Thursday, February 28, 2008

Breathtaking Bronzers

With spring around the corner, it's time to pick up the hottest bronzers that will make your dull, winter-ridden skin glow and beam with radiance.

I recently tried a Wet n' Wild mosaic bronzer and have been hooked ever since. The mixture of bronzes, golds, pinks and peaches make mosaic bronzers a must-have to achieve a semi-dewy, skin-kissed look.

The combination of colors create a sultry shimmer that will make your skin look as if you've spent weeks vacationing in the Caribbean!

Check out some of these!

Jane Iredale - The Skincare Makeup Moonglow Bronzer available at for $48

MAC Mineral Shimmer available at for $24.50

Too-Faced Caribbean in a Compact Snow Bunny Bronzer available at for $28

Sephora Trio Bronzer available at for $15

Revlon Floral Affair Bronzer available at for $11.69

Laura Gellar Bronze and Bronzer available at for $28

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pop Princess of All Time: Miss Jackson

When I think of a timeless pop icon, only one name comes to mind – Miss Janet Damita Jo Jackson. Often referred to as the sole “sane” sibling of the Jackson bunch, Janet has been making chart-topping pop hits since many of us were born. What BGs and probably some guys didn’t dance in front of the mirror to “Control” or “Pleasure Principle” back in the day? I know I’m not the only one!

Janet always has sing-along, catchy hooks and enviable dance moves that consistently separate her from the cookie-cutter masses. Granted, her voice may not be as strong or intense as some of her counterparts, but she definitely holds her own.

Her latest CD, Discipline (Island Def Jam), which was released yesterday is her 10th studio album to date. It has a funky futuristic sound sprinkled with synthesizers and up-tempo beats. There are several good tracks on the album, my favorite being – "Luv."

The downside of Discipline is that there are too many unnecessary interludes that add nothing to the project. Janet might be in her 40s, but most of these young pop/R&B girls still don’t have anything on Miss Jackson!

What’s your favorite Janet song or CD?

Janet Jackson, 1982

Dream Street, 1984

Control, 1986

Rhythm Nation, 1989

Janet, 2003

The Velvet Rope, 1997

All For You, 2001

Damita Jo, 2006

20 Y.O, 2006

Discipline, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gorgeous Graphic Garb!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a pretty patterned dress! Nothing makes me feel more flirty or feminine than a beautiful frock. That's why I am thrilled that there are tons of graphic-heavy dresses on the market right now.

This season's crop of spring dresses are bursting with bold and colorful prints that will instantly command attention. Wearing stunning graphic-style garb will not only make you stand out in a crowd, but it just might lift your spirits in the process. Who doesn't get happy when they see brightly-hued patterns?

So this spring, brighten someone's day while looking good in a pretty printed dress!

Check out some of these:

Muse Silk Trapeze Dress available at for $178

Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Bodice Dress available at for $138

Julie Brown Printed Halter Dress available at for $258

Express Drop Waist Wrap Dress available at for $69

Kensie Square Printed Silk Dress available at for $98

Double Printed Sleeveless Dress available at for $39.99

Maggy London Printed Silk Dress available at for $151

Monday, February 25, 2008

Must See TV: "A Raisin in the Sun"

Photo Courtesy of ABC

By now you all probably know that tonight is a must-see TV night because ABC is airing, "A Raisin in the Sun," this evening at 8:00 p.m EST.

Written by the prolific Lorraine Hansberry, "A Raisin in the Sun," was the first play written by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. It tells the story of a family living and struggling on Chicago 's South Side in the 1950s. A fiercely moving portrait of people whose hopes and dreams are constantly deferred.

I actually saw the play with the same cast back in 2004 when it was on Broadway. I remember being absolutely blown away by the entire cast's powerful performance, but especially by the surprising acting skills of Mr. Sean "Diddy" Combs. He is the true definition of an entertainer -- successful music producer, TV producer, rapper and now actor. Not to mention his clothing empire, Sean is definitely a mogul in every sense of the word. His talents are endless.

