Essence Inaugural Beauty Box Review: Soulful. Colorful. Beautiful.

First, can I tell you guys how much I missed you?! I'm so happy to be writing for my blog again! It's been such a crazy transition and adjustment over the past few months but you know that I'd never leave you for too long. Now back to business - you know everyone has a beauty box now right? I think it's great because it's the best way to try out new products and introduce new brands to the consumer. However, as a woman of color, a lot of the products that are curated for these beauty boxes aren't really done with us in mind - and I mean that with no shade at all. It's just having a certain skin tone; having different undertones; having a different "type" of hair, I need products that are really curated to women of color.

So I was very excited to hear about the news that Essence was coming out with an Essence Beauty Box that was specifically curated by a team of African-American women with African-American women in mind. These are editors who have years of experience in the fashion and hair industry so I immediately knew that I needed to jump on this.

So before we dive into this inaugural box, the subscription is $15 a month and there's three different subscription plans that you can choose from - you can do a monthly payment plan for $15 per box and you'll be charged monthly; you can do a 6 month plan for $90 and you're charged upfront (still $15 per box) or you can do a 12 month subscription which comes to $165 and you're charged upfront (it comes to $13.75 per box). In each box, you're going to get five luxe beauty products. If you sign up, please use my referral code 992-4D8B-00F2!

So now let's get to it - you see what happens when I don't write for my own blog in forever and just live on social? I end up talking and talking and talking just because I missed you guys so much. But you'll see why I took a few months off...I needed to learn a few new tricks ;-) 

So this first box includes five products it includes:


1. The Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Leave-In conditioner which is described as a daily conditioning treatment to improve manageability. It's a sulfate free formula that is supposed to be safe for color-treated, chemically treated, curly or straight hair. - Update - This is holy grail out of this entire box. I loveeee me a good leave in conditioner and it's coconut. I rub this on the end of my hair every night before going to bed. #LifeismadeIMG_5443

2. The Curls Crème Brule Whipped Curl Cream is a cream styler that will define, de-frizz, and moisturize your tresses, leaving soft curls without hold. - Update - I still love saying this name. Crème Brule. So sexy :-) Anyway, this is my second favorite product. I've been using this to tame my frizzy hair. I'll give you a better review once I keep my hair in a wash and go style.


3. The L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream which is a cream that is enhanced with 20% shea butter which is specifically designed to penetrate quickly in order to protect, nourish and moisturize your hands. - Update - Ok, this stuff is amazing and is the perfect travel size lotion. I love that I'm able to keep it in my coat pocket to keep my hands moisturized while I'm out. remember ladies, your true age will always show on your hands and your neck so it's best to keep them moisturized!


4. The Calvin Klein Eternity Now fragrance which is a bright addictive floral fragrance that features succulent fruits and radiant flowers that is enveloped in a soft cashmere veil. - Update - Full size bottle is already on my holiday wishlist! Do I need to say more?


5. Lastly, the Tarte Brow Architect which is an all-in-one brush, pencil and underscoring concealer With this  tool, you can shape, line and define your brows with one simple tool. - Update - This is a really fun product that's great to travel with. Right now I'll be honest, I'm letting my eyebrows grow in because one looks like an evil twin. #NotCute


And are you ready for this? Here's a quick video of me styling my hair using some of my favorite hair products along with the Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Leave-In conditioner and Curls Crème Brule Whipped Curl Cream - which I've been using for about 3 weeks now and I am in love!


Overall, I'm really impressed with this box because they are including well-known brands along with new brands and it's great for exposure. Let me know in the comments what you guys think! Don't forget to use the #EssenceBeauty so we can talk!


Here's To a Happy New Year - 2015!

Normally, I try to avoid doing this when a new year rolls around but I figured this year would be the one and only exception.

For the past few years, I've been going through this transition with myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially (have I used every -ly word that I can to describe this change?). What I'm trying to say is that it took me a long time to find myself and basically what really made me happy as a person. Just me. Not anybody else. Not my boyfriend, not my parents, not my family, not my friends, not my boss. Just me.

While I'm sure I haven't fully figured that out 100% yet and I'm still trying to find a balance for myself in the real world, I am excited about the progress that I've made so far and everything that I have planned for myself, my career and for you all!

So with that said, here's looking at 2015!

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Here's to a Happy 2015!

I hope you all have a fabulous time tonight whether you're going out partying or cuddling up at home! Let me know what you're wearing tonight! You know for me, it's all about bringing in the new year with a fresh face and some fabulous shoes from Shoedazzle!



Farewell Summer!

