Thursday, April 29, 2010

Brush Stroke

Even though I'm not a big hair person, there is one styling tool that I just can't live without - my paddle brush. Because I wrap my hair, using a paddle brush to smooth my strands is essential to keeping my hair looking healthy. Brushes in general are such important grooming tools for most hair types, especially for those of us who wear longer styles. A good hairbrush can de-frizz, tame flyaways, smooth, detangle and even make hair shinier! From ceramic thermals to boar bristles, every BG should own a great hair brush.

Do you use a brush to style your tresses? Check out some of these:

2-Tone Soft Grip Large Hardwood Round Brush available at for $7.99

Contour Oval Cushion Brush available at for $3.99

Prego Ceramic Round Brush available at for $6.49

Detangler All Nylon Hair Brush available at for $82

Ion Titanium Paddle Brush available at for $5

Kent Natural Shine Large Cushion Porcupine & Bristle Brush available at for $24.25

Olivia Garden Pro Thermal Round Brush available at for $14.36

Spornette Spiral Ceramic Brush available at for $14.99

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Queen Knows Best!

Queen Latifah is one of our country's most talented entertainers. The Queen first hit the scene as a rapper, but has now blossomed into an outstanding Oscar-nominated actress, singer, producer, Covergirl and now author. Her new project, "Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom," is an inspiring and empowering book for women.

Latifah shares her own life experiences to help encourage women to be confident, strong and independent. From the importance of giving back to loving the skin you're in, Latifah tackles many issues that can improve a woman's self-esteem and self-worth. "Put on Your Crown," is a must-have book for every woman looking for an uplifting read.

Available in bookstores nationwide starting May 6th.

Are you a fan of Queen Latifah? One lucky reader will win a copy of "Put on Your Crown." Simply leave a comment and a winner be announced later this week.

**The winner of the IMAN foundation is Nicole Rogers. Congratulations!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Revitalize with Vitamins!

Now that I'm a mom, I'm doing my best to stay healthy so that I can actually be around to see my daughter grow up. In order to embrace a healthier lifestyle, I've ditched my daily intake of gummi bears for a daily dose of vitamins. I'm currently taking a multivitamin with minerals and iron to help combat my anemia. Prior to being pregnant I never took vitamins, but now I've made them a part of my routine and the results have left me feeling more energized.

In fact, the American Medical Association recommends vitamin supplementation as a way to prevent heart disease. The benefits of taking vitamins are bountiful and I'm glad to finally be onboard!

Do you take vitamins? If so, what kind?

IMAN's New Makeup is a Must!

Last week I was invited to the launch of IMAN's new Luxury Radiance Liquid Makeup at the Affinia-Shelbourne Hotel here in New York City. Since I'm already a fan of IMAN Cosmetics I was really excited about learning and testing this new addition to her makeup line.

At the event, Iman, the gorgeous and surprisingly humorous supermodel, spoke with us about the benefits of wearing her foundations while 3 lovely models of different skin tones were showcased to demonstrate the precision of the product; the colors blended with each of the model's skin-tones perfectly. With 8 different shades, you're bound to create a perfect match too!

One of the models getting her makeup done with the new foundation.

After seeing how great the models looked after their makeup application, I was looking forward to giving it a go myself. Because I only wear a tad of foundation under my eyes (to help blend my concealer) I was a bit hesitant to apply it over my entire face, but was pleasantly surprised at how far a little (4 small dots) foundation goes. It gave me a nice overall coverage without looking too heavy or overly made-up. It basically just helped even out my skin-tone.

The added bonus is that this mineral-enriched makeup is a composition of natural plant extracts acai and magnolia, and vitamin E, which we all know does wonders for the skin. All in all, every BG should have some IMAN cosmetics in her makeup bag because her collection really complements our various skin tones.

