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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How I Sealed My Deal: Interview Time!


I have been job hunting for nearly 6 months now.  For some, that may not be long at all but for me it seemed like forever.  I can't say I went on a million interviews because I was quite specific about the jobs I applied to but I went on a good 10-15 interviews in a 6 month period.  Sometimes I feel I had a GREAT interview and nailed the job but only to find out I was the very first person they interviewed so it would be a couple of weeks before they got back to me.  Well, a couple of weeks later I think is a bit long to remember someone!  Especially, if you are constantly interviewing other applicants during that time.  I learned quite a bit from my experience that I want to share with you.

DIRECT CONTACT IS KEY
After a while, I started only applying to companies where I could directly email my resume to a specific person.  Whether it be the HR rep or the actual hiring manager, sending my resume directly to a person as opposed to filling out an online application yielded better results.  I almost always heard back from someone whether it was via email or by phone.  It became frustrating sitting down for 30 minutes to an hour on some of those online applications to never actually hear back from a person.  Rather you get the 'thank you for applying but we have decided to go with another candidate' email.  If you've been job hunting, that last line should sounds VERY familiar! Lol.

DRESS ACCORDINGLY
When you're in school, they say to make the best impression you want to wear a nice suit (skirt suit for women) and a button down shirt.  Well, this may not be the ideal attire for ALL jobs.  If you are familiar with the type of dress code that office usually abides by then try to imitate that on the best level.  Meaning, if you know the office normally is business casual then maybe wearing a suit with a casual shirt underneath may work better than a button down (for women).  You want to give off the impression that you can fit in and you want them to be able to picture you working alongside them.  Definitely, if you are unsure about the normal office attire then be safe and wear the suit with a button down shirt.  The shirt does not have to be white though.  Switch it up and use a pale blue or pink, even a grey would be okay. (Again this is for women only!)

INTERACTION
Don't be Mrs. Boring during your interview!  This is your time to play up your personality and strengths.  Show them that dazzling smile that accompanies your smarts.  They are not looking for someone who is just going to say "Yes" or "Okay" to everything.  Follow up their remarks with your own, preferably by applying it to your past experience or how it may relate to you.  I know everyone says this but ask questions!  It really does keep the conversation flowing smoothly.  Asking questions will also let them know that you are not just looking for any job but making sure this job is a good fit for you as well.  Applying for jobs is a two way street, don't forget that.  Of course, the employer has the last say in hiring but you are also providing them with your skills, time and profession.  You need to make sure they deserve that.

FOLLOW UP
This is something fairly new to me as I just recently started doing it.  Follow up your interview with a letter or email thanking whoever interviewed you.  In this letter/email, you can also address things you may have forgotten to bring up during the interview.  It also keeps a constant flow of communication between you and whoever is doing the hiring.  If a company is conducting multiple interviews, sending a follow up letter/email will also keep you at the front of their memory when making a decision.  On the flip side, should you have had a bad interview, following up with an email of thanks may smooth things out a bit and give them some insight to your real personality.

During my journey, I encountered some road bumps and lots of disappointments but always stayed positive.  My hunny teased me saying "You always say you got this one and then  you're disappointed when you don't get the job!".  I felt like if I didn't claim it, someone else would!  Then there came a time when I just stopped applying to jobs because I felt like God just wanted me to stay home with my children for a bit.  Well I stopped applying for a couple of months all together then I went online last Thursday and found 2 jobs to send my resume to.  My FRIDAY afternoon (the very next day) both jobs called me back for an interview.  And, I'm pleased to say I received a job offer from one today which is less than a week from my initial application!  Its not a job that is "basically", "almost", or "just as good" as what I wanted... it IS the job I always wanted from the very start!  It took a TON of patience and some intricate attention to detail but it all paid off in the end.
Above is the exact outfit I wore to the interview that I received the job offer on.  I was pretty aware of the type of dress code the office had so I wore a dressy blouse instead of a button down shirt.  I also chose a color that was flattering for my complexion and stood out.  This entire outfit can be pricey but I bought the suit during a sale where I bought the jacket and got the pant for free PLUS I had a $20 off coupon.  I just recently bought the shirt and had a $10 off coupon which brought it down to $19.90!  I don't recommend  buying a wardrobe of suits as soon as you get called for some interviews.  Get one staple suit and mix and match the shirts you wear underneath.  Nobody wants to be jobless and broke but with a closet full of nice suits! Lol.

