Beauty Buys! Plus an at-home gel mani!

So drug store cosmetics are some of my favorite purchases in the world, but with the wedding coming up, I have been focusing more of my finances on wedding things, and less on extraneous purchases.  But last week, I was out of a few things, and so I treated myself to some things I’ve been meaning to buy for a while.  Let’s look through a few of my purchases, and I’ll let you know how they worked out!

DSC_0726 DSC_0727

Okay starting from the far left.

Volum’ Express Falsies Big Eyes Mascara by Maybelline – My honest opinion is I wouldn’t buy this.  I wasn’t really impressed with what it did, and it didn’t really do much for me.  It was really a meh purchase.  Very meh.  I have had better luck with Volum’ Express Colossal…much more worth it for the money.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream – This is definitely a good buy.  I don’t wear a ton on my skin since I’ve been using Proactiv, but this buy is definitely worth it.  A little dab kinda just smooths out what is going on, and is really really good for a day where you have a gnarly breakout.  It also contains some SPF which is really important for us ladies that are not interested in turning leathery.

RevitaLift Miracle Blur anti-aging skin care by L’Oreal Paris – This product, which was introduced to me by Amanda, is a killer purchase.  So it’s a moisturizer, which I can always use more of, it contains SPF, and it sort of just magically fixes your skin.  Prior to starting Proactiv, I kind of had a permanent breakout on my forehead, that left me with some dark marks.  Between the Proactiv, limited makeup, and this product, I feel like this is the last piece in the puzzle to fix what’s been going on with my skin.  Seriously, if you have drier skin, and you’re looking for a moisturizer with some SPF that can be worn on it’s own, this is is.  Thank you Amanda!

Okay, last but not least, the folks at A Beautiful Mess taught me how to do a gel mani at home.  HOLLA AT SAVING $50!

What you’ll need to do your own gel mani and save a bajillion dollars over the course of a year.


  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • Acetone for removal (kinda more after). 
  • Gelous Gel Nail Coat <-You can get that at Sally’s


  • Your nail color
  • A top coat – AMB recommends Seche Vite, which I have, but I went with my Orly top coat, and it seemed to work out well.

Kay, here are your steps. Nails are clean and buffed, right?

  1. Swab your nails with alcohol to get any excess oils off.
  2. Do a thin coat of Gelous, let it dry for a minutes.
  3. Do a coat of the color, let it dry for three minutes.
  4. Another coat of Gelous, let it dry for a minute.
  5. ANOTHER coat of color, three minutes dry time.
  6. Your top coat, dry it for one minute.
  7. And FINALLY do one last coat of Gelous, seal the top of your nails, and let it dry for a million years.  Seriously, as long as possible


At. Home. Gel. Mani.

Saved ya money!

What do you have planned for this weekend?

Sweaty Bands Review + Giveaway

So fun fun fun product giveaway time!

But before that!

The other day I came home to a sweet packages from the folks down at Sweaty Band.  In case anyone is reading this and doesn’t know this about me, nothing makes me more happy than when the UPS man stops at my apartment with presents.  Granted, the Sweaty Bands came through the mail, but you get the general gist.

Presents = Happy Cheri.

1908237_10100282974818173_154770636_n (1)So this, along with a very sweet letter showed up.  Seriously, this company is great to work with 🙂

1376511_10100283203225443_1457915345_nSo almost immediately, I honed in on the band with the mustaches on it, cause that’s adorable, and I popped in on to teach my Zumba class on Tuesday night.

One thing I didn’t know about the Sweaty Band?  I have a lot of hair, so this usually isn’t a problem for me, but I know a lot of girls have issues with headbands sliding off their heads.  The band was sent with specific instructions in the letter – wear the band as close to the hair line as possible and the band shouldn’t slide at all!  Who knew?

So I wore to to teach, and wore it into Whole Foods after, were I got compliments from the girl who checked me out on the headband.  SCORE!


  • So the bands are really really cute, and a great alternative to those rubber bandy things you can get from Target.
  • The inside of the band is coated with this velvety stuff that hooks onto your skin/hair without tearing it.  It’s also pretty absorbent, so you don’t have to worry about sweat dripping into your eyes.
  • They’re easy to clean.  All you have to do is swish them around in the sink and hang them out to dry.
  • They don’t slip!


