The Boss Babe Blog
Build your career without sacrificing your life.
My 6:00am look:
A lip stain that could outlast a Taco Bell Burrito Supreme? A week ago, I would’ve laughed at you. Since I’ve been working front counter at Taco Bell, I’ve become more and more acquainted with their food, and it didn’t take me long to figure out that we’re respectably one of the messiest fast food joints you can find. I got used to reapplying my lipstick every few hours, and I didn’t even bother to try lip stains, because we all know they fade, even if they don’t wipe away at the tiniest mouth action, like most conventional lipsticks. Then, I came across Younique.
They’re probably most well-known for their mascaras, and to be honest, at first that’s what I believed I would be buying and reviewing. Before I could even make it to my online shopping cart, though, I came across a lip stain in one of the most beautiful shades I’d ever seen. “No”, I told myself. “You don’t need lip products, Sierra. You have an entire collection at home!”, but I didn’t have any lip stain in that collection…and certainly not any hydrating mineral-based lip stain. “Okay”, I thought. “I’ll decide on this purchase based on the price.”, and so I clicked the link to the product. It was just over $22. Affordable enough. “One more shade won’t hurt anything.”, I convinced myself. Besides, reviewing an eyeliner would mean showing close-up pictures of my lashes, which is one thing I had always been a bit self-conscious about. With that in mind, I purchased the lip stain in one of the boldest shades available, an orangish, coral-like, bold color dubbed “Shameless”.
It only took a few days to arrive in the mail, something I was particularly happy with. The box looked too big to contain just a lip-product, but I was pleasantly surprised to open it up and find that my order was correct. I was itching to keep the pretty purple tissue paper, but too excited over the new lip stain to bother with saving it, so in the trash can with the box it went. The lip stain went on wet. It took a few seconds longer than expected to dry, but I wasn’t complaining. When it did dry, it had a bit of a sticky texture, but nothing too difficult to grow accustomed to. In fact, I was relieved that the pigment hadn’t dried out my lips, as so many other lip stains had managed to do on the first application. I wiped the stain off with a baby wipe. Three swipes and it was gone. I snickered to myself. This product wouldn’t make it through the first hour of my work day, but I’d go ahead and give it the benefit of the doubt. I had promised the direct sales rep a review, after all.
The next day, I applied my lip stain in the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart. (No judging, I was there to pick up a protein shake for breakfast. I checked the fridge that morning, but was out.) It was about 6:00am. When I arrived at the hospital and sat in the break room waiting for my ride to work to finish up with some paperwork, I fixed myself a mocha latte and cracked open my protein shake. Breakfast was served, and when I had finished, I opened the front-facing camera on my smartphone to check my makeup. The straw in my latte had surprisingly no lipstick residue, and my lips looked perfectly unbothered. Shameless had made it farther than I had expected, but could it stand the test of a hot kitchen, a lot of talking, constant water sipping, and best of all…a Taco Bell lunch?
My after-lunch look (1:00pm):
To my surprise…it actually did. I took my lunch break around 1pm. Up until that point, I hadn’t found a spare moment to check my makeup. So, I decided to go ahead and eat. I’d check the damages afterward. I was shocked to find that 7 hours and an entire Beef Burrito Supreme later, the lip stain was still there, and it was still covering the entirety of my lips. Granted, it wasn’t a beautiful, bright, shameless color anymore, but it was still acceptable. It had faded to a classier, deeper, pinker color. I had hoped that it would fade into something more closely related to the orange hue that I loved so much about it to begin with, but you can only ask for so much, right? I was tempted to reapply, but I refrained. I was going to test this. I mean really test this. I finished my shift at 4pm. I walked about a mile down the road to Sonic. They had a new pretzel dog that I just had to try. I ordered the Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Dog with a small Oreo Master Shake. (Please ignore my two fast food orders in one day. It was a rough one, okay?!?) After eating that, I made my way home. I arrived home around 6pm. Just 12 hours after applying the lip stain that morning. I expected the results to look horrible, and honestly, they didn’t look great. I expected bare lips. Instead, I found traces of the lip stain still sticking to the edges of my lips. Actually, it looked like I had applied a lip liner. Which, when you consider it looked like lip liner without lipstick, sounds horrible, but it was so much better than I expected.
