I’m So Glad You Joined Me!

(This is going to be great.)

What do I blog about?

It’s my sincere desire to provide information that encourages, empowers, amuses, and inspires through my blog. In my (admittedly) short life, I’ve had the privilege of navigating a variety of tragic and glorious experiences.

I endeavor to offer something of value in sharing what I’ve learned, what I’m learning, and what I hope to learn. We all have something to give, after all.

My blog has been around for several years–so there’s a lot to see and it’s easy to get a bit lost. Scroll down for the area most interesting to you. (Enjoy!)

 It's not about the lipstick--it's the woman wearing it. Leave the stereotypes outside. This is finding the woman you were always meant to be. Let's thrive.W O M A N

Culture, class, dress, self-identity, self-esteem, history, healthy self-awareness–femininity isn’t about finding the perfect shade of red lipstick or mesmerizing potential suitors with a come-hither gaze.

(Check your undertones for the first, and you’ll need a solid three seconds for the latter.)

Femininity is about finding, becoming, and living as the woman you were always meant to be.

Please leave all preconceived notions at the door.

[ C L I C K   H E R E.]

This is where I share the lessons I've learned from trial and error to gain a more balanced mind. Let's learn, laugh, cry, rage, and grow together.M I N D

You won’t find posts about meditation, energy detoxes, backpacking across Budapest, crystal collections, clothing hauls, endless lists of life hacks, or Enlightenment-inducing combinations of kale, almond butter, and chia seeds.

There’s nothing wrong with the items of the aforementioned list.

They are simply not topics I explore on AML.

What you will find:

the difficult, encouraging, embarrassing, hopeful, sorrowful, and peaceful experiences that have aided me in attaining a more balanced mindset.

In sharing them I hope to save you some tears and add to your smiles. I don’t have all the answers; but, I do have the ones that helped me.

I offer them to you in these posts.

C L I C K   H E R E ]

Gracefully navigating L I F E with gentle wit, wild optimism, and quinoa. Enjoy a practical How-to guide for all of Life's odd scenarios.L I F E

What will you find here? You’ll find a pleasantly practical guide to the awkward, icky, hard “life stuff” that seems to require a lot of trial and error to master. (Emphasis on the error, if you’re like me.)

How to live with difficult family and friends, subdue frenemies, build healthy support systems, set healthy boundaries, survive office politics, and more are covered here (with a healthy dose of encouragement).

I’ve found many “life hacks” and general guides never seemed as simple as: one, two, three–WIN!

I strive to provide you with just that: step-by-step guides for gracefully navigating life.

[ C L I C K   H E R E ]

 Gracefully navigating L I F E with gentle wit, wild optimism, and quinoa. Learn how to build a better relationship with your body from the inside out.B O D Y

The appreciation and gratitude I have for my body has been hard won. Thus far in my life, I have navigated our world as a Size 16 to 00, in sickness and in health, with self-esteem and (sadly) without.

My journey has taught me quite a bit about myself, the world we live in, and those we share it with.

Frustratingly, there is no simple, perfect, one-size-fits-all answer to the question: “What will make me healthy?”

With that in mind I share what honestly helped me craft the healthiest lifestyle for me.

[ C L I C K   H E R E ]

 A Modern Lady beauty and hair product reviewsR E V I E W S

I’ve tried over 300 skin, health, and hair care products over the lifetime of this blog. Price per ounce, cosmetic elegance, scent, formulation quality, even the bottle design–everything is up for comment.

All sponsored product reviews and collaborations are always noted in the first paragraph. Why? I take your readership seriously.

I buy 99% of everything reviewed on AML. Regardless of whether it’s purchased or sponsored, you will receive my 100% honest opinion–everytime. (Enjoy!)

[ C L I C K   H E R E.]

A Modern Lady Blog Welcome I'm so glad you're here

A Modern Lady beauty and hair product reviews

Officially Under Construction

It’s begun. (Finally!)

AML is officially under re-construction.

I’ve missed you, beloved reader! AML needs an upgrade. Why?

I’ve so much to share. (I can’t wait!) Please look forward to new content, content updates, and a new format. (Don’t worry, the content you’ve enjoyed will continue as well!)

I’m excited for AML to reflect where I am in my life right now, what I’ve learned thus far during my relocation adventure, and where I’m going next. In the past, I’ve tried not to focus much of AML’s content on my personal life, which is something that will be slowly changing.

