the ultimate matte lipstick trick

one of the things i am frequently sent dms about when i post on my story are my lips.  more specifically, i am asked about the lipsticks i wear.  so often, people are shocked when they find out that 90% of the lipsticks i wear are matte.


without a doubt, my favorite lipsticks are by kylie cosmetics by kylie jenner.  my go to color is true brown k which is like a neutral for us chocolate girls.  i typically buy the lip kits because it comes with a matching liner.  while my lips are naturally lined, it definitely prevents bleeding and just keeps everything in place across a long day or night.  i recently added in both fenty and colourpop matte lipsticks and i am obsessed.



*clockwise starting from top left – kourt k by kylie cosmetics, true brown k by kylie cosmetics, bad habit by colourpop, undefeated by fenty beauty and last but certainly not least, mary jo k by kylie cosmetics


here’s the thing – matte does not have to mean dry, cracked lips.  my solution?


smith’s minted rose lip balm.


Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 2.36.22 PM


i wear it daily whether i have on lipstick or not because it keeps my lips perfectly hydrated without leaving an oily residue.  if i am in a mall, i will grab it from sephora to rack up those points but if i have no mall trips planned and need it immediately, i just order it from amazon.


on the days where i am wearing lipstick, i apply a layer of this to my lips at the start of my makeup routine, do my entire face (saving my lips and lashes for last) and then apply whatever matte lipstick i have chosen for that day over the minted rose lip balm.  more often than not, i do not ever have to reapply the balm or the lipstick because it all stays perfectly in place without looking dried out.


what are some of your favorite matte lipsticks?  or have you been avoiding them?  if you have, give this a try – i promise you won’t regret it.


happy friday, lovelies!



k. tap

thought of the week: just say no

i spent years of my life saying ‘yes’ to things and people that really weren’t for me. sometimes, it was being done out of obligation. other times, it was out of expectation. i often wondered how i would be perceived if i did not constantly comply.

i eventually hit this breaking point and challenged myself to a full year of saying ‘no’ followed by a full year of removing the shame or guilt associated with saying ‘no’ – it was exhilarating.

here’s the piece i never talked about: in my transition to saying ‘no’ more often, i sometimes would say ‘maybe’ – why was that? i think it is because it sounded softer or nicer than saying ‘no’.

when i saw this quote, i laughed and cringed simultaneously. the laughter stemmed from being past this stage but the cringing? that stemmed from wondering about how many times i said ‘maybe’.

“don’t say ‘maybe’ if you want to say ‘no.'” -paulo coelho

not only do i love the simplicity of this message, but i love that it reiterates how the word ‘no’ is a full sentence. i plan on continuing to use it accordingly.

when’s the last time you said ‘maybe’ when you wanted to say ‘no’ and what motivated that choice?


k. tap

big sur for britt’s big day

i had to wait until i was well rested enough to write this post because it is one of the most special ones of the year.  this past weekend in big sur was absolutely magical and i couldn’t picture it any other way for britt’s big day.



*this photo is completely unfiltered which i know seems impossible


both leslie and i flew in from our respective homes after work on thursday and spent the night in san jose.  friday morning, we took a beautiful road trip to big sur.  the twists and turns to make it to our destination were absolutely worth it.  it felt like we had entered a whole new world.  we were staying at glen oaks big sur and it was just as charming as it was beautiful.  i think the selling point for me was the fireplace in our suite while leslie was obsessed with the heated floors in the bathroom.


directly across the street was this quaint little restaurant with comfy indoor seating and extensive (fireside included) outdoor seating – big sur roadhouse.  the menu is simple yet there was not a thing we ordered that was not delightful.  if you are there for breakfast, i would highly suggest the avocado toast with two poached eggs.  if you visit for lunch, the pulled pork sandwich (with fries) is phenomenal.








friday night was spent at a cocktail reception in carmel valley but the real magic happened on saturday.


britt and ryan got married at ventana big sur.  and while i had been to big sur before, i had never experienced it like this.  everything was just so picturesque.  the views were to die for.  brittany was a breathtakingly beautiful bride.  ryan could not have been a more dapper groom and his vows to britt created a flood of waterworks during the ceremony for us all.






the love present both between them and amongst every person present was all consuming.  it carried from the ceremony to the cocktail hour…






to the reception…








to the after party with my favorite sparkly dance partner…




my outfit for the wedding was a game time decision as i initially ordered this gorgeous peacock colored dress from nordstrom.  i even ordered some skims (which i will be reviewing soon) because the slit on one side definitely higher than what i would typically wear.  even still, the slit was just a tad too high for me to do anything other than sit or stand at the wedding.  that’s just not my style.  i knew i wanted to be on the dance floor.  so, on the day before leaving for the bay, i went to nordstrom and found this sparkly number by xscape – it was not only the only one left in my size but it was the only one left at all.  i took it to the dressing room and once it was on, knew i had to get it.  while it is not typically my style, i have been doing a lot of stepping outside of my comfort zone in 2019 – this outfit choice was no different.  my faux fur coat from asos was absolutely perfect when the temperature dropped in the evening.