  • Eh. I got nothing.

Giveaway time!!!

I’m giving away a really cute sweaty band to a reader, and it’s super easy.  All you need to do is comment below, tweet me, or post on my Facebook wall (after you follow me of course)!  Tell me what you’re gonna do with the Sweaty Band when I send it to you, and best answer gets the purple band!  The mustaches are mine, sorry!  Keep ’em coming, cause you’ve got until 3/13/14 at 12:00am to shoot me your comments.  Good luck!

Full disclosure: I received a Sweaty Band for review.  All opinions are my own though 🙂 




New Product Review!

Full disclosure.  Not only is Vaseline not paying me for this review, but these opinions are also my own.  Do what you will with my advice, but I’m telling you, as a general rule of thumb, I don’t lead people astray so…

Anyhoo, so I’ve been seeing this really interesting commercial for this Vaseline Spray and Go Moisturizer all over TV.

I thought the commercial was really cool, and why not spray and go when you moisturize, right? Put ya clothes right on – like maybe it will save me a few seconds in the morning or after a shower so I can stop running late to everything.

So last night, I bit it, and dropped the $7.99 (?!) on a bottle off the stuff, and after this morning’s shower, got to spraying instead of my usual pump the Goldbond routine.


I dried off, and tried to do like the cute girl in the commercial.  Spray a lineeee down my legs, spray a linnnne down my arms, slip riiiight into your clothes so fast, and run out the door with your cute little hat.  

Okay, so, none of that stuff happened, and the $7.99 bottle literally saved me no time, cause you still have to rub it in, and it’s kinda like…not as cool as the commercial whatsoever.

I’m really sorry, Vaseline, usually I totally love your products and have the stuff all over.  And Lord knows I love a good fresh new cosmetic.  But save yourself the trouble, and stick to a regular pump-bottle of lotion for après-shower action.

@Ultabeauty, what’s with the bad customer service?

In addition to working out, eating, and running, there’s almost nothing I love more than beauty products.

Something about the way they smell, they way they fit into my little cosmetic bag, and they way they can take you from sweaty and gross to feeling like a super model.

So Thursday, between teaching a class and making my way home, I’d become convinced that I needed a classic red nail lacquer upon discovering that I only had a wine.

And then, while I was there, may as well pick up this beautiful blue-green I’d seen when I was there last week, right?

So off to Ulta I headed.

I approached the professional nail care section, and spotted a product that I’d seen Demi Lovato, my Latin lady lover, plugging on E!  I asked the nail tech about it, and she seemed irritated that I was bothering her as she filed her nails.

“Is this Demi Lovato’s line?”

[sigh} “I have no idea.”

I chirped a thanks, and it was clear that I’d be helping myself for the remainder of the trip.

I grabbed these…

photo…and headed to the check out, where I waited for 100 years before someone could help me check out with my two items.

I don’t know if I’m more sensitive to customer service, because I work for Fleet Feet, and we bend over any ways our customers want, but it’s nice to get the same treatment when I go shopping for whatever it is I want.  And it’s really really challenging to shop for cosmetics online.  You can’t smell them, you can’t see what the colors really look like, and it just makes more sense to shop for them online.

But when you shop at a place where you’re not sure if they even want you there, what’s a girl to do?

I wrote a letter to Ulta corporate, and I received a call from the manager today.  I will call him back, and we can discuss how gross my experience at Ulta was.

Now, I don’t want you guys to just think that I complain all day – I write letters when I have excellent customer service as well, and always have.

Whats the best customer service you guys have ever had?

Mine would have to be from Amazon.  Any dealings I’ve had with Amazon have been absolutely stellar, and one time, when I broke my Kindle, they apologized profusely, and asked what they could do to fix it?

What’s the worst?

Mine would probably be at Ulta the other day.  I hate to feel like anywhere I’m giving my money doesn’t want me.

What about you?



PS, piggybacking was the buzzword of the century when I was in college.  Seriously.  But moving right along!

Piggbacking off of my emotions regarding Rachel Frederickson’s weight loss, I’ve noticed this really weird phenomenon regarding women and their weight.

We can’t win.

