Monday, March 31, 2008

Travel Treats

We all love getting away and visiting new places, but getting to our destinations usually requires going to one of the most dreaded places -- the airport. I don't know about you, but I absolutely hate everything about the airport from the long lines to the loads of lost luggage. Plus, the fact that all of our carry-on toiletries must be less than 3 oz and fit into 1 quart-size Ziplock bag.

Lucky for us, a few bath and beauty companies have created convenient kits and smaller sized-products that will lessen our traveling woes.

What are some of your favorite travel-friendly toiletries?

Check out some of these must-have trial sizes and mini-traveling kits.

Korres Body Butter Trio (1.69 oz. each) available at for $24.50

Bliss Sink Side Six Pack Bath & Skincare Set (1 oz. each) available at for $25

Burt's Bees Travel Shower Kit available at for $12.99

Strawberry Feast Travel Shower Gel and Body Lotion (2oz) available at for $12

6-pc. Travel Kit available at for $7.99

Travel Dental Kit available at for $8

Travel size Oil of Olay Complete All Day Moisture Cream (2 oz.)available at for $6.99

Tea Tree Skin Care Kit (1.5 oz) available at for $30

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Stormy Weather

Unless you live in southern California, chances are that it's going to rain in your area. So we BGs need to be prepared for the uncertain weather that spring brings. What better way to stay dry and chic than purchasing a nice umbrella! Even though there are endless designs, styles, colors and shapes that have a common function, all umbrellas are not created equal.

There are some that will stand the test of time while will others will rip and tear with the slightlest gust of wind.

Whatever brand you choose, just try to keep up with it. For some, that's the most challenging part!

Check out some of my picks:

Scarf Print Folding Umbrella available at for $88

Brown Lace Queen Dot Umbrella available at for $65

Pink & White Printed Umbrella available at for $39.50

Rihanna Sparkles Umbrella available at for $30

Classic Burberry Umbrella available at for $225

Totes Compact Umbrella available at for $9.99

Coach Tattersall Folding Umbrella available at for $88

Mia Green Umbrella available at for $65

Bubble Manual Stick Clear Umbrella available at for $16.99

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Feeling Blue?

Who doesn't love a great pair of jeans? With spring finally here, it's time to take a look at the denim must-haves for the season. The great thing about jeans is that they're durable and can be easily dressed up or down with tops or accessories. This season there's something for everybody -- skinny, cropped, flare, wide-leg, boot cut and capris are all in.

The latest trend is the return of the early-90s light, faded-blue hue! If you like to stand out in a crowd or have a hard time finding the perfect fit, check out Indi Denim, where you can customize your jeans online! From rinses to pocket designs, this site allows you to create your ideal jeans with the click of the keyboard!

We know that fashion is always changing, but one thing's for sure -- the denim jean is a timeless American staple that will always be in style.

What's your favorite denim/jean look?

Here are my picks for this season:

7 For All Man Kind available at for $198

Gap Long & Lean Jeans available at for $48

Juicy Couture Super Wide Leg Denim Trouser available at for $188

J Brand 18-inch Boot Leg Ink Jeans available at for $158

Paige Denim "Robertson" Wide Leg Jean available at for $169

Citizens of Humanity "Kelly" Crop Dark Paris Jeans available at for $154

Kenneth Cole Reaction "Metro" Stretch Denim Pants available at for $79

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

So Glossy!

I recently had a chance to talk with Keisha Nash-Whitaker about her line, Kissable Couture. For those of you who don't know, this beautiful and ambitious woman is the wife of Oscar-award winner, Forest Whitaker.

Being a wife and mother of preteen/teen girls is a full-time job that keeps her pretty busy. Lucky for us, she finds the time to keep our lips kissable with her line of perfectly textured glosses that go on fluidly sans the gooey stickiness akin to other brands. Plus, all of the shades are named after the men in her and her friends' lives. Of course, the Forest hue is her favorite!

If you want a smooth, sexy shine with the right hint of color, these glosses are for you!

Check out our Q&A:

BGG: What inspired you to create a line of lip-gloss?
Keisha: I collaborated with AJ Crimson and we always talked about working on something together. I started out as a model and he’s a makeup artist. So with my background in fashion and his in makeup/beauty, it was a natural transition to merge the two.

BGG: How did you come up with the name Kissable Couture?
Keisha: Well, with AJ being in makeup – the lips are kissable and with me being in fashion, came the couture part. Put them together you have Kissable Couture!