I hope my experience can help someone else in attaining the job they want which is the only reason I wrote this post.  I am in no way a professional or saying that these things will definitely work.  If that was the case, I would have had a job 6 months ago! Haha!  I just know I am not the only one out there on that crazy job hunt.  There is light at the end of the tunnel and being unemployed isn't a permanent situation.  Toodles!
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beauty Products I'm Loving at the Moment!

Some of these items I have not been using for very long but I will specify which products those are and for how long I have been using them.  These are not your everyday 5-Star products, I'm talking about I'm in love and they have changed my life kinda items! Lol.  Yes, its that serious but I just wanted it to be clear that these products are exceptional and HIGHLY recommended.
This tangle teezer is absolutely amazing!  It has cut my detangling time by 75%... No lie!  Detangling my daughters hair use to take 20 minutes on average and now it takes MAYBE 7 minutes.  It glides through the hair effortless and the hair fall out is minimal.  The amount of hair my daughter loses now is about a tenth of what she use to lose.  Definitely a great investment for just $10.  I will definitely be getting another one for 'just in case'!

Excellent light-weight lip conditioner.  It soaks in quickly so you have to be careful not apply too much on too quickly.  This is what I put on my lips before I go to bed and after I wash my face and brush my teeth in the morning.  I usually do not have to re-apply until mid day which is a HUGE pro.  I am not the type of person who LOVES taking out my chapstick and slapping it on in public.

I have always loved Olay moisturizer but my skin has been so oily lately that I have been trying to revamp the items I put on my face. I started with trying out a new moisturizer and started with MAC's Oil Control Lotion.  It works great and does the job but leaves my skin VERY dry which I hated.  So, one night I was thinking and realized, why don't I just stick with the Olay Lotion but get the one thats best for my skin (oily, combination).  I did just that!  Now I have a lotion that moisturizes great but minimizes oil production throughout the day.  Its super light which is a big difference from the regular lotion that is quite thick but I guess thats to avoid product build up on oily skin.  This item was only $9.99, as opposed to $29.99 for MAC Oil Control Lotion.  GREAT DEAL!

I started using this product a few weeks ago as a sub in for my hair moisturizer.  Prior to using this I was using Shea Moisture Coconut Curl & Style Milk which worked great and did the job but I wanted to try this product out.  The Mizani Coconut Souffle is slightly heavier than the Shea Moisture product but it is absorbed well by my hair so its still just as light to me.  I am able to use this every night and seal with either coconut or jojoba oil without my hair being weighed down after a couple of days.  Keep in mind, I use very little in my hair... less than the size of a dime on my entire head so its definitely VERY little.  But, my hair is not that thick so a little of this stuff goes a long way for me!

So these are just a few products that I am currently in love with and see myself in a long term relationship with.  I'm currently dating a couple of other products like my wig and denman brush but the jury is still out on those and few others.  Do you have any products that have become 'staples' in your life?  If so, what are they?  Comment below!
Friday, February 18, 2011

Wigging Out!

So in my desire to use protective styling in order to attain length, I am exploring all my options.  The latest option is wearing a wig.  I have my own personal stereo types but lately I've been seeing some pretty nice wigs on the blogs and on YouTube.  They aren't your mother or grandmother type of wigs out there these days.  So after running to my local beauty supply store, I decided to go with a wig with length.  I didn't want to give the impression that I was wearing a wig to make it seem like it was my real hair, because I AM NOT.   I don't mind people knowing I wear a wig at all because I will tell them why in a heartbeat.  This is just a temporary solution to a long term fix I need.  My hopes are that my hair will grow to APL (Arm Pit Length) by summer which really isn't too much to ask for! Is it?!?!  I took a few pics of my wig and posted them below.  I went with a wig by the Sensationnel Empress line called 'Jane'.  You guys like?


Comments or Tips?  Leave them below!
Thursday, February 17, 2011

Viva Glam Lady Gaga 2

This morning at 12:15 A.M. I received one of those annoying emails from MAC but this time it was announcing the release of the Viva Glam Lady Gaga 2 Lip Collection.  There is really only one new shade but its in both the form of a lipstick AND a lipglass.  When I eyed it online, it looked like a really pretty nude.  But as we all know, the shades displayed on the MAC site are very different in person!  So I decided to drop by my local MAC counter at Macy's to really determine the shade.  I must say, I absolutely adore the shade.  It was shocking that this was a Lady Gaga shade as it is super toned down and neutral.  The Makeup Artist who sold me the products said she expects to sell out over the weekend.  I can completely see why... Is everyone and their mother not looking for the perfect nude lipsticks and lip glosses?!  Well, on my complexion the color looks sublime.  In comparison to my Nars 'Little  Darling', 'Lady Gaga 2' has better color pay off.  I can't really say if either feel better on because they feel about the same.  Well, I don't want to keep you waiting so here are the swatches!

