Future Lawyer in the Making

Zahara Madahah. My name is Zahara Madahah. That name is the cover page of a story that I often cannot believe I’ve made it through. This story was so cold that it can be numbing to tell. A story so dark that it has often made it difficult to envision the light at the end of this long tunnel. But I‘m still standing, and the chapters I’ve written are etched on my heart, for better or worse. Most importantly, this story is mine, and I own it. I work every day to ensure the next chapters are brighter and bolder than the last, and I won’t stop until the pages begin to reflect what my mind knows I can be. My name is Zahara Madahah, and this is my story.

I am 32-years-old, and in that short time on this planet, I’ve amassed a wealth of experiences that have increased my fortitude as well as taught life lessons. I have been divorced twice, and by the same man, at that. This toxic cycle has caused depressive states to become commonplace, and the prospect of a happily ever after to become more and more abstract as each day passed. As a single mother of 4 biracial children, each new day greets me with challenges that most people may stay glued to their mattress, hiding away from the realities of their life. But that isn’t me. I know I have so much to give, and I know the place I am meant to give it is at ***Law School***.

New YouTube Video Alert: Beauty Bakerie Review Part II

Hey everyone and thank you for taking the time to read over my blog. Before I get started, make sure you are following my blog, head over to Instagram @iamzay, and I would really appreciate if you become part of the tribe on YouTube!

In the video linked above as well as embedded below, I give you a breakdown of several Beauty Bakerie products and demo the majority of them with the exception of two. If you have been hanging with me the last few months then, you’ll know about my affiliation with the brand. However, my opinions, and reviews are completely my own and the video of course is not sponsored. If you pop over to their website and see any goodies feel free to use my discount code “ZJAYBB10” it will save you 10% off your complete order and it does work internationally!

Coffee & Cocoa

The first product I used was the Coffee & Cocoa bronzing palette that retails for $38.00 or $34.20…Pssst that’s that price with the discount code. This palette in my opinion would look better on medium to dark tones rather than lighter tones. The palette is “bronze” the colors are gold, brown, and has a beautiful red that appears to have undertones of brown, orange or possibly both. Thus, why being a fair tone it may not be as flattering. But Alas! There really are not any rules in the makeup world that I live in so do you girlfriend!


The second new product I used was the Browies in Dark Brown. This pomade textured eyebrow product is somewhat easy to use if you are used to using a pomade. But if you are not it can be challenging as it is deeply pigmented as well as soft which means lots of product on eyebrow brush and easy to get more than what you want on the brows rather than the little it takes. If you have a precison eyebrow brush I think making hairlike strokes will be easy to do. This retails for $16.00 or $14.40. You decide the cost!

Matte Lipstick

Matte lips are in! But what’s even better is a smudge proof lipstick that doesn’t transfer and stays on for over SIX hours. Yes you read that correctly. I’ve tried it out and it’s the real deal. Beauty Bakerie’s lip whips are the hottest on the market right now. The color I used in video review is Cranberry Stiletto. It is recommended that when applying to avoid using more than three coats. The result of not following the advice(I didn’t at first) makes the lip whip tacky and cakey! I big NO. They retail for $20.00 or in your case $18.00.

Lip Whip Remover

As mentioned and shown the Lip Whip Removers are a must have to accompany the lip whip. You really must watch to see where I’m going with this. It will be a huge hassle to remove without it. For some people that’s an inconvenience, but for $12.60 or regularly priced at $14.00 I’d rather buy and have my matte lipstick stay on my lips and not on my food or coffee cup.

~Glitter sparkles $6.00

~The Do it for the Graham palette is no longer available online. The Riley Rose locations does have some left.

P.S if you enjoyed this post, give it a like, share and of course follow. If you really enjoyed, click the link to watch the video review, subscribe to my channel and well since we’re still talking my IG is @iamzay give that a follow as well.

Until next time,

Zahara J.

A crisis in Flint, Still

A crisis in Flint

Flint’s water supply has become an ongoing issue in the state of Michigan, especially as the water crisis has yet to be fixed since its start four years ago.

For many people, this news broke after nine city current and former state employees were charged. For the citizens of Flint however, this news of toxic water was not new to them. It has been an issue they have been dealing with after the city decided to switch the water system from Detroit, MI water supply. Citizens of Flint complained in May of 2014 , that the water smelled, tastes bad and the color was off putting. That did not deter city officials who adamantly told residents the water was fine to drink.

