Thursday, January 31, 2008

Frenzied Fashion Week Amost Here

Yes, that time of the year is upon us New Yorkers yet again – Fashion Week! The crazy hustle and bustle of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week officially starts tomorrow and I’m so excited. This is my first year being invited to cover several fashion shows. I’m looking forward to seeing all the fashionistas and fashionistos from around the world clamor to see what designers like Tracy Reese, Diane Von Furstenberg, Nicole Miller and tons of other talented fashion designers have in store for Fall 2008.

I will bring you guys with me as I attend the shows, parties and all the craziness that goes hand in hand with Fashion Week. Hopefully, after receiving bad press for not using enough BGs as models in the past, leading designers will take notice and include more of us on the runways. If not, you’ll read about it from me and my fellow bloggers.

Stay tuned for the Fashion Week round-up!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tyra Takes on Magazines!

TV talk show host, producer and former supermodel, Tyra Banks, just solidified a deal with the CW to produce a fashion magazine based reality series for the network. Banks will team up with veteran "America's Next Top Model" producer Ken Mok along with several other producers who make Bravo's "Project Runway," a runaway reality hit.

The new series has been described as "The Assistant" meets "The Devil Wears Prada." The show will also serve as a potential companion to "America's Next Top Model."

"It will be a competition show about aspiring assistants looking to become assistant editors at a fashion magazine," says Mok.

Like with most reality shows, experts are needed. The producers are currently negotiating with a popular fashion magazine to host the contestants. The editors from the chosen magazine will judge, as well as lend their expertise to the competing future journalists.

All magazine and fashion loving reality TV junkies will definitely tune in. I know I'll be watching!

Sweet & Sexy Treats

With Valentine’s Day a mere 2 weeks away, it’s time to tell your beau to check out BGG for great gift ideas! I know that many men and some women feel that it’s the quintessential pointless Hallmark holiday, but what’s wrong with having a day of receiving sweet treats from your significant other?

It’s the perfect excuse to slip into new sexy lingerie and eat deliciously decadent chocolates -- what's not to love? Tell him to start shopping now to beat the mad rush that's certain to ensue days prior to the romantic day.

Here are a few of my pretty gift picks:

Pink roses from 1-800-FLOWERS for $69

Mesh Halter Babydoll Nightie available at Victoria's Secret for $34

Sterling silver diamond accented bracelets available at Macy's $34 each

Burberry Brit "Sheer" Eau De Toilette Available at Nordstrom $52-$72

Godiva Chocolates $85

Kiss Me Exfoliating Lip Treatment available at Macy's for $15

Tiffany's sterling silver heart necklace available at for $405

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Little Sheba Comes Back!

Photo Courtesy of The New York Times

Recently, I saw another Broadway play, this time it was "Come Back Little Sheba," starring S. Epatha Merkerson. Known for her role on NBC's Law and Order, Merkerson plays a faded beauty queen named Lola in this dramatic revival first made popular back in 1950.

Set in a fictional Midwestern town over half a century ago, the show revolves around the character, Lola, who is a frumpy, middle-aged, yet childlike wife of a recovering alcoholic. The play explores the depths of her insecurity, regret and loneliness. Lola is a needy and sometimes annoying woman who desperately yearns to feel loved and wanted by her husband.

Merkerson's strength as a theater actor is truly exemplified in this role. Her expressions and spellbinding intensity successfully conveys to the audience her sorrow and dismay as if it were their own. Her co-star and veteran Broadway actor, Kevin Anderson's portrayal of Lola's alcoholic husband is also quite riveting. He sets the tone for this emotional rollercoaster with his subtle, yet perfectly executed gestures and speech that are akin to real alcoholics and substance abusers. The supporting cast also gives commendable performances and provides humorous spurts throughout the otherwise very serious show.

Even though this domestic drama boasts outstanding performances by seasoned actors, the overall plot couldn't hold my attention throughout the 2-hour show. If "Little Sheba" comes back to Broadway years from now, I'm not so sure I'd come back to see it.

"Come Back Little Sheba" is currently showing at the Biltmore Theater, 261 W. 47th Street in New York City. For ticket information call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Meet Fashion Photographer: Piper Carter

Photo courtesy of Ward/VH-1

Being that I am a die-hard reality TV fan, I tuned in to watch VH-1's photography-based reality show, The Shot a few months ago. I knew I was going to be hooked since it combined my love of photography with addictive reality TV. The show featured the super talented BG fashion photographer, Piper Carter, competing with 9 other up-and-coming lensmen for a chance at photographic excellence!