I’ve enjoyed some adventures, failures, triumphs, trials, errors, and successes the past 18 months that I simply can’t keep to myself. I’ve learned so much! I will be leaving my twenties soon as well, and I’m quite happy with what has happened during this past decade in my life, which happens to span of the life of this blog thus far. I look forward to bringing AML into the third decade of my life and what it holds.

Change is (so) good.

Thank you for your readership and patience. I look forward to sharing with you and learning from you as AML continues on.

2015 New Year Update: Go Well, Beloved Reader

Hello, beloved reader!

I’ve never taken such a long a hiatus before as a blogger.

I hope your year has begun powerfully and profitably. If not–raise your head, darling, this year is not yet over–we have time to once again stand victoriously.

To produce better content for AML I need time to further organize my life post-relocation. I’ve completely over-turned my life (in the best way) recently, gaining many things and loosing others.

Going forward…

I want to go into my seventh year of blogging (SEVEN! GASP!) boldly, powerfully, and deliberately. I truly love blogging. It’s a part of my identity now. And more importantly: I miss all of you! Thank you for the kind emails you’ve sent in my absence.

I want to encourage and equip you for thriving as a modern lady. In the past ten months, I’ve gained the type of courage, confidence, and self-containment to do just that. (It will not go to waste.) Please look forward to new blog content and more of what you’ve come to love from AML.

So, as I keep buzzing along behind the blog curtain here at AML, know that I am cheering you on, praying the best for you, and I look forward to churning out regular content again soon.

Go well, beloved reader.



Officially On Hiatus

I’m sure you have noticed beloved readers, I’ve taken a break from blogging.

Thank you for all of your kind e-mails and thoughts! They warm my heart and always make me smile.

I have not officially quit blogging–in fact, I’m in the processes of implementing huge changes with AML. There will still be great reviews, information, and encouragement; however, I’ll be increasing the depth of each of these and adding new content you have been asking for over the last year.

I’ve grown so much with some major life changes I’ve implemented this year. As a blogger, I’m now in a place to have the peace of mind (and confidence) to write new content I know will encourage and aid many of you in your lives I wasn’t ready to share before.

Relocating to a new region, state, city, industry–everything is new–has been exhilarating, challenging, tiring, and enriching. It’s also incredibly time consuming!

Some blog changes will begin rolling out soon, but you may not notice many of them right away. (I am furiously working away behind the scenes, beloved readers!)

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and readership! You’ve become a special part of my life. Where ever I am, whatever I’m doing, I want to continue growing, learning, and sharing with all of you.


Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Sensitive Skins Daily Calming Moisturizer SPF 30 Review on A Modern Lady Blog

Yes to Cucumbers Daily Calming Moisturizer SPF 30


AML & Sunscreen

I’m a time-jumping, shape-shifting, fire-breathing beast about sunscreen.

Why? In the foolishness of my (fairly recent) youth, I suffered three–count them: “One! Two! Three!” bouts of acute sun poisoning. Yes, you read that correctly. I suffered sun poisoning. At the time, I didn’t know sun poisoning was “a thing,” or even possible. (Also, I didn’t receive super powers for the trouble–so frustrating.)

After the third “event,” it took my skin ten months to return to its normal color and supple texture. That experience convinced me to make sunscreen a way of life. (The third time really is the charm, apparently.)

Thankfully, my melanin supplies issued me a Mercy Pass for my photo-insolence. Through each bout I suffered no peeling, perma-tanning, scarring, etc. However, I don’t want to rely solely on my DNA for graceful aging. I never want to take it for granted again.

The Quest for the Perfect Sunscreen

Since my teenage years, I have been on an (epic) quest to find the Holy Grail of sunscreens.

This sunscreen must: 

  1. Be reasonably priced for its quality per oz
  2. Cosmetically elegant (It feels good on the skin and easy to apply.)
  3. Layer under and on top of make-up without distorting its color and/or finish
  4. No Oxybenzone

(It’s no surprise that I am still looking, is it? Sigh.)

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Sensitive Skins Daily Calming Moisturizer SPF 30 Review on A Modern Lady Blog

My Experience

T H E   G O O D

  • It’s non-chemical, which I and my skin loved.
  • It’s fairly cosmetically elegant: it added enough moisture to please my normal-to-oil skin, without feeling “greasy.”
  • While I do not care for fragrance in most products, the delightfully fresh, cucumber scent is calming and unobtrusive,

T H E   B A D

Unfortunately, applying this product requires more effort than its runny, thin texture would lead you to believe. It required effort to rub into the skin, unless you wanted a strikingly white, ashen cast–not good. This leads to irritation. Sunscreen that is non-chemical is best “patted” into skin, rather than rubbed.