In college, I gained a pretty decent amount of weight, which I’ve been really open about here.  But I supposed a lot of people I’ve known in the recent years might not know that.  So anyhoo, at the end of my freshman year, I was at Cram Jam, which was, coincidentally, a late night brunch so you could have fuel to study.  I ran into this girl, Kea, who I’d known in high school.  Kea greeted me by grabbing my stomach, and practically yelling, “Man, you’ve put on some weight.”

The day of Elon’s graduation, I actually graduated wearing this cute slinky skater dress because I couldn’t zip up the floral strapless garden party dress that I’d been intending to wear.  Another blow.

This is what I ended up wearing at graduation when I discovered the dress I wanted to wear wouldn't zip up.
This is what I ended up wearing at graduation when I discovered the dress I wanted to wear wouldn’t zip up. Ouch!

So in my mind at that point, I’m thinking that if I lose the bit of weight that I needed to, the comments should stop, right?


After losing the weight, I got a few backhanded “compliments” from folks that would get filed in the same manila folder entitled “rude-ass comments that people need to keep to themselves.”  One was when I saw a guy who I hadn’t seen in a while at the gym who stated “I wasn’t sure that was you!  I knew you’d lost a ton of weight, but I couldn’t recognize you!”  But the amount of weight I’d lost wasn’t like hundreds of pounds, so I’m guessing he was just saying that for dramatic effect.  And most recently, a superior of mine directed my direct supervisor to grab me an extra brownie after I went for the salad in the conference room, as she was “concerned about my weight.”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take a whole lot of stock in what folks say about my weight, for larger or smaller, however I really feel like I can’t win between a girl physically grabbing my belly, and then the uncomfortable levels of attention I started receiving upon losing just a little bit of weight.

So how do you comment on someone’s appearance without making it about a number on the scale?

  1. Don’t mostly.  Seriously, if you’re not good with your words, just don’t say anything.
  2. Try to avoid the words skinny, fat, or anything that is indicative of a number.  One of the nicest compliments I received was from my dad, when he told me how strong I looked after a stint at the camp.  I won’t ever forget that!
  3. If you’re truly concerned about someone’s weight, for bigger or for smaller, ask if they’re okay.  “Are you okay?  I’ve just been sorta worried about you lately!”  Please avoid announcing to the room that they could lose a few or they could eat a brownie.  If someone’s truly sick, your offer of a brownie really isn’t going to help them out.  Just FYI.

So what do you think?  You ever feel like you just can’t win?

I went to Zumba yesterday….

With the gorgeous Loretta Bates.  I got there super early, jumped on the treadmill (cause I’m still streaking), and then went to reclaim my spot in class.  I said hi to a few folks, and did my usual pre-class ritual.  Don’t be obnoxious or draw attention to myself because it’s rude to do that when you’re a teacher in another teacher’s class.

When the grumbling started.  

It was a chick behind me, and I think she was mad because I “took her spot” in class.  Because we have assigned seating.  And this is middle school.

I tried to ignore her.  And she made it a point to tell everyone around her, loudly, that “SOME PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THE RULES.”

I roasted the entire class.  What was I gonna say to her?  I had it all pictured in my head.


I was gonna turn around, and tell that girl, in her blue shirt where she could go.  That she was mean, that she was evil, and that if she wanted the spot, she could take it cause I’m not an idiot, and I don’t care. Here’s what actually ended up happening.

I went and grabbed my stuff after class.  I kind of stared her down, and she was being silly with her friends.  Damnit!  I couldn’t very well approach her when she had her army around her.  So like a creep, I waited for her friends to kind of wander off to approach her.

And here’s what I said.

“I just wanted to let you know I wasn’t trying to block your way.  Cause I heard you grumbling back there.”

It wasn’t quite ‘Mean Girls’ style, but her smile froze on her face.  She’d wanted me to hear, but she certainly didn’t want me to approach her about it.

“That’s okay!” she stuttered.

And that was it.

But on the real folks.  It’s almost January.  Get to your fitness classes early, these folks are serious out there.

Francine Smith …

Francine Smith • 18 hours ago
The best fashion accessory/beauty aid anyone can get for themselves, bar none, is to keep themselves in the best physical shape that they can. If you can do that, you’ll always look great, no matter what you’re wearing or if you aren’t wearing makeup.