Her intense passion for her craft and abundant charisma made her an ideal person to interview for BGG. I was lucky enough to speak with her recently. Check out the Q&A!

BGG: Where are you from?
Piper: I’m from Detroit. Actually the exact street of the original Motown!

BGG:Do you currently live in NYC?
Piper: Yes, I currently live in New York City.

BGG: How long have you been a photographer?
Piper: I have been a photographer since 1992!

BGG: What made you decide to become a professional photographer?
Piper: I became a professional photographer because I wanted to make beautiful images of women.

BGG: What kinds of images do you enjoy photographing?
Piper: I am a fashion photographer, so I enjoy working with interesting lighting, locations & situations. I enjoy coming up with cool ideas based on film imagery and sort of recreating the atmosphere or psychological state.

BGG: Describe your photography style.
Piper: My style is a combination of raw, earthy, cinematic, strong, beautiful, simple and fresh.

BGG: What inspires you as a photographer?
Piper: As a photographer, I am inspired by beautiful cinematography in films. Great lighting I see on the street and in the paintings of the masters from the northern renaissance.

BGG: What made you audition for the VH-1 reality TV show, The Shot?
Piper: Actually, I got a call from VH-1’s producers in NYC asking me to come in and audition.

BGG: Do you have any regrets about appearing on the show?
Piper: I am happy I did the show. It was a great learning experience and I received lots of exposure and recognition for my work.

BGG: In three words describe your personality.
Piper: My personality is so vast; I am not sure if I can capture myself in three words or I may give the wrong impression if you catch me on a different day. But here goes: friendly, humorous and inspiring (lots of people tell me I inspire them).

BGG: What was your most enjoyable shoot on the show?
Piper: My most enjoyable shoot was the underwater of course because I won! Plus my image was amazing! I loved the dress, the girl, the lighting. Everything was just gorgeous! I was hoping to capture an image that was breathtaking and I did. I saw my shot in my head as we discussed the plan of action; and I executed it precisely as I saw it. The model took direction extremely well. It was very successful and it felt good shooting it.

BGG: The least enjoyable?
Piper: My least enjoyable shoot on the show was the kids because children are not my aesthetic.

BGG: Why?
Piper: I like to shoot women. I will shoot what the client wants of course, but my aesthetic is women. I like to create images based on the silhouette and structure of a woman’s body, life, etc…I am always thinking about romance when I shoot. For my taste children do not offer what I am hoping to achieve with my images: confident, strong and sexy women living an awesome life filled with romance and beauty. It was difficult for me to “see” children in my images.

BGG: Name a few publications where your work has been featured?
Piper: I’ve had work published in British Elle, Trace, SPIN, Essence and my videos on French Vogue’s website.

BGG: If you could choose one celebrity BG (brown girl/woman) to photograph, who would she be if you haven’t already photographed her?
Piper: Jurnee Smollett, she is amazing! I’ve loved her as an actress since Eve’s Bayou and I had been looking for her in film roles ever since. I love her talent and think she’s absolutely beautiful! She’s very passionate and comes across well on film. I have so many ideas for her. I would love to do collaborations with her and do my fashion film series. I have so many ideas for her. I’ve started doing fashion films: they’re anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes and are purely visual candy). I could shoot her again and again in a studio with the fan blowing her hair and just one light or on location walking on 125th Street in Harlem wearing legwarmers and a leather jacket. I’m just thinking off the top of my head. She’s incredible!

BGG: Is there a tip that you can give BGG readers to help them take their best shot while being photographed?
Piper: Be confident! Don't think too much. Practice in front of the mirror and take lots of self-portraits so you can learn your best angles.

BGG: What advice can you tell other aspiring and younger BGs who want to make it in the male-dominated photography world?
Piper: I can say be true to your image. Learn as much as you can, drink lots of water & get rest because it’s a hectic field. Have faith and shoot everyday! Meet as many people as you can. Daydream a lot! Reach out to companies and let them know you exist. Read trade publications like PDN and get yourself listed in LeBook. Test as often as possible. Always tell yourself yes and practice yoga. Not only does the heavy breathing alleviate stress, but constant stretching helps you get into awkward positions so you can get the best shot!

All photos were taken by Piper. For more information check out her website:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Silky Smooth Skin!