Luxury Radiance Liquid Makeup available at select drugstores nationwide for $15

Are you a fan of IMAN products? Would you try her new Luxury Radiance Liquid Makeup? One lucky winner will one a foundation in the color of her choice. Simply leave a comment and a winner will be selected randomly and announced later this week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brown Girl of the Week: Trisha R. Thomas

Earlier this year I asked if you guys would like to read about fabulous women doing great things in a new column called, Brown Girl of the Week, and you all responded with a resounding "YES." For the first installment, I had the pleasure of catching up with Trisha R. Thomas, a celebrated writer who has authored over 10 books and is most known for her popular best-selling "Nappily" series.

In bookstores May 25th!

Check out our Q&A:
BGG: What can your fans of the "Nappily" expect from your new book, "Un-Nappily In Love"?
Trisha: Venus and Jake are together. That's the first and most important thing. I get that question more than any, will Jake and Venus stay together? Now more than ever it's crunch time. Jake is a celebrity from his rap background and in "Un-Nappily In Love" he's living his dream as an actor. He stars in a movie with the new 'It Girl' Sirena Lassiter, who also happens to share a past with Jake that will come to light. I'm hoping fans of the series will love this ending more than all the others.

BGG: Congratulations on your first novel, "Nappily Ever After," being adapted into a Universal Pictures movie starring Halle Berry! Did you ever think that any of your books would be brought to the big screen?
Trisha: I never envisioned my book being made into a film. All I wanted was someone to read it and get what I was saying, someone to co-sign and say, 'yeah, that's the truth ain't it.' But to hear a resounding, "hell yeah, that's the truth!"made me smile, and cry at the same time.

BGG: At what age did you know that you wanted to become a professional writer?
Trisha: Probably at age six or seven. When I could read, I knew I wanted to write.

BGG: What do you do to get back on track when you have a case of Writer's Block?
Trisha: I love this question. I'm not afraid of Writer's Block. I believe in its power to make you a better writer. My philosophy is this: When you hit the brick wall and you can't go around it, or over it, you need to back it up so you can see it from a distance. The brick wall means, you've gone as far as you can go and it's not leading in the right direction. Put the story in reverse, make a U-turn and go to the place that made you smile, made you confident. Start over right at that point. Writing requires more re-writing than most people realize. There's nothing wrong with starting from a fresh perspective.

BGG: Do you create your characters based on a mix of people who you know personally or are they based solely from your imagination?
Trisha: The characters from Nappily Ever After were very close to my mind and heart. I penned it with my past and a dash of imagination. Now I write completely from imagination with a dash of my past.

BGG: What's your favorite book? Why?
Trisha: My all time favorite book for the longest was "A Ship Made Of Paper," by Scott Spencer. I must've read it three or four times. I love the way he writes putting you right in the story. Contemporary writers have a bad reputation as being too aloof with feelings, descriptions, and overall presumption. And it's true. Most contemporary writers expect you to know what the street, buildings, sky, everything should look like. A lot of fill-in-the-blank-here. But what if your book actually made it to 2050? Wouldn't you want someone to know what it felt like in 2000, 2010, 2020? It's important to capture the depth of your time period whether it's now or written for a story in the 1800's.

BGG: What advice would you give to an unpublished author who is struggling to get a book deal with one of the popular publishing houses?
Trisha: I'd say, focus on the writing first and the publishing later. Get a full story written which is about 75,000 words. Have it read by as many people who you can find, and get their feedback. If there's a consistent theme or question unanswered, rewrite and answer those questions. When all that is done, you're ready to start submitting to agents and publishers. You can also go to press independently. Being with a big publishing house doesn't create a bestseller. I know many authors who had great success as self-published writers and then signed with large publishers, only to be disappointed with dismal results. i think a good story will sell regardless of who's doing the publishing. I love a good story with characters who you can root for. Write and be that character who succeeds in the end. Nothing can stop you when you have that attitude of finishing the race no matter what.

Have you read any of Trisha's books? If you've read her debut novel, "Nappily Ever After", are you looking forward to seeing the movie adaptation? Be sure to check out BGG in the coming weeks for your chance to win a copy of her latest book, "Un-Nappily in Love."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sole Food

If you want your feet to stand out this spring, get them noticed in vibrant, candy-colored shoes. Nothing says fresh and fun like a bright pair of pumps, sandals, heels or platforms. Ditch boring basics and pair these festive hues with flirty dresses and skirts of the season.