Within the next year, the EPA and DEQ mentions according to the governor’s office that high levels of lead had been found in the water the citizens use daily. This still did not get the city officials including the EPA and DEQ to acknowledge that there is an ongoing problem.

After several independent research testing done by companies such as the Virginia Tech who also found lead levels elevated and made their research public the city did not want to admit the failing to the people of the city.

Additionally, the back and forth on safe levels of water versus none safe levels of water has caused a major distrust with the residents of Flint and their government. What does not help is knowing that for $100 per day 90% of flints water issues could have been prevented. These unprofessional actions have led many to believe that this was done intentionally and race driven.

According to a CNN report from February 17, 2017 the “Michigan Civil Rights Commission issues a 129-page report saying, ‘deeply embedded institutional, systematic and historical racism’ indirectly contributed to the ill-fated decision to tap the Flint drinking water at a cost saving measure.”

The population of Flint, MI is 54.8% Black, 37.1% White, and 3.73% Hispanic. 3.11% of the people in Flint, MI speak a non-English language, and 99% are U.S. citizens. If this was indirectly motivated by race, in that case 54,691 black Americans out of 99,802 were subjected to poison intentionally. That is a tough pill to swallow.

What happens when all the buzz surrounding the water issues is no longer relevant, when journalist, reporters, and news stations stop reporting on the progress? In short, nothing. Instead we are covering who the Kardashians husbands are sleeping with, or who our President had an affair with prior to being elected. Or as Fox news reported Panda’s being sex crazed. There should not be a wonder why Flint’s residents feel left alone and now without free bottles of water.

Michigan’s governor Rick Synder announced on Friday April 6, 2018 the state will no longer give out free water due to the strides that have led the water to now be at acceptable lead levels. This year it has tested at 4 PPB. Because of the mistrust between residents and the government, the residents are not happy with the decision to stop the water supply. One resident has said in an interview with the Associated Press, “My water stinks. It still burns to take a shower,” she also told The Associated Press. “There’s no way they can say it’s safe.” As a result of this type of feedback local churches are also bracing themselves for a large amount of people who will be coming to request water.

“Mayor Karen Weaver wrote in a letter to state officials on Thursday. ‘Free bottled water should be provided to the people of Flint until the last known lead-tainted pipe has been replaced.’ While this may seem like an easy enough request, Governor Synder have like the original culprits mentioned the saving of money to discontinue these services citing $350 million given by the state via tax payers money and $100 million from the federal government was enough. Furthermore he said, “We will now focus even more of our efforts on continuing with the health, education and economic development assistance needed to help move Flint forward.”

The state will however will continue to provide items such as water testing kits, lead filters and cartridges until the pipes are completely changed by 2020.

What can you do to help? Keep talking about Flint’s water crisis, demand coverage and change. Additionally, continue to reach out to congress and most importantly the governor of Michigan. Email: governorsoffice@michigan.gov Mail: Governor Rick Snyder P.O. Box 30013 Lansing, Michigan 48909 Phone: 517-373-3400 517-335-7858 (Constituent Services). The citizens of Flint are not giving up, today many are marching towards the capital to protest the end of the bottle water program until trust is gained and also until the old rusted lead pipes are replaced.

Resources for Assistance via Michigan.gov

Blood Lead Testing, 810-257-3833, Genesee County Health Department

CORE, 810-238-6700, Call if you need a filter or faucet replacement.

Double Up Food Bucks, 866-586-2796, continues through 2018

FAST Start pipe replacement office 810-410-1133 or faststart@cityofflint.com.

MTA Rides to Wellness, 810-767-0100

Mobile Food Pantry, 810-239-4441, continues through 2018

Senior Services, 810-249-0833, Valley Area Agency on Aging

This story is ongoing as the new events of ending the water program will have new information as the situation develops.

New video up! Black Radiance Review 🖤

New video up! Please make sure to check it out and leave  a comment, definitely subscribe and check out my IG (@iamzjay)

YouTube Alert!

Hey everyone,

Just a quick note. I have posted my very first YouTube video. It is slightly rough around the edges, but whose first time isn’t?

I do hope you all enjoy the video and please make sure to subscribe to my channel!


Zahara J.

A world of baked goodies

Hey guys!

It has been a long time I know. As I mentioned on my Instagram this semester has really kicked my behind! But, it is OK, only three consecutive semesters left and I am done. (For now)

I am so excited to create my first blog in relation to being a new Affiliate with Beauty Bakerie Cosmetics. So who is this company that has sugary sweet names for their products, promotes diversity within their cosmetic line and very engaged with their followers? Well keep on reading current and hopefully future beauty bakers. Without further ado, lets get caking!

