Monday, May 16, 2011

HCB Product Fail


A few weeks ago CVS had Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail polish on sale for $1.99! What a deal right? So I hopped in my car and made my way down to my nearest CVS to pick up a few. I usually use OPI, Essie, or China Glaze nail polishes but I figured for $1.99 it was worth a shot.

I picked out 2 colors; Mint Sorbet: a lovely creamy mint green and Caribbean Coral: a vibrant pinky orange. I decided to try out the latter first. I got out all my supplies for my at home manicure and got to work. When the time came to polish my nails the color turned out horribly! It was a weird thick pasty consistency and the brush had a horrible application. I tried to get less polish on the brush and it was too dry so then I tried to get more and there was too much running over the side of my fingers. Even with a great basecoat and top coat the polish still looked awful.

In the end I took off the polish and replaced it with my beloved OPI for Sephora. I went back to CVS for a refund, yes even though it only cost me $1.99 AND I had a 50 cents off coupon so they were only $1.49! I just couldn’t even stand to look at the polishes.

You get what you pay for and I’ll stick to my $10 bottles of nail polish. But on a side note; CVS now carries Essie nail polish so pick some of that up the next time you’re in there and I promise it will be worth the money. 


Monday, April 25, 2011

HCB Spotlight: Let's Talk Savings


I know every HCB wants to save in every way she can. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned over the years to help me get more for my money.

I know many of you are thinking “Ewww coupons! My grandma uses those.” But they are really worth searching the Sunday paper and cutting them out. They not only help with beauty products but also restaurants and services. If you want to buy L’oreal eyeliner for $7.99 and you took the time to cut out a $2.00 coupon you now pay only $5.99 which is excellent especially for a product that you just want to try or aren’t sure of.

I can’t tell you how many different empty MAC cosmetics containers I’ve thrown away over the years. No more! If you take 6 empty containers to a MAC counter inside a department store you can get a free lipstick (that’s a $14.50 value). If you take your 6 empty containers to a MAC store you can get one of four options: a lipstick, an eyeshadow, a dazzleglass or a lipglass. So save your MAC empties or products you don’t want to use their recycling program and get a free product.

Ulta, Sephora,  and even CVS have beauty club discounts. Use your card every time you make a purchase to rack up rewards points and score free products.

I know in my area there are a lot of outlet malls that have beauty stores. You can get beauty products that you love for a serious fraction of the price.

Many of your favorite bloggers have sales from time to time. You can find products that you are discontinued, or even some of your favorite regular products that are gently used for a great discount. 

Are there any other ways that we can save that you can think of?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Favorite Youtubers: Hair Edition

Hello HCB’s today’s post is dedicated to my favorite YouTubers with concentration on hair. Most of us have hair struggles whether it is curl definition or how to retain length these ladies can give you some tips and pointers on how to make your hair the best it can be. 

MlleCafeAuLait- I was searching for someone on youtube with hair that was very similar to my own and I’ve found her. Check out her vids on how to define and make your curls look awesome

Cdawnlewis- I love her videos on deep conditioning and maintaining hair. She has natural long hair and she can show you how to take excellent care of your natural hair. Check out her hair regime and her tips on how to grow long hair.

Longhairdontcare2011- This HCB’s natural hair is amazing. I aspire to be like her when I grow up. She has great tips for hair care and on how to get your natural hair to grow to wonderful lengths.

BEATFACEHONEY- She is a golden goddess and her naturally curly locs are gorgeous. She has a quick video on what she does to define her curls. I usually watch her vids for make up tips and ideas but this one on hair will be great for HCB’s with hair similar to hers.

Some of the others that I mentioned on my first favorite youtubers post (see here) also have great hair videos. Thefancyfaced aka Tina has amazing hair and she will show you what to do to get a look similar to hers using an Instyler. Erin aka ScandalousBeauty has quite a few videos on natural hair and loc’d hair. XXTheIslandBeautyXX has great videos on her quick weave system that she now sells. Mahogany252 and EyeXluvXmakeup have great videos on natural hair and transitioning from relaxed to natural. 

*click the colored links to go to the videos

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Body Scrubs

Body Scrubs

Exfoliation is important to get rid of dead skin and if you want glowing skin weekly sugar or salt scrubs are an excellent way to get prepared for summer. We have to get our skin together to prepare for bathing suit and short season.