Be sure to watch him take on the small screen alongside Sanaa Lathan, Phylicia Rashad and Tony-award-winning actress Audra McDonald in this timeless and compelling story about family.

Meet Celebrity Hairstylist: Takisha Sturdivant-Drew

If you watched the Oscars last night, you know that there were some beautiful hairdos on the red carpet. Although celebrities' hair always look gorgeous at events, they don't get their coifs that way on their own -- they have top-notch hairstylists to create eye-catching styles. Pantene's Celebrity Stylist, Takisha Sturdivant-Drew is one of them.

Takisha is actress Kerry Washington's current hairstylist and has styled luminaries such as Malinda Williams, Naomi Harris, Brandy, Erika Alexander, Rachel Nick, Cover Girl model Kiara and actor Nick Cannon -- to name a few.

This New York native's work can be seen in films such as the Oscar nominated "Ray," "She Hate Me," "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," "The Fantastic Four," among others. Takisha's styles have also been featured in the print and television commercial ads for clients Pantene, L’Oreal, and Aveda as well as in Vanity Fair, W, InStyle, Essence, Nylon, Hollywood Life, Black Enterprise, and Ebony magazines.

Even though we might not be able to showcase our manes at star-studded events, we BGs take pride in our hair nonetheless. Whether we wear it natural, curly, textured, straight, braided or somewhere in between, our hair is always on point. That's why I interviewed Takisha to bring you guys the hair 411.

Check out our Q&A!

BGG: When did you know that you wanted to become a professional hairstylist?
Takisha: I knew when I was 14 years old that I wanted to become a hair stylist so I went to a Vocational School in Queens and I was at the top of my class the whole time.

BGG: How did you get your start as a celebrity hairstylist?
Takisha: I got my start six years ago when one of my clients referred Kerry Washington to me. From then on I left the salon I was working at and started working for myself and opened Takisha & Associates in Brooklyn, NY. It’s been five years now and business is great!

BGG: What is Kerry Washington's favorite hairstyle?
Takisha: Her favorite hairstyle is something that is not to neat. She loves a soft brushed out wavy look.

BGG: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about African-American hair?
Takisha: That it take a lot of heat. Blow drying, and then using a curling iron at the same time is too much heat for our hair.

BGG: What will be the hot looks for the upcoming spring season?
Takisha: Hot looks for this spring will be short cropped hair styles. Some fun colors like blonde, platinum and red as well.

BGG: What single styling beauty tool should every BG (Brown Girl) have in her home salon?
Takisha: Good question! Everyone should have a flat iron to smooth out their hair really quickly when it becomes frizzy and Pantene products to protect the hair from heat and perfect your styles.

FHI Technique Series 1" Ceramic Flat Iron for $84 available at

BGG: What style do you enjoy creating the most for your clients? Why?
Takisha: I love a curly hair style. It is very sexy, messy, and you can sleep on it but still have a great look the next couple of days.

BGG: Are there any products that you recommend for maintaining healthy hair for both relaxed and natural hair?
Takisha: I recommend using Pantene Relaxed and Natural conditioning shampoo, and the Pantene Relaxed and Natural Deep Conditioning Mask. These products restore moisture and keep hair healthy. You can purchase it at any drug store.

Available at drugstores nationwide.

BGG: What advice can you give a young woman who wants to become a celebrity hairstylist?
Takisha: Know your craft, build an amazing portfolio, get an agent, and always be a professional. After that it’s really word of mouth.

BGG: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me!
Takisha: No problem, thank you.

Be sure to check out Takisha's website: Also, please share some of your tips for maintaining strong, healthy hair!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Oscars BGG Style!

With the 80th Annual Academy Awards taking place on Sunday, I thought that I’d dedicate this post to all of the movies starring BGs and guys that I feel deserved to win or at least be nominated for an Oscar, but were never recognized by the powers that be in Hollywood.

