My Business

We’ve all seen it: someone posted another picture on some form of social media  claiming they sell amazing products that’ve changed their lives. If you’re anything like me, you are probably super skeptical about how great these things actually work… if they’re so good why aren’t they sold in stores?! Unfortunately, this kind of skepticism is a huge reason behind what I’m going to call “post shaming”. Every day we see celebrities and influencers talk about products that we’ve never heard of, yet we rush out to the nearest store and buy the products with no questions asked. There have been numerous times where I’ve seen a YouTuber try new makeup and an hour later I’m at Ulta with a $200 bill all because some person (who I don’t even know) thinks a product works well.

I’ve been approached by people who sell things on social media before, whether it be to help a company sell jewelry, sunglasses, and the now infamous hair care products. For the longest time I just didn’t want to be “one of those girls”. You know the ones – they post huge claims about life-changing products and how much money they’ve made by never leaving the house… I rolled my eyes at that one plenty of times myself. Then I thought to myself, what in the hell do I have to lose by giving something a try? If someone can get that offended by someone posting a picture of a product then truthfully there’s probably larger problems in their life..

Anyway, it’s probably no surprise to any of you that I sell Monat hair care products. I guarantee you’ve seen numerous posts about “magic shampoo” or “miracle oil” – if not from me, then someone else. However I’m actually here to say GUYS, THE SHIT WORKS. I have literally never been interested in hair products – I just kinda throw whatever I have on my head and leave it at that. There’s been a recent surge of products going sulfate / paraben free and now things are going one step further. Monat’s products are completely naturally based – there’s more essential oils, plant extracts, and antioxidants than you can name.

Just a quick glance at Monat ingredients vs ingredients found in a majority of beauty products:

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Truthfully, if I was so interested in purely making money, there’s no way in hell I’d spend an hour writing this all out – but like I said THIS STUFF FREAKING WORKS. I have incredibly oily and fine hair. After two months of being on this shampoo and conditioner, my hair has gotten thicker, my split ends have completely vanished, I wash my hair every 2 to 3 days, and it’s grown almost 2 inches which is absolutely ridiculous for my hair. I use these products because they work and I genuinely love them – and I will not for a second be ashamed to post about them and tell people how great they are because I believe in them. As soon as I got over my skepticism and fear of being “that girl” I realized that I got my hands on some pretty amazing things and I have the results to prove it.

 

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This picture was taken two months ago. You can see how much shorter my hair was as well as how damaged the ends were. There’s a lot of frizz and dryness going on towards the ends which is something I’ve always struggled with. I’ve always used a ton of heat on my hair which has contributed to that breakage, but now I can just let my hair air dry and it comes out smooth and shiny, even if it never touches heat.

 

 

 

 

This photo was taken today – you can see the color has even improved and it’s a completely unedited photo. This was after I had only blow dried my hair – no styling tools or any products were used. My hair has never looked better and I have never been so stress – free when it comes to getting ready

 

You never have anything to lose when it comes to taking care of yourself – which is exactly what these products have helped me achieve. From all of my makeup posts and random rants, you know by now I LOVE talking about beauty tips and things that I stand by. So, if you’re ever interested in learning about having amazing hair AND possibly making some extra money while doing it, let me know.In the meantime I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing and loving every second of it : )

 

Don’t forget to follow my other social media accounts!

Instagram: @alexisrianna – personal

@riannajamesmua – beauty

I’ll admit…Valentine’s Day isn’t really my favorite holiday. It’s this weird double-edged sword, ya know? If you’re single you curse every happy relationship while you binge eat chocolate and drink too much wine while watching some sappy rom-com. If you’re in a relationship, there’s so much pressure for it to be perfect that you constantly overanalyze everything your significant other says or does, all while eating an overpriced meal at an overpacked restaurant.

However you spend your day, chances are you’ll still want to look somewhat like a human. More specifically, if you’re like me, you’ll spend way too much time doing your makeup, only to end up being that girl drinking wine alone in her bed. Either way, I get it. It feels good to feel good. Now is not the time for my “you’re more than your image” rant, because even I know that when you feel like you look good, everything else just goes so much better.

So, I’ll leave you with this: more pictures of my face where I’m wearing way more makeup than your average college girl but loving every second of it…because it feels good. 