During the winter months, our skin gets extra dry, which is always annoying. There’s nothing worse than having rough and scaly hands, especially if you’re going on an interview or on a hot date. Not to mention it's flu season, which requires us to wash our hands even more in an attempt to ward off pesky germs, leaves our hands super dry.

That’s why we BGs should always keep a travel size hand lotion in our purses. With so many different brands on the market, it’s hard to tell which creams work the best. Being the product junkie that I am, I’ve probably tried and applied them all for you! From the fresia scented dollar store brands to shea butters at L’Occitane, I’ve slathered and lathered them all!

Remember all hand lotions are not created equal! Here are a few of my picks:

Vaseline Intensive Care Hand Lotion $3.99

Jaqua Pink Buttercream Hand Lotion $8

Carol's Daughter Lemon Rose Hand Cream $10

Kiehl's Hand Lotion $22.50

L'Occitane Hand Cream $10

Bliss Body Butter Hand Cream $18

Curel Hand Lotion $4.79

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ears Never Looked So Pretty!

There's no accessory that can transform a BG's look like a great pair of earrings. That's why I have dozens of them. When I interviewed Tyra Banks' stylist Yaniece a few weeks ago, she told me that gold hoop earrings were a BG must-have. Her statement made me think about other earring styles that we should all have in our jewelry boxes.

From classic diamonds to ornate hoops, earrings can instantly take your look anywhere from corporate to glam in seconds.

Take a look at some of my favorites:

These classic diamond studs are the perfect accessory to a well-tailored suit. Available at Macy's from $700-$900

These gold hoops can be worn with anything, but they really go well with flirty dresses. Available at Nordstrom's for $118

What's more classic than these Pave Crystal studs? Available at Nordstrom's for $50

These delicate and girly Joey & Morgan hoops will certainly complement any outfit. Available at Net-a-Porter for $185

Pearls always provide that timeless Audrey Hepburn look. Available at Macy's from $110 to $260

These beautiful Kenneth & Jay gold looped earrings are perfect for a night out on the town! Available at Net-a-Porter for $40

Diamond hoop earrings are a girl's best friend! Available at Macy's for $360

Sleeping Beauty

I don't know about you, but I love to sleep. In fact, I'd rather take a nap than go shopping! Ok, maybe I don't love it that much, but it's definitely one of my favorite pasttimes.

On the weekends especially during the winter months, I sleep for at least 11 hours on Friday and Saturday. Even though I sometimes feel guilty for sleeping in, I always awake feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Studies have shown that we need 7-9 hours of sleep in order to function properly so I guess I'm getting my fair share.

Getting sleep can help improve our brains, heart rate, increase our metabolism, boost our immune system and prevent aging amongst many other health benefits.

I remember reading that singing sensation Mariah Carey and actress/singer Jennifer Lopez both swear by getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night no matter what. Maybe that's why mom-to-be J. Lo always has that glow...either that or a good bronzer! If these super busy globe-trotting divas can find the time to get the recommended amount of sleep, I'm sure we can too!

If you have trouble sleeping, here are a few tips to getting some quality shut-eye:

1. Don't watch television or surf the Internet 20 minutes prior to your desired bedtime
2. Perform a sleep preparatin routine each night (i.e wash face, brush teeth, etc.)
3. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
4. Keep your bedroom quiet and peaceful (NO TVs!!)
5. Don't eat a large or heavy meal before bedtime

Monday, January 21, 2008

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Even though he left this earth 40 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s memory and legacy are still alive today. We BGs and guys should be especially grateful for his contribution toward making our lives better in this country. His unyielding desire for all people to be treated equally despite the color of their skin was remarkable. If it weren't for his courage and others civil rights activists like him, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Take a moment out of your day to stop and reflect and honor this outstanding man's legacy. Be sure to check out your local newpapers or go online to find MLK-related events taking place in your area today.

Also, be sure to watch Oprah's special show today (check your local listings) in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

He may be gone physically, but his dream will live forever!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pull Your Card

We BGs are always networking and mingling. With professional socializing comes the task of exchanging business cards. Whether you hand out your company-issued business card or your side hustle card, pulling this pertinent piece of information from a chic card holder will always add that extra polish to your professional swagger.

Even though we live in an ever-increasing technological world, handing out your contact information on a rectangular piece of good card stock is still relevant. I’m not saying that you won’t immediately take the data you get from the business card and transmit it into your latest cutting-edge PDA, but you have to get the card first.