Do you wear bold shoe shades in the spring and summer?

Check out some of these:

Tory Burch Wrap-Up Heel available at for $325

Sigerson Morrison Strappy X-Band Sandal available at for $350

Purple Snakeskin Urban Gladiator Heel available at for $29.98

Nine West Cawley available at for $88.95

Martinez Valero Haley available at for $179

Christian Louboutin Neuron Suede Sandals available at for $645

Charles by Charles David Notty Shoes available at for $98

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bloggers Who Lunch: Sponsored by Aveeno

Unlike today in New York, Wednesday couldn't have been a more picture-perfect day to lounge atop the Gramercy Park Hotel overlooking Manhattan during a lovely luncheon hosted by Aveeno. Since I'm still out on maternity leave, it was a great opportunity to go into the city and socialize with fellow writers and bloggers to converse about Aveeno's newest product line, Ageless Vitality.

Not only did I have the chance to munch on tasty bites, sip chilled pineapple juice and chat with like-minded women, I actually had the opportunity to speak directly to one of the scientists behind the product. Learning about how the product was made and all of the testing that goes into making it top-notch quality was absolutely fascinating. I've always been a huge Aveeno fan, but now more than ever!

Are you a fan of Aveeno products?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mani Mania

Since we are still living in a recession many women are continuing to cut back on beauty-related luxuries such as visits to the spa and nail salons and opting to take matters into their own hands - literally.

Equipped with a great manicure kit, it is possible to pamper yourself with a marvelous mani in the comfort of your home without spending much money. Granted, it may not look as polished as a professional job, but it will still look good and keep a few extra dollars in your pocket.

So skip a few trips to the salon and grab some pretty polish, a nice kit and do it yourself! You'll save a bundle and still have beautiful hands.

Have you cut back on any beauty-related luxuries? Do you ever do your own manicures?

Check out these manicure kit!

The "Mani" Happy Return Set available at for $100

Say Yes to Carrots Manicure Set available at for $19.99

Sephora Manicure Set available at for $30

Juicy Loves Sephora Manicure Set available at for $25

Bath & Body Works Manicure Set available at for $8 (originally $18)

Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Manicure Set for Hands available at for $28

Tweezerman Petite Manicure Set available at for $20

**Btw, the winner of the Snapfish $50 gift card is YaHighness! Congrats and please send me your email address. :-)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Snap Happy!

Last week my beloved Macbook crashed and I ran the risk of losing all of my precious photos (like the one below) of my daughter Ava. Luckily, after shelling out a couple hundred dollars, I was able to get it fixed and retrieve all of my photos. In the past, I have not always been so lucky. That's why it's so important to print your digital photos.

Ava in her Easter bib. I'm printing out all of my pics just in case my computer decides to tank again.

For all of my fellow photo lovers, Snapfish is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this week and offering several outstanding discounts and promotions on prints, photo books, etc. Visit their site for more information on how you can sell and share your own creative card designs, photo book layouts and more (starting this summer)!

Also, Snapfish is offering a $50 gift card to one of my lucky readers. Simply leave a comment and a winner will be selected randomly and announced later this week!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dreamgirl Diet

As most of you probably heard yesterday, Jennifer Hudson is the new spokeswoman for the popular Weight Watchers program. Our favorite dreamgirl has lost a significant amount of weight after the birth of her son. According to Hudson, this isn't a diet, but a lifestyle change. I commend Ms. Hudson for being a curvy BG, but still trying to be more health conscious.

I've always heard such great things about Weight Watchers, but have never been on any diet; but I do love their frozen meals!

Have you ever tried Weight Watchers? Have you ever been on a diet? Do you think diets work? Please share.

**The winner of the Covergirl Queen Collection Bronzer is K-Bear. Please send me your mailing address. Congrats!