Found this in the comments of an US Weekly Article.  Preach!

Be kind to yourself.

Hey, I need to follow my own advice.  I’m sometimes horrible to myself, and I’m on the more confident end of the confidence spectrum.  I’d be lying if I said I don’t stand in front of the mirror and kinda turn, and assess what’s going on.  More often than not though, I wink at myself, do a little dance, and conclude that I’m pretty boss.

But at yoga last week, the sweet, kind little teacher reminded us to “be kind to yourself. Be kind to everyone you meet.”  And I was so glad she’d reminded me of that, because I can use a little help in this department.


One evening, earlier in the week, I taught an evening Zumba class.  Two of my regulars, loyal faithfuls who keep me on track, were present, and totally ready to go.  When the blonder of the two started.

“What’s wrong with these mirrors?”

“Girl I know!”

And the whole while, I’m standing there, completely puzzled. What were these two even talking about?

“The mirrors over here! They make you look bigger.”

“I know!”

They turned to me. Shit.  What did I do?

“Except for her.  They don’t ever make her look bigger.  I been coming for over a year and I ain’t never seen her look any bigger.”

I was stunned.  Let’s do the math.  So, according to these women, the mirrors in the studio are selectively choosing folks to make look bigger?  I don’t think so.

So ladies.  And gents, really, I don’t discriminate.  Be kind to yourself.  Spend the next week choosing your words wisely.  And the very second you’re tempted to poke at your tummy, frown at your skin, or pinch your butt, say something nice instead.

Seriously, Maxim?

I don’t hate men.  I quite like them really.  And it’s not my intention to turn my blog into a constant man-hating rant.  But the men responsible for the Maxim Hot 100 list should be appalled at themselves.

It’s that time of year again.  The time when People reveals it’s most beautiful people in the world (a title I find a little more acceptable because they actually list accomplishments, and reasons that the person may be actually beautiful inside, fancy that!), and the time when Maxim lists its Hot 100.  Gah.  Drives me bananas.  So I wake up, a few weeks ago, to some Twitter apocalypse where Miley Cyrus, the baby that was in those Hannah Montana movies I like so well (Hoedown Throwdown ladies!), is Maxim’s hottest woman?!  Look, I think she’s great, but this sort of sick feeling starting to bubble up.  And I nearly wrote one of my famous letters-to-the-editor right then and there.  But I knew it’d fall on deaf ears.  So fans of my prodigious musings, I give you:

Reasons Why Those Fools Down at Maxim Need a Slap.

1.  We (women) are not cows.  This is not a country fair.  Therefore, scan the room, and have several seats, because ranking women is so pre-voting rights.  Boys do that in middle school.  We’re adults.  We don’t do that any more.  It’s gross.

2.  Miley Cyrus is 20.  She is a child.  I am 25 and I recognize this.  And putting that poor girl in a bikini for a bunch of pervs to ogle is just wrong.  Would you like people to look at your 20-year-old that way?  No?  Then Why would you do this?  Billy Rae can’t make her do anything he says anymore cause she’s an adult, but you don’t have to go putting kids in your mag looking like that.

Miley3.  The lack of color is blinding.  From the quick, nauseated scan I did of the 100, I saw like 4 black women on the list.  You’re trying to tell me that black women aren’t pretty?  Actually, I’m fairly certain that’s exactly what you want the world to think.  And it’s not just black women that are underrepresented.  Can we get some Latinas, some Asians, some color up on that list? (Seriously, that’s why I stopped watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette years ago.  When “Flava of Love” is the best thing that folks have in their minds to represent women and men of color dating?  We’ve got a serious prob, Bob.)

And finally…

4.  If you insist on listing, or ranking women, can you at least do it for their achievements?  I’ll admit that I liked Hannah Montana as much as the next girl.  But Michelle Obama is a lawyer, mother of 2, gardens, and has arms like a goddess.  Shakira is a mother, an international superstar and a humanitarian.  Angelina Jolie has a million kids and is speaking on behalf of those women who don’t have a voice (kudos on your latest, hon).  Oprah has paved the way for the next black female billionaire.  Doesn’t that count for something?

Rant. Over.  ::drops mic::