Left: Lady Gaga 2 LIPSTICK Right: Lady Gaga 2 LIPGLASS

Lady Gaga 2 LIPSTICK by itself

Lipstick AND Lipglass together
Sorry, about the lighting in the pictures but I didn't use my regular camera for these pictures, I used my cell phone (I know, shame shame!).  If you haven't tested the color for yourself you really need to because this is sure to be a crowd pleaser and sell out QUICK once everyone realizes how perfect it is!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

African Black Soap







So I have heard about African Black Soap but wanted to do my research before buying any. Well in all my research everyone has seemed to rave about it's benefits for acne proned or scarred skin. Hello, that's me! My makeup does a great cover job but I am in my late 20s and still have breakouts MONTHLY. Reviewers of the African Black Soap all claimed that they no longer have breakouts and their old acne scars have even cleared up and are minimal after just weeks of use. I am in no way expecting miracles but I'm liking what I'm hearing. In addition, the soap is organic with all natural products. What's in this stuff you may ask... Various oils, including palm oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and palm kernel oil. As well as ashes from various plants, including shea tree bark, cocoa pods, banana trees, plantain leaves and shea butter byproducts. Last but not least, water. So the products don't seem harsh or traumatizing for the skin on the face at all. I haven't decided if I am going to buy my black soap from Target by Shea Moisture or online at Amazon from a seller called HalalEveryday. Both sellers/stores have excellent reviews and are pretty much the same price even with shipping from the online vendor.

I will be doing a before and after review once I start using the product. Which means that you will get to see my raw face before makeup. This is something that's not easy for me to do because I don't feel I have beautiful skin with all my acne scars. But I'm ready to embrace it and share with my fellow bloggers and followers. Can't wait! Toodles.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My V-Day Plans

So, we decided to tone down our normal Valentine's Day shindigs and do something personal at home.  I found a luscious recipe to cook for dinner and we plan on lighting some candles, turning on some light music and really enjoying each other's company.  After all, how often do we even do this?!  Hardly ever since normally the television is usually on at all times.  I got him a Philadelphia Eagles chair to play is video games in and a matching blanket for him to use when he's laying on the couch watching tv.  This came out to only $50 and I'm sure he is gonna love both gifts.  Normally we would have spent more money but we're planning a wedding so all costs must be kept down!  My nails are already done and of course I threw on the red because I love any reason to throw on a nice red polish!


I used OPI's 'The Thrill of Brazil' for this and it came out oh so perfect.  I will be nice and dressed up when my hunny gets home from work to give the appearance and feel of date night.  Nothing too dressy but something cute and casual.  I will post my OOTD and FOTD tomorrow afternoon so come back and check. What do you guys plan on doing tomorrow?

Valentine's Day DOES NOT EQUAL Christmas!


So recently I've noticed a lot of people (mainly females) stating things like "I wonder what I'm getting for Valentine's Day"!  Umm, last time I checked Valentine's Day was just a day where you would express your love for someone through the form of a very small gift if anything at all.  What ever happened to cards, a box of chocolates or a nice homemade dinner being enough on Valentine's Day.  Now-a-days, you have to book a reservation at the fanciest restaurant, pick up some diamonds AND send the biggest bouquet of flowers in order to show your love on Valentine's Day.  This is just not right.  In my opinion, the gift on Valentine's Day should be the equivalent of a 'stocking stuffer'.  A stocking stuffer is something usually very small or minimal but that would really put a smile on the receivers face.  Yes, occasionally you may want to do something extra special one year but it should in no way be 'expected' by the other person.  And writing out a list of things wanted for Valentine's Day is totally out of the question and very tacky.  Let your significant other take the time to find something they feel may be special for you.  You have other holidays throughout the year where you can write lists or request specific items... This is not one of them.

