Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Belly Bandit Believer!

Being a new mom comes with many challenges. Fortunately for me, battling the post-baby belly bulge is no longer one of them. Immediately after giving birth to Ava, I used the Belly Bandit, which, according to their website, "helps tighten and shrink your tummy post pregnancy."

Prior to using the abdominal wrap, I had heard conflicting stories from other mothers about whether or not the concept of binding actually helps flatten stomachs and redefine waists. I asked myself, What could it hurt to try? So I decided to give it a go and hoped for the best.

Throughout weeks of feedings and never-ending diaper duty, my once-burgeoning belly stayed bound with this band. While helping to hold everything in place, it also provided back support, which was an added bonus. Around 6 weeks post-partum (I took it off from time to time) I decided to give the wrap a rest and couldn't have been more pleased with the results.

Granted, I'm not sure how my belly would've looked post-partum had I not used the wrap, but I'd like to think that this nifty undergarment played a part in helping me regain my pre-pregnancy figure fast.

This photo was taken a little less than 7 weeks after giving birth.

Prices start at $45.95. Visit www.bellybandit.com for more information.

Have you ever used an abdominal wrap after childbirth?

Friday, May 21, 2010

BGG Chats w/Celebrity Hair Stylist Ted Gibson!

From magazine spreads to red carpet looks, Ted Gibson has styled the hair of some of today's hottest celebrities, including Gabrielle Union, Angelina Jolie, Zoe Saldana and more.

Ted's effervescent attitude and knowledge of hair has made him one of the country's most sought-after stylists. He's appeared on a number of shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and most recently as the resident hair guru on TLC's hit series, What Not To Wear. His mantra, "Beauty is Individual," is a testament to celebrating every woman's uniqueness.

Click here for our Q&A!

What's styles are you wearing this summer?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pink Eggs & Glam!

If you've ever had a blemish that you want to conceal, but it's in a hard-to-reach place like near the crevice of your nose, there's a spectacular sponge that will get the job done! Thanks to my makeup artist cousin, Nicole Rogers, I was introduced to this pink, ergonomically-designed egg-shaped sponge by BeautyBlender. It's ideal for those nooks and crannies where you can't properly apply foundation or concealer with your fingertips or a brush. The suede textured-sponge is super soft and blends areas with precision. Plus, this set comes with its own cleanser to keep pesky germs and bacteria at bay.

Beauty Blender Duo Set available at www.sephora.com for $39.95

Have you ever used one of these sponges? How often do you clean your makeup sponges?

**The winner of the Delipscious Sheer Lip Color is CY. Congrats! Please email me your mailing address.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Get Delipscious Lips

For neutral-lip-loving BGs who want to transition into a bit of color for summer, The Body Shop has the ideal lip treat for you! Their new line, Delipscious, has a range of sheer lip colors that provide your kisser with just the right amount of tint, but isn't too bold.

Not only does it give lips a sheer color, but it also moisturizes and is made from food-grade ingredients, including blueberry and pomegranate seed oils. I typically go for glosses, but for a more pigmented pout this is the perfect product. Plus, each of their seven shades work for all skin tones!

Available at the www.thebodyshop.com for $10

Have you tried any Delipscious Sheer Colors? One lucky winner will win a tube. Simply leave a comment and a winner will be randomly selected and announced later this week.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Common Knowledge

Having a successful rap career isn't the only thing Common has in common with Will Smith, Ice Cube, and Queen Latifah. He shares the love of acting with each of these rappers-turned-actors.

In his first leading role as down-to-earth basketball star Scott McKnight in the new romantic comedy Just Wright, Common is showing Hollywood that he has more to offer than just music. I recently had the chance to catch up with him to dish about his new role and why you won't hear him playing the piano anytime soon.

For the rest of my interview click here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

BGG is Joining the Parade!

You guys have been with me since my first post nearly 3 years ago. Words can't describe my gratitude for your comments and feedback. Because of your support, I've been given the awesome opportunity to have my own blog on PARADE.com. Although I'm not ending Brown Girl Gumbo, my new blog - Trend Blend will be very similar in content, but will have some exclusive celebrity Q&As.

I hope that you'll join me at PARADE.com and continue to check out BGG!


Monday, May 10, 2010

BGG Remembers Lena Horne

Lena Horne, the beautiful legendary actress and singer, passed away yesterday in New York City. She was 92. Most known for her role in the all-black screen musical, Stormy Weather, Horne was a trailblazer for African-American actresses. I will always remember her as being Diana Ross's fairy godmother in one of my favorite movies, The Wiz. She will be missed!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

BGG Chats w/Beverly Johnson!