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Are you guys surprised this isn’t a warm-toned red look?! Because I am… Surprise! I can be versatile when I need to be! I figured I’d go with the cliché pink tones but still add my own dramatic twist because as you all know, I’m just a little extra 😉

I got the Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette and as soon as I opened it I was inspired by this pink-y purple shimmer shade called Paranoia. It’s perfect because its not too pink to the point that it’s unwearable – in other words, you don’t feel like Barbie pink has thrown up all over your face. Great visual, you’re welcome.

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For those of you that aren’t familiar with different eyeshadow styles and techniques, this one is called a Halo Eye. Basically, you keep a darker color concentrated on the inner and outer corners of your eyes while you put a bold/shimmer/light/different color in between the two. I’m not sure exactly who named this because I feel 100% less angelic than normal whenever I wear this technique. I pretty much just end up feeling like a total badass who has some clue of what she’s doing with her face.

Because I’m all about drama, you guys know that I had to take it up a couple notches and keep the darker tones in deep purples, namely Eggplant and Plum from the Lorac Pro 2 Palette.

How to create a simple Halo eye:

  1. Prime!!! I can’t stress this enough. If you want your eyeshadow to last and not crease, you have to prime the lid. I used a concealer and set it with a flesh colored shadow to cancel out any discoloration on my lids and get everything else ready.
  2. Transition shade: aka the lifesaver step. Take any medium shade – I always use some kind of peachy/neutral brown – and sweep it all in your crease and a little above it. This just makes everything blend out easier so you’re not stuck in front of the mirror for hours. Unless that’s your thing.
  3. Pick your shade for the inner and outer corners: I always end up going with a darker, more matte shade than I want in the middle, but you can use anything you want. Build the color up until it is as intense as you want. You have the option of connecting the two sides through the crease, but that’s up to you! (I’m pretty sure this is where the “halo” idea comes from). Just make sure you leave a blank space in the middle of the lid!
  4. For the middle color, pick something that either compliments or contrasts your corner shades. I love putting shimmery metallics in the middle because it makes the eyes seem so much bigger and more dimensional. Pro tip* If you want your metallic to really pop, get your brush wet and then pat the shadow down on your lid! It will give it the most beautiful reflect and intensity.
  5. Finally, you just have to blend it all out. Halo eyes aren’t necessarily as blended as other eye looks, just because you want to get the definition of actually having a bolder color in the middle. Just make sure you don’t have literal lines dividing your eye because that looks good on no one, sorry!

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Of course I added winged liner and lashes because I can’t help myself. But this is the general idea of it all. You can see the separate colors but they’re still somewhat blended – ignore my left eye okay, I’m not perfect.

*p.s. is anyone else’s favorite body part their collarbone? please let me know that I’m not the only one*

So, no matter how you spend your Valentine’s Day, just know that you are loved by someone on this earth! Whether it’s your mom, dad, boyfriend, girlfriend, sister’s cat… you’re someone’s reason to smile and that’s a really powerful thing. Sometimes we get so caught up in who “loves” us that we seek that validation from another person. Right now, I want you to know that it is more than okay to just love yourself. Love the freckles on your chest, the way your top lip is bigger than your bottom, even love the way your thighs touch when you sit down. It’s OKAY to think you’re pretty. It’s OKAY to feel good about yourself when the world wants you to feel shitty. It’s OKAY to be so happy in your own skin that people’s words don’t mean a thing to you.

In the wise words of one of my favorite drag queens, Jinx Monsoon, its all water off a duck’s back

This Valentine’s Day I challenge you all to love those around you, but remember that you need to love yourself too. Treat yourself to another piece of cake, give yourself an extra compliment in the morning, and go throughout your day knowing that you are love.

IG: Riannajamesmua

After this palette FINALLY being in stock at Ulta (I honestly went to go buy this about 12 times before they restocked) I cannot stay away from it. Those colors, I mean COME ON. If you haven’t tried any of Anastasia’s eyeshadows, I urge you to immediately go out and make the investment. Yes, they can be a little pricey, but then again, so are those delicious acai bowls I love but you don’t see me saying I won’t eat them again…

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette $42

Seriously…I mean SERIOUSLY?!? If this doesn’t remind you of playing in piles of autumn leaves you either a) didn’t have a childhood, b) live in Florida like me, or c) have a seriously warped vision of fall. Either way, bottom line is that this thing is absolutely g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s and you should 100% have it in your life.  Oh, and did I mention how ridiculously easy these shadows are to blend?! Gone are the days of sitting in front of the mirror, fluffy brush in hand, praying for the moment your perfect transition shade fades seamlessly into your crease.

