fix in the shade Desert Rose and Color Fix Glaze in the shade Kaleidoscope.

danessa myricks
danessa myricks

These products can be used on the eyes, face, and lips. I chose Desert Rose because I thought it would be a perfect multi-use shade for me. Fortunately, I was right! It works well as a blush. On my lips, it's the sort of pinky-nude I gravitate towards. This product does not move!

That made it perfect for the blush first makeup application I tried out. It did not budge when I applied contour and foundation on top!

I really wanted the clear glaze, but it was sold out. However, Kaleidoscope is great! I love the colorful sparkle it adds, in addition to the gloss. Although I did notice some creasing with my eyeshadow after a few hours, the gloss didn't dissolve the product so it was easy to tap it back into place.

Balm Contour

This balm contour is the bomb! It is the most blendable and lightweight cream contour I have ever used! I grabbed shade medium three.

This shade is perfect for my skin tone. It adds that snatched effect without looking muddy. I absolutely love this product!

Vision Cream Cover

The really cool thing about this is that you can order samples! It's so hard to match foundation online, and this makes the process a lot easier. The samples are $5, and you get a decent amount of product to try! I ordered the two shades I thought were closest to my skin tone.

danessa myricks
danessa myricks

N08 is definitely a better match for me. W08 was a little too deep for my skin tone. This foundation is really lovely. The coverage is lightweight, yet buildable. It also has a really nice skin-like finish. In addition to that, it played well with my favorite Cover FX primer and setting powder. I plan on picking up a full-size bottle now that I found my shade match!

Twin Flames

Danessa Myricks did her THING with Twin Flames! This multi-chrome liquid eyeshadow is absolutely stunning.

danessa myricks
danessa myricks

I picked up the shade True Luv. The color shifts between blue, green, and purple. It sort of reminds me of a peacock. This product is super pigmented. You really only need one swipe, maybe two. It is truly stunning, and once applied, it does not budge! This can also be used on the lips and cheeks.

Black Owned Beauty Brands

I am so excited these products are joining my collection of other black-owned beauty brand products. Y'all know I love some Pat McGrath and Juvia's Place! Be sure to check back in because I'll be highlighting another brand in honor of Black History Month! Do you plan on trying any of these products?