I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm ranting but I think it needed to be said.  There are some trifling women (and men too I'm sure) walking around with lists of things they would like on Valentine's Day and this needed to be set straight!  Tear up those lists and open your heart.  If the gift that you receive is corny or cheap then have a sense of humor and think to yourself... At least IT'S ONLY VALENTINE'S DAY!
Sunday, February 6, 2011

This Weekend's Looks

So I didn't really do much this weekend but hang out with my hunny. We went to Target (no surprise there) and did a little food shopping. We did get to eat at Smokey Bones which was a first for me. That place had some yummy appetizers... I mean I couldn't decide which ones I wanted to try! They all looked so delicious but eventually I decided to just get two appetizers as my meal. And that cornbread that they have, OMG was it soooo good!

Well, as I talked about before, I was able to get more use out of my Tarte TEN palette. This time I chose to do a purple/lavender look which I loved. I discovered that I definitely need to invest in a better blender brush because the one I have just isn't working for me anymore.



Also, I showed you guys the Orly 'Oh Cabana Boy' polish I bought but didn't have time to show you an actual swatch. Well below is how it looks on. The first picture is with flash and the second is without. It is a very bright almost neon pink as I said before. But I am a HUGE fan of pink so I was in love with this shade at first sight!






What did you guys do this weekend? Well I'm off to check some of my favorite blogs now. Be back soon... Toodles!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wedding Palette

So I have finally narrowed down my wedding palette. For me this is very important to do to move forward and begin the decor planning process. Since our wedding is around Valentine's Day, I chose to incorporate very romantic and passion filled colors. I'm not one for very ordinary and "safe" colors but it still needs to be well coordinated. Below is a board I created using an iPad app called Moodboard which I absolutely love. If you dont have it, you definitely need to get it. It's great for planning any kind of party, event or even just a collage of pictures. I was able to construct this moodboard, send it out to my mother and best friend and they immediately understood the look I was going for. It's definitely one of my favorite wedding planning tools.



This is also good for meetings with your vendors so they understand the idea of the wedding that you envision. Anyways, I just wanted to share this with you guys. As I continue planning my wedding, I will update my blog here... Maybe not with EVERYTHING but with some fun goodies here and there. What do you guys think of my wedding palette? Do you find it to be traditional or non-traditional?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Friday, February 4, 2011

Wedding Dress Debates & Other Goodies




Today was a very easy going day. Didn't really do much but over obsess about wedding planning and such. I'm a whole year out so is it too soon to have found a dress?!?! I found one that I love so much and the price is oh so right buuuut... Is it too soon?

Well, amidst my wedding dress debates I decided to dabble in a palette I had picked up from Sephora but had not used yet. It's the TEN Limited Edition Collector's Palette by tarte cosmetics. I love the shades because they are very natural colors both good for day and night. So far I have only done a natural eye but I'm dying to get into the plums and greens that are also included. The shadows are well pigmented, pack on easily and don't shed too much during application. And the packaging is definitely top notch! This isn't no flimsy eyeshadow palette that you would imagine for a measly $44! When you take into consideration the high end packaging, the 10 eyeshadows, mascara, and liner that are ALL included... Yes this was a fabulous deal and that's why I bought it!








And since I'm home during the day with my munchkin, I figured I would take a quick shot with my lovely :-)



Last but surely not least, I fell in love all over again with my Essie chinchilla nail polish! Lol. Seriously, isn't the color the perfect shade of gray?!?! Not to mention how nice it looks with my engagement ring ;-)



I hope everyone's day was as "exciting" as my own! I will definitely keep you guys in the loop with what I decide on with my wedding dress! Toodles!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Thursday, February 3, 2011

BEAUTY HAUL

I have been so slack lately that I have way too much to catch up on now.  But that's the procrastinator in me!  So over the last month or so, I have acquired quite a bit of cosmetics and hair products that I absolutely adore... And, some not so much.  I am sorry that I do not have swatches but I will try to update at a later time with those.

Starting off with nails (my fave if you haven't noticed)... I am so in love with dark but not black nails.  I have been looking for a pretty dark blue and I found that in Orly's 'Star of Bombay'.  Ooooh, this is a gorgeous navy blue that's to die for!
That same day, I purchased Orly's 'Oh Cabana Boy' that is super bright pink... probably on the side of neon almost.  I like to do bright colors in the winter from time to time because it gives me that happy feeling amidst the dark, cold and gloomy winter weather.  Need something to brighten your day?  This is definitely it!
To protect the nails,  I purchased Orly's 'Nail Armour' which is stated to be a 'liquid nail wrap' with Orly's patented 'Ridgefiller' technology.  I can't say if this item is a must but my nails actually do feel better when I take my polish off after using this as a base coat.  In addition to the 'Nail Armour', I bought a mini bottle of Orly's 'Nailtrition' which is to help with peeling or splitting nails.  I  bit my nails for 23 years or so, so believe me when I say my nails are NOT in the best of shape!
 