Patting in just enough product for it to provide sun protection left a comically white cast on my normally golden brown/tan skin. I normally do not wear foundation or moisturizer; however, even adding full-coverage liquid foundation and power on top of this, did not prevent me from looking as though my face was three to four shades lighter than my body.

On its own, it was difficult to remove, even more so under make up. With or without make up, I had to use a make-up removing cleansing oil, and then a regular facial cleanser, followed by a deep-cleaning toner to remove all traces of it.

Adding insult to injury, higher-end sunscreens such as SuperGoop! clock in at around $7-8 an ounce. I’m surprised at this product’s similar price point for the amount (and formulation issues).


Is it for you? This was ash-inducing, irritating to my skin, and difficult to remove.


INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Hydrogenated Methyl Abietate, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Fragrance, Hydrated Silica, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tocopherol, Maris Limus Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate

A Modern Lady Yes to Grapefruit Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15 Review

Yes to Grapefruit Even Skin Tone Moisturizer SPF 15


Beloved readers, I was ten twelve kinds of excited to try this.


I bathe in sunscreen. I’ve done so since my third bout of acute sun-poisoning. Yes. Third. After my skin took a full TEN MONTHS to recover from the last episode, I changed my ways. What was I doing to poison myself with the sun–literally? I chatted with a friend on a sunny day for about five hours straight, catching up on the past four years. #ExtrovertProblems

This is why I constantly try various sunscreens forever searching for my Holy Grail sunscreen.

My HOLY GRAIL sunscreen:

  1. Be reasonably priced for its quality per oz
  2. Cosmetically elegant (It feels good on the skin and easy to apply.)
  3. Layer under and on top of make-up without distorting its color and/or finish
  4. No Oxybenzone

(Yes, I am still looking. #NotSurprising)

My Experience

T H E   G O O D

This sunscreen bears a lovely fresh, true grapefruit scent. (That praise is coming from a lady that does not care for citrus scents to begin with!)

T H E   B A D

  • Will cause you to appear extremely ashen and paler than usual
  • Very difficult to remove from skin.

This made me appear ashen to the point of illness, by 2-3 shades, with or without full-coverage foundation. More worrisome, I had to wash several times to remove it–first using a facial cleansing oil, followed by make-up remover, and followed by toner (when worn alone and with full-coverage foundation on top.)

As you may expect, my skin was less than enthused with it. I quickly halted use out of fear of breakouts, and a desire to look healthy and well-rested.

Reluctantly, I added this to my FAIL pile.


Sadly, this isn’t cosmetically elegant (a bit greasy feeling), leaves a white cast (thanks, titanium dioxide!), and alters the color of your foundation or tinted moisturizer by 2-3 shades.  Also, it’s difficult to remove. Its delightful, true-to-life scent is the best thing about it.

Active Ingredients Zinc Oxide (3.2%), Titanium Dioxide (2.9%)

Inactive Ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Coco-Glucoside, Phenethyl Alcohol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Glyceryl Caprylate, Xanthan Gum, Moringa oleifera seed oil, Limonene, Glyceryl Isostearate, Fragrance, Hydrated Silica, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tocopherol, Citrus


L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Intense Smoothing Conditioner

Sleek hair? Yes, please!

My Experience

This is decently performing conditioner. My hair was not overwhelmingly sleeker for using the entire line, which I did while trying this conditioner. You can read my experiences with the rest of the line here.

If your hair is not overly damaged by heat styling, chemical straightening, or color this will help you maintain its integrity, but will not give you a texture you don’t naturally have or have lost due to damage.

Ultimately, I was underwhelmed by this as a product option for successfully achieving sleek straightened hairstyles and natural, curly hair (my everyday look).

T H E   G O O D

  • Melts into strands
  • NO build up
  • Rinses cleanly
  • Leaves hair supple

It has an unexciting generic floral scent, that while boring, is not unpleasant. Note: The scent of this conditioner lingers in your hair after rinsing.

T H E   B A D

  • Highly-textured hair types may find this unsuitable for detangling
  • Cannot reverse extreme damage
  • Minimal frizz reduction


In a word: underwhelming; but, if your hair is in relatively decent shape, this conditioner can certainly help you keep it that way.



L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Intense Smoothing Shampoo

Smoother hair? Sign me up!

My Experience

Beloved readers, this was a surprisingly strong shampoo considering it is marketed as “gentle” since it is sulfate-free. I used this shampoo with the entire EverSleek system. You can read my other experiences with it here.