Carol’s Daughter Sweet Honey Dip Brown Sugah Body scrub
Price: $34.00
Packaging: 12oz in a glass jar with metal bracket hold on the lid

From Carols Daughter: Chocolate, Honey and Vanilla Bean-Scented Natural Exfoliant

We love this because it:
·  Exfoliates and smoothes skin with brown sugar crystals
·  Moisturizes and softens with natural oils
·  Leaves your skin feeling soft with a natural glow
PLUS, it has NO Parabens, Petroleum, Mineral Oil or artificial color

This body sugar scrub smells sinfully delicious ( I gave up chocolate for Lent and I’m almost afraid to use it) The sugar particles do a pretty good job of exfoliating your skin. The upside to the scrub, IMHO, is that that sweet chocolate smell doesn’t linger. My skin feels silky smooth after I use it. It’s the sweet treat that will make you look better instead of pack on the pounds.

Bath and Body Works True Blue Spa There’s the Rub Salt Glow Scrub
Price: $24.00
Packaging:24oz in a plastic jar with screw on top

From Bath and Body Works : Dry Skin rubbing you the wrong way, and no time to get to the spa? Just reach for this cooling exfoliating Sea Salt Scrub with refreshing Eucalyptus to get the job done yourself, a la spa.

Mineral-rich Natural Sea Salt provides pure exfoliation plus detoxifying benefits.

I am a long-time fan of their True Blue Spa line. This scrub has real small particles, I love that because I feel like it does an excellent job of scrubbing and exfoliating my skin. It doesn’t leave any residue so it preps your skin for some serious moisture…I’d suggest 100% natural African shea butter.

Bath and Body Works Lavender Vanilla Scrub
Price: $16.00 
Packaging: 13oz in a plastic jar with screw on lid

From Bath and Body Works: Relax before sleep. Lavender Essential Oil soothes and calms so you can sleep better. Vanilla Absolute helps to calm feelings of stress that can keep you from falling asleep. This skin softening scrub combines exfoliating Sugar and a special moisturizing blend of sunflower, safflower, sweet almond and jojoba oils to leave skin silky smooth.

I love this scrub for the smell and the way that the salt granules really get down and scrub my skin. Lavender and vanilla are my favorite scents so this combo was just what the doctor ordered. Use this for a good scrub and spa experience in your shower.

TIP: Scrubs can leave your shower floor super slippery so I would suggest cleaning up with a degreasing cleaner right away. You don’t want to fall and “bust your tail” as my grandma would say.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

HCB Spotlight: OPI for Sephora nail polish in Ocean Love Potion

Price $9.50
From OPI: Opaque Mediterranean turquoise
Where to Buy: Sephora stores or online at 

I got this color in early 2010. ( I think)  I reach for this color more than I thought I would and not just in the warm spring and summer months but year round. I was looking for a color that wasn’t too teal and wasn’t a mint green. This color proved to be the perfect balance between the two. I think it’s a great color for spring and it works well on may skin tones.

Monday, February 21, 2011

HCB Black History Month Spotlight: Pam Grier

Pamela “Pam” Grier was born on May 26, 1949 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is most famously known for her starring roles in ‘70’s blaxploitation films such as Foxy Brown and Coffy. Her style has always reflected her innate sensuality and sexiness. She is definitely a buxom HCB.

If you want to imitate her style go for a 70s style with earth tones, glossy lips and natural hair preferably an afro. If you want to go for a more glamorous look go with a full wig with loose curls and wispy lashes. Always opt for dewy skin; her looks never have a matte finish to them. Stick with these guidelines if you wanna be a bad mamma jamma knocking suckas and jive turkeys out everywhere you go. Pow!

Monday, February 14, 2011

HCB Spotlight: Black Love

Bill and Camille Cosby
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Here are some of my favorite Haute Chocolate couples. Feel free to add yours

Barack and Michelle Obama on their wedding day

Denzel and Pauletta Washington
Will and Jada Smith
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee
A beautiful couple featured on
Angela Basset and Courtney B. Vance
Handsome Haute Chocolate couple

Friday, February 11, 2011

HCB Black History Month Spotlight: Lena Horne

HCB Black History Month Spotlight: Lena Horne

Born on June 30, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York this singer, dancer, actress, and activist was a classy feisty woman. She was actively involved in the civil rights movement and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. Her achievements include a Tony and a Grammy lifetime achievement award.