My 12 hours and a hotdog later look (6:00pm):
What is my verdict? This lipstick will get you through an 8-hour shift. It will last through a 6-7-hour school day. Both of those accomplishments are almost too good to be true! However, if you’re going to be out all day, as in 12 hours or more, keep in mind this lip stain isn’t Wonder Woman. It can’t handle everything. If you’re going to be out all day, reapply after you eat lunch, and you’ll be ready to go until you finally decide to remove it. It’s really that simple. It will come off with a simple wet wipe, but it can withstand the messiest of all fast food. I don’t know how it does it, especially without EVER making your lips feel dry or overbearingly sticky, but I really don’t care. All I need to know is where I can get it again, because now that I know I love it, I’m going to be needing one of every color in my collection.
If you want to check this product out, visit: www.fleurdelashes.org and support the same representative that I worked with, the lovely Lindsey Acree!
So, it's Friday, and like many other small town workers, I checked my bank account this morning and was satisfied to see another $300 or so for a hard week of part-time work. In my spare time, I'm grinding away at my freelance writing business, as well as this little blogging job I try to keep up with, although I've been letting this blog slip through the cracks, lately. Hopefully, with new month, and the coming of the last half of this year, I'll be able to do a better job of juggling my responsibilities.
One of those responsibilities will be writing weekly blog updates for the new 'Small Business Friday' series, as well as the upcoming "Direct Sales Review" series. As the title may have made you guess, this is the first blog post in the Small Business Friday series. Each week, we'll be featuring a new small business. We'll start out in my hometown of Hartford, Kentucky, and we'll move across the map from there!
Today, I want to introduce you to a hidden little gem in the small town of Hartford, Kentucky. A town that I've grown to love very much over the years. This little shop is called "OmaDarlings", and it is a darling little place, for sure. This shop is run by a woman that is a grandmother, but whose name is actually also Oma. I stopped by for the first time this past spring with my mother and grandmother, whom I call "Oma" (the German name for grandmother). My grandmother has been very adamant lately about teaching me to sew, quilt, knit, and such hobbies. She tells me it is a dying art form, which I truly believe. Of course, I would much rather take up pottery or painting than do something that is considered such a "boring" skill...or so I thought.
OmaDarlings sheds a new light on what I previously considered a boring skill. The glittery fabrics and the shiny machines caught my eye before I ever walked in the door. The tye-dye buttons and butterfly clasps were much different than the brown buttons and blue jean patches that I'd watched my mother work with when I was just a child. Suddenly, there was a new spark of hope for the dying art as I walked through the door, and I could see it in the eyes of all the children that sat in the pictures hanging around the store. They were learning a craft, something other than the drawings they'd been taught to copy in middle school, and something about it gave them more freedom of expression.
If you've been looking for some way to wind down at the end of the day, or you're searching for a route to find the meaning of life, I'll never fail to suggest art to you. Like in all good things, you get out what you put in. So, if that coloring book just isn't doing it for you, anymore, maybe you should reach a little deeper, try a little harder, and challenge yourself a little more. Working with cloth and fabrics is not only an art, it's a survival skill, it's also a professional skill, and it's a stress reliever. A hobby that could make you pocket cash, chill you out after a long day of chasing after your children, and possibly even save your life one day is something you can't afford to pass up.
So, if you're looking to live your life a little slower, if only for a week, you can travel down to Hartford, Kentucky, take a class at OmaDarlings, eat some dinner at Taco Bell in the neighboring city of Beaver Dam, where you'll find me smiling behind the front counter, and top off your night with a $3-6 dollar movie ticket at Cinema 33, which I'll be featuring in the next installment of this blog series. It'll be the most relaxing and fulfilling vacation you've ever taken, almost as if you're stepping back in time in order to prepare yourself for a leap towards a brighter future.