And, most recently I purchased Essie's 'Chinchilla' which is more along the lines of my dark winter shades.  It is a really pretty gray but not nearly as dark as OPI's 'You Dont' Know Jacques'.  I absolutely adore how this color makes my engagement ring stand out even more!
 
So thats it for nails... At least its all I can remember.  My nail polish collection has gotten ridiculously large and now I need to find a new way to store them so that they are more organized.  Currently, I just use a plastic bin which takes me forever to find a specific color.  Or most times I completely forget I have certain colors because they are at the very bottom!

Moving on to make up with Make Up Forever's HD foundation.  I purchased this because of all the hype and I must say, it does live up to it.  The application is actually quite light for it to be a full coverage foundation.  MAC's equivalent in the Studio Fix is definitely much thicker.  While it is on the pricey side, I don't see myself using it as my daily foundation so I see it lasting me a while.
 HD Invisible Cover Foundation
Applying MUFE's HD foundation was extra easy using my new Sigma Flat Top Kabuki Brush.  I've been using a Sonia Kashuk kabuki brush and let me just say, these brushes are not even in the same league.  The Sigma Kabuki brush is well constructed and has had very minimal bristle fall out.  It spreads the foundation well and evenly... I really don't know how I lived without it!  I would definitely have to thank my fellow bloggers for putting me on to that one.

 
Staying with foundation application, I might as well mention Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer.  This stuff is great as well!  It goes on quite smooth and a little goes a long way so don't over use which is quite easy to do.  I did buy the travel size because I only wanted to try it out so I am pretty frugal when it comes to dispensing it.  Prior to using this, I was using a primer from Victoria's Secret which I actually love.  I have nothing bad to say about that one and the price was phenomenal for the size!  Smashbox' Primer has just been the popular kid in school lately so I thought I would give it a try.  I can't say I am in love or even that it is all that its cracked up to be.  Its a decent primer, period.
 
For my cheeks, I treated myself to MAC's 'Gingerly' blush which is what I've been needing for my more toned down days.  Its a little hard to pull off the barely there make up look with dark bronzed or plum colored cheeks.  This blush is VERY neutral and is so slight that it probably does look like its the natural color of my cheeks.  Perfect, lets just hope the people I run into in the public agree with me! Lol.
 
I absolutely adore The Fancy Face's brows and I noticed one of her staples was Nars' Coconut Grove eyeshadow to fill in her brows.  Whenever I go to the MAC counter, they always recommend this dark brown, which to me really isn't dark enough.  But the Nars' Coconut Grove does the trick!  I don't even use nearly as much as I use to with the MAC because I don't have to pack it on to achieve the color I desire.  The Coconut Grove is super dark and a few swipes is all I need.
 
I feel like I am being so cliche by saying that I've been on the hunt for the perfect nude lipstick because almost every girl seems to be on that same hunt.  But, I must say I have found the one.  And, no I am not talking about my dear fiancee Steven! Lol.  I am talking about Nars' 'Little Darling' nude lipstick.  First of all, I want to start off by saying this lipstick feel like chapstick on.  It is really moisturizing and not drying at all like most lipsticks are.  But the color itself is what won me over.  When I tested the 'tester' in Sephora I knew I had to have it but of course they were sold out.  It was a limited edition shade and they were not getting more in.  This may have stopped a rookie but no siree, I went home and googled my ass off until I found it at Drugstore.com.  I know, how odd that they sell it right?!  But hey, I can care less where it came from (well thats not completely true! Lol) as long as I got my lips on it!
 
I'm going to end this post with one of my biggest splurges but most wanted "toys".  My HAIR STEAMER!  I ordered mine from Huetiful which has some super fast standard shipping!  I ordered it on a Friday and it was delivered the very next Tuesday.  I was able to use it on Wednesday and I can't tell the difference quite yet.  I expect to see changes over time so I will definitely update you guys as necessary.
 
So thats the end of my beauty haul and I probably won't be buying much else anytime soon.  All these items were things I've wanted for quite some time and have finally been able to cross off my list.

Shoppe Owner


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