Sure Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Hudson have all fairly recently won the gold and shiny statuette, but there are many other actors and actresses in movies with predominately ethnic casts that have been overlooked throughout the years.

Hollywood seems to be making small strides toward acknowledging and honoring the talents of all actresses and actors who do great work in film, but they still have a long way to go.

This year I’m rooting for Ruby Dee to take home the award for Best Supporting Actress for her outstanding performance in “American Gangster."

Take a trip down memory lane and check out my list of should've-been-winners to see if you agree or can add to it:

Best Picture
“The Color Purple” in 1985

Best Supporting Actor
Laurence Fishburne in "Boyz in the Hood" in 1991

Best Actress
Angela Bassett in "What’s Love Got to Do With It?" in 1993

Best Actress
Jennifer Lopez in "Selena" in 1995

Best Musical Drama (I know that's not a category! LOL)
"The Five Heartbeats" in 1991

Best Documentary
"Hoop Dreams" in 1994

Best Direction
Spike Lee for "Malcolm X" in 1992

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sudsy Scents

Nothing gets my day started like a rejuvenating shower. There’s absolutely nothing better than having that precious alone time to think while lathering up your favorite scented body wash. The warm water cascading over your body gets your blood pumping and energized for the day ahead.

I tend to come up with some of the best ideas while in the shower, plus it’s the only time I can belt out the Alicia Keys’ feel-good song, “No One,” without my husband begging me to be quiet.

As opposed to bar soaps, shower gels always leave my skin feeling clean and smooth. For some reason, bar soaps tend to make my skin feel dull and dry.

Whatever soaps or gels you use, showers are necessary luxuries that I look forward to every single day and I hope you do too!

Here are a few of my favorite soapy suds:

Victoria's Secret Secret Garden Shower & Bath Washes available at 5 for $30

Philosophy Pomegranate Shower & Bath Gelee available at for $20

Bath & Body Works Apple Shower Gel available at for $9.50

Suave Cucumber Melon Shower Gel available at or nationwide drugstores for $1.99 to $2.99 (depending on store and location) I buy mine from Target for $1.99, but they retail for $2.99 at Duane Reade in NYC.

Dove Body Wash Cream Oil Cherry Blossom & Almond Scent available at or drugstores nationwide for $7.59

Carol's Daughter Almond Cookie Body Wash available at or for $13.50

Suave Cocoa & Shea Butter Shower Gel available at or nationwide drugstores for $1.99 to $2.99 (depending on store and location) I buy mine from Target for $1.99, but they retail for $2.99 at Duane Reade in NYC.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Buckle Up!

Even though belts have been prevalent on the runways for the last couple of seasons, it doesn’t seem like the trend is going anywhere anytime soon. Belts are must-have accessories for all women for the spring. Whether you’re plus size or a size 0, a belt can instantly add polish to an outfit. Belts can accentuate and cinch a small waist on curvy women or help create an illusion of a waist for women who have boyish shapes.

Wide belts look best when worn with flowing dresses, pencil skirts and even with tops worn with jeans. While skinny belts worn with the popular high-waisted wide-legged trousers add a sophisticated balance.

Also, be sure to pick up a few in bold primary colors like red, blue and yellow, which are the "it" colors for spring. Belts in these eye-catching hues can bring an ordinary, dull black dress to life!

Whatever your fashion taste happens to be, a stylish belt will definitely spice up your wardrobe. Check out some of these for fashion inspiration!

Leather Woven belt available at for $49.00

Xhilaration yellow belt available at for $15.29

Corset belt availalbe at for $49.00

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Croc-Embossed Belt available at for $74.00

Skinny Metallic Embossed Belt available at for $26.60

Deco Quilt Sash Belt available at for $36.00

Patent Leather Cobalt Belt available at for $8.99