Some social media sites work better for sharing your favorite cat videos than promoting your latest products. Unfortunately, I had to find that out the hard way. As I always say, I want to make your entrepreneurial journey just a little bit easier, so I’m going to let you in on a little secret: There are 3 SUPER popular social media websites that just aren’t worth wasting your precious time on…unless of course, you’re relaxing with some cat memes. All of your friends might be on these sites, but that doesn’t mean all of your friends are shopping on these sites, and it doesn’t mean they’re checking their newsfeeds regularly, either.
Some brands have been super successful with this newer application, but most don’t even know where to begin. Call me naïve, but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around how one would go about promoting on this app. It’s all about person-to-person, secretive conversation that goes away…You’re a brand! You don’t want to go away! Not if you’re smart, anyway. Sure, you could use your “story” to send messages out to all of your friends, and you might even get featured in the News section. However, if you’re not a personal brand like Kylie Jenner or Bella Thorne, then I suggest you leave this app in the dust for those who are. Plus, it takes up a heck of a lot of space on your phone, so it may be worth deleting altogether. Facebook (an app that you MUST have to be successful, in my opinion) has recently introduced “stories”, as well as filters, so they may not be as cool as the Snap Chat filters, but they will work. Besides, you can clear your Facebook history, so that’s just as good as a disappearing message, because you’re not sending anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see, right? Right.
*A teenage scene kid cries in the distance* At first, I thought Tumblr had something going for it. Actually, I have 3 accounts, myself…and one of them was created specifically for business. Guess what? They’re all 3 abandoned. Guess why? The rest of the world abandoned theirs as well and I lost an audience, save all the teenage girls that couldn’t stop gushing over Harry Style’s dimples. The fact of the matter is Tumblr takes more time and attention than other social media sites, because it’s basically just a second blog that you’re running, and it’s exhausting. So, if you want to host your main blog through Tumblr just for the cool features, go right ahead. I’m not host-shaming anyone. I do suggest that you pay for your own domain name, because “.tumbler.com”, isn’t the most professional look. Other than that, it’s not worth the time. This application doesn’t take up quite as much storage on your phone as Snap Chat, though, so if you want to keep a personal account just to secretly fangirl and/or read some pretty chill quotes, that’s completely valid reasoning.
I know, I know. “Every business professional needs a solid LinkedIn page…”, just no. I’ll be honest. I bought into the hype at first. “This is a place I can make friends with other entrepreneurs!”, I thought. Turns out, I’ve had a LinkedIn account for months, and while I’ve gotten hundreds of connections, no one has actually had the guts to private message me with a question, comment, or business opportunity. They’re all just sitting around trying to promote their dead-end products, just like you, and all of a sudden something that had potential to be a very good thing turns sour. Sad. I hoped to at least get some friendly and professional comments or criticisms on my work, but that never happened. In fact, I got little to no engagement at all! Since this isn’t exactly the type of social media site that you can expect to use for personal reasons, there’s really no point in keeping the application on your device at all, in my opinion. They do have a nice online version, though, and you can actually use it to create your resume or cover letter. Then, as long as you keep the account open, you can apply to jobs and other important business affairs using your LinkedIn profile. Of course, if you’re looking to do things the old-fashioned way and print out your important papers, you’ll want to look elsewhere for that too. It looks like poor LinkedIn just doesn’t make the cut.