But first a quick cliff notes version of the lady herself.

Cashmere Nicole founded Beauty Bakerie in 2011. She is a model of black excellence a term loosely thrown about here and there. She is a survivor of Breast Cancer, no victim. SURVIVOR. Her story inspired me to push forward with my dreams and what I want to aspire to be. Cashmere mentions in her story, she and her daughter were at a church service and she could not wait to fill the bags to help needy families as she was also at one point on the receiving end at a time. This is a story we need to hear and read about. A quote from the website resonated with me, “I wanted to create a brand that contradicted the popular “bad girl” persona that the mainstream was pedaling – to show girls that there’s nothing wrong with upholding a sweet and friendly nature” (Beauty Bakerie Website)

Now that you all have a small backstory, feel free to go on the website and take a peak at the “Our Story” linked above as well for a more in depth look at this fascinating tale.

Now the ReviewEggs

For today’s blog, I am reviewing three different products from this company. My husband was working in Chicago this past winter and I was excited to visit him. What I did not know was that, on the Beauty Bakerie Instagram they would post their products would be in the Riley Rose location at the Altamonte mall. That made my day when I saw that. Like many of you, it is hard trusting a brand or even purchasing clothing that you could not physically touch, see or smell. Long story short, I made my way into the Chicago traffic to get my swatching on. I fell in love. However, most of the products were out of stock like the famous flour setting powder, and some of the new lip whips. I managed to get my hands on the Matte Lip Whip in Fortune Cookie.


This Lip Whip is amazing, honestly I have zero complaints. The claims are, ” its Long-lasting, smudge proof, and water-proof, It’s Vegan! And a disclaimer, Stickiness can result if the product is not allowed ample time to dry or if product is layered with more than 3 layers”.

Is it the truth? Absolutely. I can put this on prior to my morning class that starts at  11AM and it will stay on until about 6:30PM which is the start of my second class of the day. Within these hours, I’ll easily devour a couple of cups of coffee, eat and snack between that and my lips will still be slayed. My only issue is if you do not know to not exceed the three layers, you will definitely experience some stickiness which is not pleasant. However, reading reviews or the product details are really important. Saves a lot of frustration.

My second and probably my favorite thus far is the Blending Eggs Beauty Sponges (I just need a moment to inhale and exhale). Beauties, you get 6 blending egg sponges, I REPEAT SIX blending egg sponges for $16.20! For the newbies joining the Bakerie family, you may not know about the quality, but for the Beauty Bakerie Veterans, you already know the quality was superb! Extra on Extra. One for foundation, One for concealer, and heck on for highlighting too! Or if you are a cool friend give one to another beauty lover just to try out. The claims outside the obvious number of egg sponges you are getting is it Non-latex sponge, washable, vegan, cruelty-free, paraben free and sulfate-free.

I used within minutes of it arriving to my house, that night I received many compliments on my makeup. The only thing different that I did was use my three products I am reviewing today.

Lastly, the nice sized 12 shade palette, Do it For the Graham. Aren’t the names so adorable. Of the 12 shades baked up there are  foil, matte, and duo-chrome eyeshadow. It’s has something for everyone. Retailing for $38.00! It is a hefty price, I definitely can justify making this purchase. *Whispers*  How about $34.20? Sounds a little better right!

The claims are, it is versatile, buildable, Cruelty-free, vegan, paraben-free, gluten-free and blendable. I can agree that these things are very important to Beauty Cakers who are conscious of what we are putting on our body; especially our faces. Don’t nobody  have time for premature wrinkles. But really, I am not your beauty guru with tons of followers, sponsored Ads galore etc. So if I can use this and it looks good on me so can you.

Until Next time!

P.S If you are going to try out any of Beauty Bakerie products make sure to use my discount code to receive 10% off complete purchase, the code can be used as many times as you like with no minimum purchase.  ZJAYBB10

Stay Sweet,

until next time

Z Jay


Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way, I may receive commission if code is used. If there are other products that you all would like me to review, research etc. comment down below. Make sure you are subscribed to my blog, following me on Twitter and Instagram and why not add me on Snap. Made it super easy all my names are @iamzjay



Hey everyone,

Just a quick reminder my YouTube channel is active and make sure you all go to subscribe to it. Once everything gets settled in I’ll be starting my videos. So excited! Tell your friends, family and neighbors. Link is below.

Subscribe to my channel!