Alas the end is near and it's time to say goodbye to summer. With fall finally upon us, it's time to pack away the open toe sandals and wedges and whip out the over the knee boots and stylish booties.

Before we do though, everyone at Candy Coated Closets headquarters figured we should send summer off in style! So here's my end of summer look!




The Week in a Recap

Well, this has been a very eventful week. My head is still spinning from trying to navigate my schedule around work, fashion week and all of the events, parties and deadlines that surrounds one of the biggest weeks in New York. Despite the long hours, no sleep and the humongous pile of clothes, accessories and make up scattered throughout my room, one thing remains the same... this week has been awesome and I can't wait to bring you more news on the fashion and beauty trends during Spring 2015 Fashion week!



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Lost Your Inspiration?

Lately, I've been feeling a bit torn on which direction I should take when it comes to my career in publishing and media. Should I focus more on the writing and editing aspect of the industry or should I channel my efforts into the creative side of styling and photography?


"Life's full of tough choices, ain't it?" - Yes, I mock myself in Disney character voices!

Anyway, until I figure my next move out, I'm doing what any working, fashion conscious, soon-to-be 28 year old would do....spend money! :-) At least this time it's money that is being well spent on research.


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Let the posts resume!

-Door knocking- Oh hello opportunity! It’s nice to meet you.

Ok I know that was kind of cheesy but that one line pretty much explains the reason for my absence. I told you all that I had to take a little break from my writing duties, reviews and posting pictures because I had to adjust to a few new things happening in my life.

Of course one can never fully adjust and I’m realizing there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that I need to do along with the things that I want to do (and sleep right?) but I’m figuring it all out day by day.

With all of that said, I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things, so it’s time to catch you all up on the pretty little things happening in Candy Coated Closets! Yes, my shoe pictures may have dwindled but that didn’t mean I would stop shopping! I mean, honestly!

Make sure you’re following me on Instagram @Candycoatedclosets Since I’m on the go so much now, I’ll be able to engage and interact with a lot more of you on there!


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New York Wedding Salon Bridal Show

If you're a bride to be or anyone remotely interested in bridal fashion then stay tuned! This post will be filled with information and pictures for you!

I had the opportunity to attend the New York Wedding Salon Bridal Show that was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion. The Wedding Salon featured exhibits on everything, and I mean everything any bride, groom or member of the bridal party needs in preparation for the big day. There were tons of cake designers, florists, DJs, videographers, photographers, desert tastings, live entertainment... Seriously I could go on listing all of the different vendors there but we need to get to the fun stuff.


When you first walked in, you were greeted by the sounds of 45 Riots and the living table by the Screaming Queens Entertainment.

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Seriously, how amazing does the living table look? I love how they incorporated the Vegas showgirl theme with a wedding twist. There were cute little mints, brochures, and promotional magnets on the table which showed the functionality of the strolling table. This would be a great addition for any wedding couple looking to add that extra something to their list of costumed performers or live entertainment.

Part of the reason why I think I loved the living table so much is probably because of 45 Riots. The musicians and singer definitely killed it with their variation of live R&B and Pop hits. Most of the time, I don't even look twice at some live performances at these shows because they can be way too loud but 45 Riots provided a cool, energetic vibe to the event.

As I ventured deeper into the Pavilion, that's when I started seeing all of the different vendors. I'll let the pictures do that the talking for this part...

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Now this is how you put on on Wedding Expo!

What do you think of the pictures?




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Long Island Bridal Show & Expo

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Long Island Bridal Expo at the Marriott Hotel. It was one of those events that sounded great on paper but something fell through during the execution phase of it.

The expo advertised about 40 different displays from varying vendors to showcase photography, china, gowns, jewelry, dj's, invitations and more! You know the kind of thing every bride and her party is excited to spend a girls night out at. Unfortunately, this one dropped the ball and it's sad to say that one of the best things at the show was the flower display.

Normally, I would adjust my expectations because hey not every event is going to have high fashion, new trends, and tons of giveaways. However, this one completely missed the mark. The fashion show was a complete waste of time - the dresses were falling off of the models and most of the models looked way too nervous to be on stage showcasing a collection. It just was not a good look.

I was also disappointed with the "free dinner buffet". This buffet consisted of 5 noodles with sauce and no drinks (not even water). Again, I may have needed to adjust my expectations but I've gotten used to event planners making sure to keep the women attending their event very fat and happy because that's when they (we - me included) tend to spend the most money and that's what these events are normally about.

On a scale of 1-10, I give this event a 3 and that's only because I really liked the flower display.

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