From a graduate student to a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, exchanging business cards is a must. You never know where your card or someone else’s may lead!

Check out some of these fabulous business card holders:

Available at for $10.95

Available at for $12.95

Available at from $45-$50

Available at for $31

Available at for $14

Available at for $17.95

Available at from $45-50

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Honeymoon is Over!

According to People magazine, it looks like the union between Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds has reached it's end. The couple has allegedly separated after a mere 2 weeks. Although the union in Bora, Bora wasn't completely official since it took place outside of the U.S., the couple was supposed to get married legally in the states, which is not going to happen now.

Is anyone shocked by this? I'm not, but I will say that I didn't expect them to call it quits this quickly. Was it all for publicity? Who knows? There have been rumors and speculation about Eddie's sexual preference. Perhaps there's some truth to his "suspicious" relationship with his best friend who was also his best man, R&B singer Johnny Gill.

In this situation, I feel sorry for all parties involved, especially their children.

BTW...thanks for the heads-up K-Bear!

What do you guys think about it?

Brush Stroke

Any professional makeup artist will tell you that the most important tool to achieving a flawless look is a makeup brush. Neither the top of the line concealer, foundation, eye shadow or blush/bronzer will successfully produce your desired look without being applied and blended with a proper makeup brush.

Brushes help you apply your makeup smoothly with accuracy and precision, which enhances your overall look. Also, you need to be sure to use the right brush for specific areas of your face. To cover all bases, invest in a good set that includes a variety of brushes.

Remember, you don’t have to be a professional to use brushes! MAC brushes happen to be my favorite brand, but check out some of these:

Sephora brushes available at for $150

Smashbox brushes available at $84

Too Faced brushes available at for $72

Pop-up brush canister set available at for $45

Sephora brushes available at for $44

Sephora brushes available at for $32

MAC brushes available at $132.50

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ms. Winfrey Gets Her "O"wn TV Network

Just when you thought that Oprah's empire couldn't get any bigger, it just has. The veteran TV talk show host and mogul announced a deal today where the Discovery Health network will be turned over to her next year, becoming OWN -- the Oprah Winfrey Network.

The cash-free transaction involved Winfrey turning over her Web site to Discovery, while the communications company makes her chairman of the network.

David Zaslav, the Discovery Communications chief says, "The focus of the channel will be the focus of Oprah's brand, which is to educate and inspire people to live the best life they can.’’

"For me, the launch of 'The Oprah Winfrey Network' is the evolution of the work I've been doing on television all these years and a natural extension of my show," says Winfrey.

There's just no stopping the power of O!

One thing's for sure, I will definitely be tuning in!

Additional reporting by Chicago Sun-Times

In the Trenches

Recently, I caught a fabulous sale at one of my favorite stores - Macy's. Even though the Macy's located at 34th Street Herald Square here in New York can be packed with thousands of tourists, sale-seekers and slow-walking shoppers, I decided to brave the fashion jungle anyway.

For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to visit "the largest department store in the world," it isn't for the faint of heart; it takes a die-hard shopper like myself to tackle such a fashion frenzy feat. But boy am I glad I did!!! That day I found a super cute, yet classic black Calvin Klein trench coat for only $106! I was thrilled because the trench was originally priced at $265. Plus, a trench can instantly add sophistication to your look.

As I fought my way in front of a mirror amongst the scores of frantic shoppers to see my reflection, it was love at first sight! I've always had a special place in my heart for coats. I don't know what it is, but a fabulous coat is my fashion weakness. Once I whipped out my Visa gift card (a Christmas gift) to pay the cashier, I anxiously pondered when I'd be able to wear it since it was freezing when I purchased it.

Thanks to the undeniable effects of global warming last week, I was able to rock my new fashion find months earlier than expected. With this unpredictable weird weather, you too might find yourself pulling out your favorite trench before spring officiallly starts. So be prepared!

In the meantime, check these out:

Rampage Alaya trench available at Macy's for $68

Lauren Jeans Co. available at Macy's for $169

Helene Berman trench available at Nordstrom for $328

Bebe trench availale at for $129

Tommy Hilfiger trench available at Macy's for $179

BCBG trench available at Nordstrom www.nordstrom for $298

Robert Rodriguez trench available at Eluxury for $385

The classic Burberry trench available at Neiman Marcus for $995 (this is for the true fashionista with mucho dinero)