The Good and The Bad

Hey everyone! And welcome back to my blog. This month I wanted to do things a little differently and compare two subscriptions. I know I am not the only living soul who is doing this, however, for my purposes it really is to see how the company actually uses my reviews to “customize” my next month’s bag along with my Beauty preferences.

Each month both companies gives you a chance to review and rate each of the products to help with future bags and boxes. I do not have much experience with Birchbox to judge whether or not they actually take heed to what we review on our personal accounts. Ipsy, however, seem to always hit the nail on the head. So without further ado, let’s get on with the review.

First up is Ipsy Bag:

* Ipsy Mesh Bag: I have a niece that plays basketball and she always has to have her mascara and eyeliner. That pretty much is her makeup routine. So this bag was super cute and convenient for those sporty gals that need to bring along travel size products in a gym bag. Of all the bags I received I would say this was by far one of my favorites and more universal.

* Real Chemistry Fresh Start Foaming Cleanser- The claims with this product is that it hydrates the skin without leaving it dry. Well for me it was a miss. Although the company says the formula is gentle. I had a really bad breakout for me. Right after I used it the first time NINE pimples decided to join my face. And my skin was not hydrated, rather it was dry. This wouldn’t be good for my T zone area since I have a combination skin. Oily and Dry, but I do not want to continue using, since my skin had some type of reaction all three times I used. Smells nice though.

* TheBalm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer: This brand never fails me. Pigment is buildable, and I preferred to apply with a beauty sponge rather than a brush. It applies better in my opinion. I loved the soft shimmer color very subtle and smooth. TheBalm is now easily one of my favorite brands.

I did not review two additional products from this month due to them being damaged and needing to be replaced.

And now Birchbox: The first month the company blew me out the water. I mean they pulled out the big guns and sent me all sorts of goodies. January would be my second month subscribed. Still not a good amount of time for me to judge whether they are able to keep up with beauty preferences and customizing boxes. I sure hope so considering what I received this month.

*Gold Lust Dry Shampoo: A complete disaster, as a woman of color this type of product would do nothing for my hair and its texture. I used it thinking lets give it a go and my hair if it had eyes would have been side eyeing me. This makes me think that they aren’t really looking at the preferences. I put kinky and thick hair. The Dry shampoo, although smells great, is not in the cards for me.

* Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer: It claims to meet the demands of dull, tired and dehydrated skin…plumps and hydrates skin. I will say that I will be ordering the full size of this product. It does everything that I need it to do. My skin is soft and doesn’t flake or look washed out. I used this with the Coola Mineral Face Matte Tint and Baby! It changed my makeup game.

* Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Matte Tint: My T Zone is super oily, especially my nose so I try to always use a matte primer on my nose. Well with this I was able to use around my T Zone. Before applying my foundation, contour, highlight, and blush. I have to say this was one of my better makeup days. Even my husband raised an eyebrow or two. 😉 My nose appeared pour-less, and after almost 9 hours my makeup still looked great.

Want Makeup Deets? Send me a DM and if requested enough I’ll create post

I included a sneak peak video Birchbox has uploaded to Youtube for some of the goodies picked out for February’s Box. Be sure to check it out.

Overall, this month Ipsy was my favorite subscription as opposed to Birchox. I am getting products that are beneficial to me and resonate with my beauty preferences. I know that my Birchbox is fairly new, and it may take a few months for their team to get this correct. If you are interested in subscribing I’ve made it easier to navigate to either of the two. Both subscriptions are $10 per month and this also included shipping and a total of 5 products in each bag/box.

Birchbox Subscription

Ipsy Subscription

Thanks for reading until next time,

~Z. Jay

***Be sure to follow me on Instagram @iamzjay***

Birchbox Subscription

Ipsy Subscription

One Too Many Martinis Skincare Routine

What is the Golden Rule when it comes to makeup? Anybody… How about you, yes you who is reading.

Rule number one: Never…Ever…Sleep…With…Your…Makeup…On…EVER.

Well I am here to tell you that some rules are just meant to be broken. Of course I say this with every bit of caution. I personally will always try to take my makeup off, even if it is just with Makeup wipes.

But, there comes a time, a party, a late night-cap that leads to several that really gets us off our routine. Now, I am not a “Beauty Guru” by any means nor am I a dermatologist. What I am is a person that wears makeup, drinks Wine & Cognac and ultimately at times have one too many where literally the last thought is OMG I have my makeup on!

It’s more like, where is some water, bread, hell a bed and pillow is my thoughts if I am being completely honest.IMG_0187

I know I am not alone in this. I have done my research and spoken to many different women. We don’t have to feel bad about leaving our makeup on when it’s that type of night.