I’m excited to finally be typing this for 2 big reasons! First of all, this is the first installment of the much-anticipated Direct Sales Series!! As you may or may not already know, I’ve made it my mission to buy a product from a direct sales representative on each payday (biweekly) in order to support small and local businesses and entrepreneurs. Repeat companies are welcome, so if you’re an Acti-Labs representative or you happen to see your company in an upcoming post, never fear! You are still eligible to participate, just drop your link in the comments below and I’ll take a look at your products as SOON as I get the chance. Bonus points if you show my blog some love! (Thank you in advance, by the way.) Second of all, I’ve finally found the time to sit down and write this review for my new FAVORITE hand cream, which I happened to have purchased from Acti-Labs. I’m reviewing it as a foot cream, because it’s quite the multi-purpose skincare tool, but it’s good to use wherever you’re needing a little bit of rejuvenation! Also, I’ve already put in my order for Younique’s lip stain, which should be here sometime next week for me to review, and I’m super excited about that as well, so keep your eyes peeled! All of these reviews are going to be based on a 5-star scale. The first star is based on affordability, the second on the quality of the intended use, the third on whether it has any additional uses, the fourth on the quantity and shelf life, and the fifth is based on the customer service that accompanied the product. Each star will either be added as a full star, a half star, or no star.
Alright, now let’s get down to business. A little backstory: I posted in a direct sales group with an inquiry for a great foot cream that could save my poor little footsies from the monster that I’ve recently encountered called “the fast food business”. Basically, I explained that I’m on my feet anywhere from 4-8 hours a day, depending on my shift, I’m walking on concrete constantly, and I’m being forced to wear non-slip shoes…which I’m going to tell you more about in an upcoming blog post (go figure!). However, I’m not used to this type of activity. Sure, I love to walk and run, but I would take frequent breaks, run on softer grass and dirt, and only wear my running shoes for 2 hours max. As a consequence of this, my feet have been drying out, cracking around the heel, and throbbing with pain after (as well as annoyingly in the middle of) every single shift. I needed relief. So, I posted my inquiry and got upwards of 200 replies! Obviously, I couldn’t click through each individual one, so I read the ones that I could manage to make time for, and eventually bought a hand cream from an Acti-Labs representative that I figured would just have to be good enough, because honestly it was the most affordable at the time. Which leads me to my first kudos:
This hand/foot cream is affordable! I’m giving it a full star for affordability. Most people have this misconception in their head that direct sales products are always expensive, when that’s simply not the case for all companies. I bought this hand cream for a total of $10.00, and that’s including the shipping cost! That’s comparable to Wal-Mart or Target prices. It’s not what you would expect to pay for a top-of-the-line hand cream. When I say top-of-the-line, I mean exactly that! This is a dermatologist formulated, French designed hand cream. It doesn’t come out of a perfume shop, it comes out of a lab, hence the name, and it actually works wonders! Like I said when I first used it “This isn’t a hand cream, it’s a miracle”. So, a full star for the intended use. Also, we’ll give it a full star for additional uses. I mean, it’s technically a hand cream, but look at the results it gives my feet after just 1 application!
The heel and the sole of my foot (which I put the most pressure on) are VISIBALLY smoother!
I’ve been using this cream every day for about 2 weeks now, and I still have half a bottle left. That means I would only need to buy one bottle a month. At $10.00 per month, I’m not going to complain, especially when it makes my feet feel so much better. If for some reason I do run out (even I forget to schedule things…oops), it wouldn’t take long to receive another bottle! This one arrived in less than a week. I was just as impressed by the shipping speed as I was by the price, before I even opened the box! Since the rep was friendly and the box arrived quickly and intact, I would be crazy NOT to give this product, seller, and company a 5th star. This was truly one of the best experiences I’ve had with the purchase of a skincare product, and I WILL be ordering again!
If you’re interested in ordering some of this fabulous hand cream from the same sweet lady that I did, just follow the link below. Don’t forget to check out the rest of her store as well. She sells a lot more than hand cream, for sure!
If you want to enter your name onto the list of direct sales representatives that I’ll be sifting through bi-weekly, please fill out the short form below! It’s completely FREE, you get EXPOSURE, and a for-sure SALE!