BGG: What was the biggest challenge you faced getting your line off the ground?
Keisha: I wanted be taken seriously. I didn’t want to be seen as this fly-by-night celebrity-endorsed product. I wanted to be known for having a fantastic product. I just had to keep knocking on doors until they eventually opened.

BGG: I know that you created a special Valentine’s Day collection a few months ago, do you think you’ll continue to produce special collections?

Keisha: Absolutely! Life is a special occasion! As we continue to grow, we will continue to surprise customers with new festive collections.

BGG: Do you plan on expanding Kissable Couture to more than just lip-gloss?
Keisha: Absolutely! This fall we will add nail polish that will accent and complement the lip-glosses. In the summer we, we will add 3 to 5 new colors that will evoke hope and change. With the state of the world right now, people want to be positive and uplifting and we want to do that with Kissable Couture.

BGG: How do you balance being a businesswoman, wife and being a mom of 3 girls?
Keisha: For me, I always put family first. I work on Kissable Couture during the day when my kids are at school. Evenings and nights are reserved for my family. I am very multi-faceted. I believe women are able to balance it all.

BGG: Do you have any other makeup must-haves besides Kissable Couture?
Keisha: Yes! I love Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick in Bronze. It's great!

BGG: You have a killer sense of style; do you ever think about launching a fashion line?
Keisha: Definitely, I’ve thought about it a lot. If I did it would consist of chic & comfortable clothes; something that feels like me. I have been known to be in a grocery store in the afternoon wearing pumps – I’m an everyday chic girl!

BGG: In your spare time, what do you do to relax and have fun?
Keisha: I’m always with my hairdresser David; he’s a lot of fun! I also enjoy doing Pilates, yoga, going to the movies in the afternoon with my hubby, attending book club meetings, going to lunch and just hanging out with friends and family.

BGG: What advice do you have for young women of color who aspire to start their own makeup lines?
Keisha: Stay in the game and believe in your product. Know that it’s about quality and perseverance. Iman was my role model. Now there are so many role models out there. Young kids can see presidential candidates that look like them and know that anything is possible. I would say to dream and dream BIG!

Visit to order online and for store locations near you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

BGG: Goes to Brooklyn Fashion Week(end)

BGG was invited to attend the festivities of Brooklyn's Fashion Week(end) this past weekend, but because I was out-of-town I wasn't able to go. You know I had to have someone cover this fashionable event, so I appointed my BGG correspondent YG to bring us the lowdown on the popular borough's fashion fete. Here's her take on the shows:

Brooklyn Fashion Weekend was at Northside Piers parking lot. The parking lot space was transformed into a glam fashion event (or as glam as a parking lot can be) with live music, beautiful artwork and of course beautiful models. I got there Saturday around 5pm for a cocktail reception that had a wide variety of liquors. The fashion shows started an hour late (ofcourse) and I got seated in the 2nd row - not bad!

A model being prepped before the show starts.

The first designer to show was Catalin Botezatu. The line consisted mainly of swim-wear. The ladies' swim-wear was over-the-top with crazy hair, leather gloves and massive jewelry. It was sort of had a Palm Beach resort meets Dominatrix vibe.

Model wearing Catalin Botezatu.

Miss Bruno's line was tied in well with fancy scarves on each model with pockets!

Color Heritage had a vivid and interesting collection, but nothing totally outrageous.

My absolute favorite one was Catou. They put on an amazing performance of a staged martial arts fight to open the show that was followed by a brilliant fashion show consisting of geisha-inspired lingerie corsets with fur! There were also pretty spring-like dresses and lots of beautiful jewelry piled on in a very tasteful way.

There was a consistent trend of feathers around the eyes that I've been seeing alot in fashion magazines.

Joan Vaccianna's show was fantastic too. She has a chic, yet urban twist to her garments.

Model wearing Joan Vaccianna.

Model wearing Joan Vaccianna.

I had a great time on Saturday! :-)

Sunday was a disaster! One of the fashion line's can be best described as clowns meets hobos. I left after 3 shows and 1 awful performance!

That wraps it up!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Poppin' Nail Polish

This season is all about bright and bold colors from head to toe and manicures and pedicures are no exception! There's a nail color explosion underway with vibrant hues like yellow, pink and orange. These bright shades were seen during the Spring 2008 runways and now they're available at our drugstores and nail salons nationwide.

I don't know if I'd paint an electric color on my hands, but I absolutely love bold colors like hot pink on my toes!