We also shouldn’t feel like our skin magically gained several wrinkles, extra pores, three pimples, dark bags, and a partridge in a pear tree. I won’t make too  much more small talk, so without further ado let’s get it rolling.

OK, more specifically using makeup every day and sleeping in it is gross and it is really bad for your skin. Now that we got that statement out the way we can focus on what this post is about. That is, the maybe once in a month type of lady or even a couple.

What do we do when every Article and every Blogger out here tells us we are doomed and cannot age gracefully?

We go to the experts. As blogged by Simone Kitchens in an interview with Dr. Eric Schweiger (founder of the Clear Clinic) and Dr. Erin Gibert (Dermatologist) what actually happens to the skin in the scenario I am writing out.

The short answer is absolutely nothing. However, long time exposure to sleeping in makeup can and will cause Acne, Healthy Collagen breakdown, and clogged pores. View Full Article Here!View Full Article Here!View Full Article Here!

So what the heck do you do when you’ve had a long stressful day or for some one too many martinis?

You bring back all the health you can to your skin, you treat it right. Without being too weird its like you make-love to your face. OK, that sounds a bit weird but I hope you all are getting my point.

I literally treat my face to an hour of in-house spa treatments. Remember, this is just for emergencies, like that over the counter stuff you buy when you are feeling a little sick.

  1. Step One: Gather all of your items you will need. In my case it’s a two clean face towels. One for gently washing the skin and the other to steam your face. And my products I’ll be using 100% Argan Oil, MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator, and Philosophy Pore Extractor. Pic too
  2. Step Two: First, with a little Argan Oil, gently massage it into your skin (You’ll thank me later for this step). For some this could be a waste of time and product but your skin will love you for it. After massaging into the skin and on eyelids. With warm towel number one and only water wipe your face. You’ll notice right away the makeup is breaking down due to the oil and the warmth from the towel is divine. After this quickly wash face with general cleanser
  3. Step Three: Directly after cleaning as much of the makeup and pollutants you fell asleep with off your beautiful faces it’s time to clean! For me I personally use a cleaner that will concentrate on my pores. My pores are huge on my nose and the majority of my skin care products focuses on these areas. For that reason I use Philosophy’s  Purity Pore Extractor. It says it’s supposed to shrink the look of pores, scrub away blackheads, and draw out impurities. So far it works for me and I use it versus others I have due to its effect on my skin. When I use this I gently message on my skin and leave on until the clay is completely dry after rinse it off with warm water. I must say my skin feels like a baby’s bottom! So smooth, I absolutely love this stuff.
  4. Step Four: By now the makeup for the most part is off, but there could be a culprit that is left waiting to dive deeper into our pores. That is why this step is my safety guy. It has my back all the time and it feels so damn good. If I could I’d just rub my skin with it everyday.  I use my Mac Volcanic Ash Exfoliator. The ladies and gents that uses exfoliants for their faces or body know what I mean. All the dead skin is gone, surface blackhead stands zero chances of making it past this step. And best of all. Your skin just starts to glow! I personally leave on after rubbing gently in my skin for about 10 minutes. It gets dry a little and then I go ahead and rehydrate the product with water and rinse off. According to Mac this can be used 1-3x a week.
  5. Step Five: We are almost through! After having a clean face it’s like a blank canvas now. There is nothing on your skin and if you look in the mirror you’ll notice brighter, smoother, and plump skin. But alas! We are not done. After you take a few minutes to admire your skin while it air dries. Get towel number two ready. If you have an actual face steamer good for you! If not hot water on the towel, fold in as small a part as you can and reopen the towel. Ideally you want this to be as hot as you can stand. Once you unfold the towel let it cool down for a little. The time would be dependent on how hot the towel is. You don’t want to burn your face. Cover your entire face up to 3x repeat the fold and heat process. When you cover your face try to cover your whole face. Lean back and try not to fall asleep standing. It really feels that good!
  6. Step Six: Finally once your skin is completely dry from the steam, add moisturizer back your face. You definitely want to use one that is lightweight and will not clog the pores your just cleaned out. I use my Argan Oil again for this step or if I want to change it up I’ll use my Sephora Instant Moisturizer + Cream. That keeps my skin hydrated all day!

Hope you all enjoyed reading! If so make sure to subscribe/follow my blog if you are not already. Follow me on Instagram @iamzjay! Thank you all for reading and your support.  If there are things you want me to review or write about comment below or contact me through the “Contact Section” Also DM on Instagram. Until next time!

~Z. Jay