This did not give me a new head of hair (my hair was slightly smoother, maybe, for having used the entire system), but it did leave a great base for the partner conditioner, without stripping my hair or scalp.

T H E   G O O D

  • High lather (personal preference)
  • Spreads through hair easily
  • No build up or residue (when used with complimentary products)
  • Long-lasting (a small amount will coat your hair in a rich, milky lather)

This milky-white, pearlescent shampoo has a slippery feel, spreading easily over hair. It explodes into a froth of bubbles–fun for those that love to indulge in bubble-heavy formulas.

I know, bubbles are not necessary for cleanliness, but again– they are fun! This shampoo delivers more bubbles than you may have realized a shampoo could. As in blanket-of-bubbles-around-your-toes amounts of bubbles.

T H E   B A D

  • Generic floral scent
  • Little difference in hair texture

Again, I did noticed–maybe–slightly smoother hair for having used this as part of the entire system, but the result was not enough to move me to repurchase it or its coordinating products.


This is a great drugstore shampoo if you love bubbles, but if your hair is particularly damaged or extremely frizzy naturally, this will not reverse that.



The Jane Carter Solution Curl Defining Cream

Beloved readers, this was my go-to curl cream for several months. (Why do I constantly try new products? I’m hopelessly curious.)

My Experience

It spreads quickly, disappears into hair immediately, and leaves it shiny and defined. I was utterly shocked at how well my coily, curly, dense hair (virgin 3c/4a) was gorgeously defined, soft, and had noticeable added shine.

This can also be found in a larger container with a pump–GLORIOUS. It is on the pricey side, but lasts quite a while as ” a little dab will do.”

You can read my other experiences with this brand here.

T H E   G O O D

  • $30-32 dollars
  • Available at your local Target, Whole Foods or Ulta.
  • Adds shine
  • Smooths, de-frizzes
  • Defines curls gorgeously
  • Rinses cleanly

T H E   B A D

  • Product build up

I had to clarify every two weeks like clockwork while using this as my sole styling product.

T H E   B A D

  • Texture

This product has the same scent, color, feel, and consistency of Elmer’s glue. (There, I said it.)

Please note: This curl cream may be too heavy for fine-haired ladies.


This curl cream adds soft, touchable shine and definition to curls and coils. Clarify regularly (OR ELSE!) and enjoy a great hair day–everyday.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Extracts of Anthemis Noblis Flower (Camomile), Symphytum Officinal Leaf (Comfrey), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) of Butyrospermum Parki (Shea Butter), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Natural Vitamin E, Glycerin, Propanediol, Poly-quaternuim-200, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-37, Ceteareth 20, Phen-oxyethanol, Caprylyl, Glycol, Sorbic acid, Fragrance



L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Restoring Conditioner

Damaged hair? You’re in luck: L’Oreal set the drugstore hair care standard with this line. This is one of a handful of lines that directly—and successfully–competed with salon products I’ve used in the past.

My Experience

Want to try a drugstore conditioner that will forever change the way you experience drugstore conditioners–for the better? Look no further. This conditioner noticeably improved my hair’s appearance–after the first use!

Psst: The balm of this line is the real star, and I used it as my daily conditioner for months! Read my experience with it here.

It doesn’t “erase” damaged hair, but–yes–you will notice a positive change.

T H E   G O O D

  • Silky, “slippy” texture
  • Glides over hair
  • Melts tangles
  • Sinks into hair right away
  • Rinses away cleanly
  • Under $10 at your local drugstore, Target, and Walmart

Whether my hair was dyed, chemically straightened, or virgin–this left it soft to the touch, every time. It has served me well over the years.

T H E   B A D

  • The scent

It has a sickeningly sweet scent that is so viciously synthetic-honey-plus-cream-plus-floral it produces a wince. And…it lingers. Thankfully, it is less obtrusive in your hair, post rinse, and fades in a couple of hours.


Damaged hair? This is your drugstore HG BFF. It won’t make your damage disappear entirely, but it will noticeably improve your hair’s texture for less than $10.

Ingredient: 1067691 Pt Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Amodimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Behentrimonium Chloride, Parfum/ Fragrance, Dipropylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Trideceth-6, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Potassium Hydroxide, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal,Arginine, Glutamic Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Serine, Cetrimonium Chloride, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, 2-Oleamido- 1,3-Octadecanediol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone. F.I.L. D54574/1 Us Patents: 5,619,523 5,679,357 6,039,962, 7,223,385 7,485,289