What's your mani/pedi preference? Do you prefer a more subdued, neutral shade or do you dare to go bold? Guys, do you even pay attention to the color on our hands and toes? Please share!

Check out some of these colorful Jessica polishes:

Jessica Cosmetic's Cleopatra Nail Color available at for $6.50

Jessica Cosmetic's Pharoah's Gold Nail Polish available at for $6.50

King Tut's Gem Nail Color available at for $6.50

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Trendy Yet Elegant Earrings!

If there's one piece of jewelry that I can't leave the house without wearing, (excluding my wedding ring, although I forget that sometimes) has to be a great pair of earrings!

A few months ago I wrote about the must-have classics like diamond studs, hoops and pearls. But, now with spring and summer on the horizon, it's the perfect time to mix it up a bit with a few trendier choices. I'm not saying ditch your traditional earrings, but play around with some more unusal shapes and designs. Nothing complements a spring/summer dress like a chic, unique pair of earrings.

One of my absolute favorite jewelry line's is Kipepeo, by Kenya native Carol Muthiga. They have delicately ornate feminine pieces that are all the rage in Hollywood. Celebrity BGs like Halle Berry, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys have all worn her jewelry. I'm also a fan of BG indie jewelry designer Illeana Elmore's collection.

Check them out as a well as a few others:

Kipepeo 22K Gold Plated Croissant Earrings available at Szul for $189

Kipepeo Platinum-Plated Silver Zanzi Earrings available at Szul for $129

Kipepeo 18K Gold Plated Feza Earring available at Szul for $129

Illeana Elmore's Gray Tahitian Abalone Shell Earrings available at for $20

Illeana Elmore's "Jessie" Filled Star with Australian White Fire Opals available at for $24

Alexis Bittar Vermeil Caviar Hoop Earrings available at for $325

Forever 21 Beaded Wire Earrings available at for $5

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Great Moisturizers for All BG Hair Types!

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not who you would call a "hair" person. Although I live in New York City, I get my hair done in my hometown, Chicago. I know that sounds crazy, but I head back to the Windy City several times a year. Last year I flew to Chicago 8 times!

Don't get me wrong, I have had my hair done here before, but the agony of sitting in a salon wasting away precious hours is not my idea of time well-spent. So in order to maintain my mane, I wash and condition it on my own in between touch-ups and trims.

As you can probably assume, I'm a simple BG when it comes to hair styles. I typically wear my hair like you see in my profile picture, a chignon or chic ponytail. When I'm feeling adventurous or desperately in need of a change, I'll opt for the undone 2-strand flat twist style. My husband thinks I'm boring in the hair department and he might be right, but one thing's for sure...there are just some styling products that I can't live without. For example, Soft-Sheen Carson's Optimum Dry Hair Healer is the absolute best!! It works wonders on my oftentimes lackluster locks.

What are some of your must-have moisturizing styling products?

Here are a few popular picks:

Soft-Sheen Carson Optimum Oil Therapy available at for $3.99

Pantene Oil Cream Moisturizer available at for $4.99

Kinky Curly's Curling Custard available at for $25

Dr. Miracle's Hot Gro Hair & Scalp Treatment Conditioner availalbe at for $7.99

Motion's Hair & Scalp Moisturizing Hairdressing available at for $4.69

Carol's Daughter Hair Milk available at 4oz. - 8oz. for $12-18

Miss Jessie's Curly Butter Creme available at for $58

Monday, March 17, 2008

Terrific Totes!

Like most women, I tend to carry my entire life in my handbags. Luckily for pack rats like me, this season is all about the tote! Tote bags are ideal for women who have a habit of putting everything in their bags from makeup palettes to books.

Some of the hottest totes can even double as shopping bags, which is a good and chic way to go green. Plus, many of them are perfect for packing spring/summer essentials for those lovely days at the beach.

Unlike other handbags, totes tend to have a sophisticated and structured look that make them stand out from the other designs. These practical carryalls can definitely hold it all without compromising style!

Check out some of these trendy totes:

Tracy Reese "Tangiers" Tote available at for $594

Isaac Mizrahi Tote available at for $39

Juicy Couture "Icon" Tote available at for $75

Kenneth Cole Metallic Leather Tote available at for $103

Saving the Planet Shopper Tote available at for $12.99

Banana Republic Sutton Large Straw Shoulder Bag available at for $198

Coach "Bleecker" Canvas Large Tote available at for $378

Banana Republic Brown & Orange Canvas Tote available at for $118