Her style is classic and lady-like. If you want to mirror Ms. Horne’s style opt for sleek updos and well groomed full curls. Go for a rich red or berry lip and well groomed brow. Find some dresses with clean lines in colors like peach or taupe and dress them up with pearls and floral accents such as a headband or scarf. 

No matter if you're going to a red carpet premiere or spending a Saturday morning volunteering, if you want a look like Lena Horne's keep it sophisticated.

Friday, February 4, 2011

HCB Black History Month Spotlight: Josephine Baker

Born on June 3 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri Josephine Baker was truly a class act. As a charismatic singer, dancer and actress, she was a triple threat. She was involved in the civil rights movement and had a great love for children. She spent the latter part of her life in Paris and I’m sure this attributed to her timeless, classic and gorgeous style.

If you want to know about her life check out the 1991 biographical film starring another HCB Lynn Whitfield “The Josephine Baker Story”

If you want a style like hers go for wispy false lashes, smoky eyes, thin brows, and a sleek short hairstyle. Incorporate feathers, pearls, rhinestones, tassels and fur into your wardrobe for a glam Harlem Renaissance look

pearls, glossy burgandy lip, and chic hat
jeweled headpiece, feathers, and smoky eye with thin brows
famous banana skirt

Monday, January 31, 2011

HCB Product Spotlight: OPI Vodka and Caviar

Price: $8.00
Packaging: .5 fl oz in a glass container

From OPI: An elegant indulgent shade of crimson

OPI has excellent nail polish and they are my favorite nail polish brand. My new favorite red is Vodka and Caviar from their Russian collection that came out in 2007. It is a basic red polish with high shine and no shimmer. It is the perfect red (for me), not too orange and not too pink. I was on the hunt for a rich true red and when I picked this one up from ULTA my search was over.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

HCB Spotlight: Ulta Sale

So I was browsing beauty websites earlier today and saw some great deals on

The Ultra Chi 1” red flat iron is $74.95 with a coupon and it’s an Ulta exclusive. Chi is the brand of flat iron that I use, I bought my first one in 2005 and it lasted until 2010. When you consider $100 for 5 years of super straight hair its so worth it. What does it cost to get your hair straightened at a salon, $60? No thanks I’ll take my Chi.

OPI, my favorite nail polish brand, has a Katy Perry Collection that’s available in stores only. There are 5 colors (from left to right) Last Friday Night, Not Like the Movies, The One That Got Away, Teenage Dream and Black Shatter. They are priced at 8.50 each.

They also have a special that’s 20% off your purchase that you can use online or in stores so head on over to Ulta and shop!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Carol's Daughter Hair Must Haves

I have been using Carol’s Daughter products for years. I love that they are natural, affordable, and most importantly, they deliver. You can purchase them through the website, at Sephora in stores or online, Macy’s and also at There are also several free standing stores check the website for locations. Here are some of my favorites…

Kizzi “Stay Put” Hair Pomade
Price: $9.50
Packaging: 4oz flat tin

I love this for when I need some extra hold in my hair. I’m really not a fan of hair spray or gel so this is perfect. It’s not too heavy or greasy and it comes in a tin that’s easy to take on the go. I use it for up-dos and when I need to really get my edges slicked down. Added bonus: it has a lovely smell.

Black Vanilla Leave in Conditioner
Price: $12.00
Packaging: 8oz plastic spray bottle

I love this for the smell if nothing else. It was a watery consistency which isn’t what I usually look for in a leave in conditioner, but it comes in a spray bottle for easy application. I use it on my hair when I’m wearing natural styles, it’s good especially for second day hair that needs a little sprucing up.

Lisa’s Hair Elixir:
Price: $20.00
Packaging: 8oz plastic bottle with a push top

This is a great hair oil. A little goes a long way with this one (trust me) It’s great to add to a deep conditioner or use it on damp or dry hair for added shine. It smells like peppermint and eucalyptus and I love it! The only problem is that oil permeates plastic bottles so after a while the bottle gets sticky. A glass bottle would be great to pour it into if you have one handy.