Now, for this look I couldn’t possibly take all the credit. If you’ve ever sat for hours in front of your computer drooling over makeup tutorials, you know that those perfectly created masterpieces tend to spark a little creative interest within yourself. This look came after watching Chrisspy’s tutorial on a look created with the Modern Renaissance shadows. Honestly, I highly recommend binge-watching her videos over the latest Netflix fad. Here, really, take a look for yourself: Chrisspy YouTube

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Flash forward about 2 hours later: here I am with a look inspired by Chrisspy’s; it might’ve taken 3 lipstick changes, half a pan of MAC’s Soft & Gentle highlighter, and one intense dance break after finally applying the lashes just right, this is what we get.

So you don’t have to listen to me ramble for the hundredth time about how to blend your transition shade or how Benefit’s Hula Bronzer is the eighth wonder of the world, I’ll link her video here so you can watch a real professional (and not just the one I like to pretend to be). Chrisspy Modern Renaissance

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I know, she’s stunning… it doesn’t get any easier to walk in front of your own mirror after seeing her face transform into the superhuman she is… even after your 12th video straight. Anyways, that’s besides the point.

 

Right now, I’m pretending there’s an actual sunset right in front of me, I’m sitting on my back porch in West Virginia watching the last of the autumn leaves change with a gigantic mug of apple cider. When in reality, I’m sitting in yesterday’s leggings with a full face of makeup for tomorrow’s post, dreading going to my French class. Makeup can take you places people!

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So, whether you’re content with where you’re at in this exact moment or yearning for an escape to your favorite getaway, the point is simple: Makeup can give you a quick break from your reality and whisk you away to your happy place. At least that’s the relief it gives me, and today, that’s a thing to be thankful for.

 

xoxo

****please go follow my Instagram account @riannajamesmua!! It would mean so so much to me **** follow me on Instagram!

May your foundation match your neck, your concealer be creaseless, & your eyeliner so sharp it could cut a man. Amen. 

 

As upsetting as the title of this post is to my mom, it definitely makes me smile. Totally feel like I’m rockin the 2014 era Kylie Jenner lip – two years later and it’s still my favorite. Original, I know. But the point of this all is that makeup is supposed to be what makes YOU happy!!! How cool is it that we get to literally create something on our face every day?!  The one thing that I constantly find myself falling in love with about makeup is the fact that there are no rules. Of course there are trends, I mean who doesn’t love a deep burgundy lip in the fall?? But you can go from wearing black lipstick one day to drawing on the freckles you always wanted the next and it is perfectly fine.

 

if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right

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The best thing about this eye makeup look is that it takes about 2 minutes and uses 2 colors.. how much easier could it get?

Naturally, I went back to something I’ve loved for two years – the Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette. This is an incredible palette to have on hand at any time – it has a great mix of warms and neutrals with the perfect balance of matte to shimmer shades. Here’s what I did (in I kid you not, 2 minutes):

  • Grab a big fluffy brush and dust Peanut Butter all throughout the crease. You can take this color as high as you want – I have hooded eyes so I like to bring it up past my natural crease in order to see the color when I’m looking straight on.
  • Next, I just took my finger, dipped it into this beautiful shimmer champagne color called Butter Pecan and placed it on the inner 2/3 of my eye.
  • To blend it all a little better, I grabbed the same fluffy brush and with no extra product blended back and forth on the outer portion of my eye to get a gradient going from brown to gold.

I swear anyone can do this!! So many makeup looks people post are absolutely stunning, but it can get a bit difficult for the every day girl to try and recreate a look using 13 shadows, lashes, liner, and pigments. I’m all about being a little out there (I don’t think you’ll find someone who likes grey-toned lipsticks more than I do) but something like this is so much easier for every day wear.

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While I L O V E liquid matte lipsticks more than half the things on this planet, they can get a little messy and take me a good 5 minutes to apply precisely. To get my perfect King Kylie shade, I took a MAC Cosmetics lipliner in the color Boldly Bare (by the way, 10/10 highly reccomend) and applied it all over my lips. Not only has this bad guy stayed perfectly in place all day, it doesn’t transfer onto any cups/food which is a huge bonus.

 

I’m always open to hearing suggestions on what you guys would want to see, so don’t ever be afraid to reach out! Again, please click the link at the top and follow my instagram account and keep checking back in here to see what I post next!!

 

XOXO lex