i am forever grateful to the housing and res life team at santa clara university for placing me on the second floor of walsh my freshman year.  i honestly met some of my soulmates that year and it was nothing short of magnificent to see one of them marry the love of her life this weekend.  life really is better with #alittleRnB – congratulations to britt and ryan!



k. tap




monat – finally, a hair care line for all hair types



over the years, i have struggled to find products that i consistently love for my hair in all of its stages.  whether i am freshly relaxed, in need of a perm, wearing it in a messy bun, have a weave or am rocking braids seemed to determine what hair products i needed.  when i found myself complimenting my friend sarah on her hair on multiple factime calls, she told me she had been using monat products.  now, sarah and i do not have the same hair type.  but then, she mentioned that another friend of ours, biz, sold her the products.  i do not have the same hair type as biz either, but neither does sarah.  this had me intrigued…


i reached out to biz to see what she could tell me about the products and she explained that while the shampoo or conditioner that she uses may not be for me, monat is a hair care line that has a variety of different options depending on your specific hair needs.  i explained that i have been getting my hair relaxed regularly since grammar school and when my hair is down/straight, i often put heat on it.  i was looking for something hydrating and restorative without being oily because as a black woman, i cannot wash my hair every single day and i need my blowouts to last.  after much discussion and an assessment, it was clear that the best package for me was the hydration system.


the hydration system included the renew shampoo, the replenish masque and the restore leave in conditioner.  there was a special promo where i was able to get some additional products – the one i was obsessed with was the micellar shampoo.  the cost for the aforementioned was just over $70.  while i had never spent that on shampoo and conditioner in one go, i considered a few things:

  1. i was supporting a friend and one who i believe to be honest in what she would promote
  2. if it did not work out, i had 30 days to get a full refund no matter how much product was left in the bottle(s)
  3. i knew these products would last awhile because i do not wash my hair daily (and my non black friends who use these products now wash their hair less because there is not a need to wash daily or even every other day)
  4. the products were vegan and cruelty free
  5. if i can spend $70 at brunch, i can spend $70 to invest in my hair


during the summer, i spend an unreal amount of time in the pool.  this summer, it was revved up due to me committing to a 30 day workout challenge with my brother.  that is when i was really able to see the difference these products made for my hair.  typically, chlorine strips my hair and makes it brittle, especially with it already being chemically straightened.  yet somehow, at the end of the summer, my hair was the thickest/fullest it had been in at least a year.  it also felt so soft – as if i had been doing daily deep conditioning treatments.  the only thing that changed was me using monat.




while i still use a neutralizing shampoo by motions once a month to rinse the relaxer out of my hair, every other wash is done with monat.  sometimes, due to how much i was in the pool, i was washing my hair four to five times per week.  it showed me that a little product goes a long way.  and now, even with my braids, i use the restore leave in conditioner on my scalp and it has genuinely made such a difference.


something i love is that there is something for everyone.  sarah, biz and i look like a diversity poster for monat but it genuinely works for each of us.  there is a line for men, one for kids and one for pets so no one in your household is left out.


listen – i did not expect to love a hair care line enough to want to sell their products but here i am.  if you are interested in having healthier hair that is lower maintenance, monat is definitely for you.


if you already know you are interested in purchasing these products from me, you can do so here.


if you are still on the fence, i am happy to answer any and all questions whether it be here, via dm, email, text or we can set up a phone call/facetime date – you just let me know!



k. tap

at least i can pretend like it’s fall…

so i am sure you all remember my post from the end of september celebrating fall and all the wonderful things that come along with it like amazing candles and red wine, right?  well, that fall weather was short lived and yesterday, it was 90 degrees in la.  i almost allowed that to ruin some upcoming outfit posts i had but figured there are still new pieces i have that look like fall without it actually having to feel like fall outside.  let me introduce you to one of the latest additions to my wardrobe that is allowing me to pretend like it is fall…



this  sanctuary sundown duster cardigan pulled me in initially because of the color.  while this yellow can be worn in the fall, it also is a piece that i would wear during spring and summer (in the evenings, at least).  nordstrom was recently doing a special event where you earned 10x the number of points on every purchase so i had to get a couple of things, this duster being one of them.  it feels great against my skin, can be paired with denim, leggings or dresses and is light enough to not be overpowering on the warmer fall days but functional enough to knock the chill off.  at around $50, it was worth every penny.  this one just sold out so i have linked some of my other favorites in a variety of sizes at a similar price point:







have you already pulled out your sweaters for fall?  or at the very least, purchased a couple to add to your wardrobe?



k. tap