I’ve tried the Hair Milk and it was a little bit too heavy for my hair. I can’t stand for my hair to feel weighed down or heavy. They now have a Hair Milk line and a light version of the hair milk so I’m going to try that on my next trip to the store.

The Loc Butter is a favorite of mine for two strand twists or braids on thick, tightly coiled, coarse hair. It’s a bit too greasy for my curly hair but I definitely recommend it if that’s your hair type. 

*Images courtesy of Google

Saturday, January 15, 2011

HCB Product Spotlight: Wen Cleansing Conditioner

The other day I used Wen for the first time. #latepass for all my twitter people.

Price: $30.00
Packaging: a plastic bottle with a pump
Where to Buy:

From the Wen® website:

Wen® Cleansing Conditioner is a revolutionary new concept in hair care. A 5-in-1 formula, this one product takes the place of your shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler, and leave-in conditioner. It cleanses hair thoroughly but without lathering and all the harsh ingredients that may be found in ordinary shampoos- it is designed so it wont strip your hair and scalp of their natural oils Your hair is left with sheen, moisture, manageability and better color retention.

When I used the product it definitely got my hair clean. The thing is I felt that it worked just as good as my VO5 conditioner that I get from CVS for a dollar. (see Favorite Drugstore Beauty Products post) I used it as is to see if it would really eliminate frizz like it said it would. I spent the day out and it had a normal amount of frizz.

I am going to do an update on how Wen works with my straightened hair and let you all know if it is as great as the commercial claims.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lets Talk Brows

In my honest opinion brows are the most important part of a well groomed face. If your lipstick is perfect and your cut crease is bangin’ it won’t matter if your brows look like Bert from Sesame Street. My brows are a daily task especially because the hair is very sparse and thin. Here are my favorite tools for perfectly groomed brows.

MAC Eye Brows in Stud or Spiked
Price: $15.00
From MAC:
Self-propelling, self-sharpening, brow defining. Confidently adds what you need: shape, colour, density in one streamlined tool. Like a pen, creates its own just right point . Provides definition, shape, deepens/fills in colour. Creates striking arches. Easy to tote around. No sharpener needed

This is my #1 eyebrow product. All I need! This will last me at least 2 months with everyday use.

MAC #266 small angle brush
Price $19.50
From MAC:
For creating sharp, precise lines. This brush has fibres which are carefully arranged to form a perfect angle.

This is an amazing brush for precise application of powder shadow to your brows.  Powder can be messy and if you don’t have a steady hand application can be frustrating. I start with lining with Stud and then using shadow to fill in. Clean your brushes once a week.



MAC shadow in Embark or Espresso
Price $14.50

This pressed powder shadow is a perfect color for dark brows. It needs to be a dark matte color, not with a ruddy tone unless that matches your hair color. These shadows can last at least a year with everyday use.

Iman Perfect Eyebrow pencil in blackest brown
Price: $8.00

This is a cheaper alternative to MAC eye brows. It stays well all day. My only complaint is that it’s not as precise because it is a normal pencil size not a self-sharpening pencil size. This lasts about 3 months with everyday use.

Tip: Never ever use a black pencil, shadow, or liquid liner to fill your brows. It will be too harsh and is totally unnatural.

*Images courtesy of Google

Monday, January 3, 2011

Favorite Drug Store Products

For the New Year I want all my HCB’s to be the best they can be and not spend a lot of money at the same time. These are my favorite products that I use that come from stores like CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart or Target.

Curel Extra Dry Skin Lotion is my favorite year-round lotion $7
Vaseline with cocoa butter $3 (great to help with makeup removal)
Johnsons Baby Oil Gel in Lavender $3

Covergirl Queen Collection bronzer $6
Loreal liner intense in carbon black $7
Black Opal stick foundation $6

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition 3 minute undo dryness reversal treatment $2.99 at Target
Suave conditioner –I use it as a leave in conditioner when I wear wash and go styles $1
VO5 conditioner –I use it to clean my hair (co-washing) $1

Baby wipes –great makeup removers, you can get a box of about 80 for around $3
Carmex $3 for 3 tubes
Johnsons baby shampoo –to wash makeup brushes with $3 for a large one
Plastic shower caps $1 for 10 at Walmart (great for deep conditioning)