Photo by Fadil Berisha

Before Chanel Iman, Tyra or Naomi ever thought about walking down the fashion runways, there was Beverly Johnson - one of the original "supermodels." Paving the way for countless African-American models, Beverly has strutted her stuff on hundreds of runways and graced a myriad of magazine covers. Not only has this true beauty modeled, she is also an actress and author. But for all of you hair and beauty buffs, Beverly is a businesswoman who owns a line of wigs and most recently a restorative/conditioning and styling product line called, Beverly Johnson Hair Care.

Available at Target, Beverly Johnson Hair Care, has the perfect products to help protect heat and chemically treated hair. I've been using several of the products for a few weeks now and have been thoroughly pleased with the results and I'm sure you will be too!

Check out our Q&A:

BGG: What inspired you to start your wig/hair business?
Beverly Johnson: In 1996, I discovered a wig and hair extension company that was on the verge of bankruptcy. I was presented with the opportunity to partner with the company and against the advice of my business manager, agents and attorneys, I decided to invest in the company. One year later, the company not only was in the black but we were showing record profits. I was grateful that I had found an outlet for my vast beauty expertise and desire to help ethnic women look their optimum.

BGG: What can women expect when they wear your wigs and use your hair products?
BJ: Women can expect to indulge in wigs that truly have been stylized to maximize their specific hair style needs. As for the hair care products, they have been specifically designed for ethnic hair needs.

BGG: What's your favorite product from your new hair care line?
BJ: The Conditioning Pomade--this is a highly effective pomade that smooths edges with optimum results. I think it's the best pomade ever formulated in the history of hair care!

BGG: Do you remember your reaction when you first saw yourself on the cover of a magazine? Did you go out and buy a ton of copies?
BJ: I was on location on an island when my first Glamour magazine cover hit the newsstands. The editor brought the issue with her and showed it to me. When I first saw it, I thought is that really me? I was excited beyond belief. Upon arriving back home, I saw the row of magazine covers in the airport newsstand; it was awesome.

BGG: Why do you think there's been a regression of women of color being represented on today's runways?
BJ: Fashion is cyclical. If you notice all things in fashion have cycles. During the seventies, there was an enormous surge of black models on the runways. Then it lessened. Then the nineties saw another resurgence. Now we are in a holding pattern. It's heartbreaking to see so many stunning black models being under used. As usual, the solution is about having our own outlets to provide employment.

BGG: If you could give only three words describing what it takes for a young woman to have a successful modeling career, what would they be?
BJ: Stunning beauty, tremendous drive and fortuitious LUCK.

BGG: You are not only a phenomenal supermodel, author and actress, but an outstanding business woman too. What do you think you has been the key to your success?
BJ: Nothing comes easy for me. But I do notice that I have tremendous perserverance. I simply keep going and ride each wave of reinvention with dignity, grace and humor!

**One lucky reader will win the entire Beverly Johnson Hair Care line, which includes an Extra Strength Serum, Anti-Breakage Serum, Light Polishing Shine Spray, Strengthening and Smoothing Treatment 2 Vial Pillow Pack, Combing Spray, Relaxing Mousse, and Conditioning Pomade. Simply leave a comment and a winner will be selected randomly and announced later this week.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Great Gifts for Mom!

Now that I'm a mom, I'm looking forward to celebrating Mother's Day this Sunday more than ever! Even though my birthday is only a few days before the special day, I hope my hubby doesn't try to give me one gift for both days - combo gifts are never fun. Hopefully, he'll check out BGG's gift guide to get an idea of what we mothers want. From beauty buys to the hottest new gadget, BGG has you covered.

Check out these gift ideas:

Cotton Waffle Weave Robes available at www.vivre.com for $39 (originally $115)

Bond 9 NYC Chinatown Swarovski Rose Pocket Spray .25 oz available at www.saks.com for $225

Picture frame available at www.figleaves.com for $58

Fruit bouquet available at www.ediblearrangements.com (prices vary)

Apple iPad available at www.apple.com starting at $499

Chloe Marcie Small Leather Satchel available at www.nordstrom.com for $1595

Bliss gift card available at www.blissworld.com. Who doesn't love a spa day?

L'Occitane Nourishing Shea Embrace Set available at www.loccitane.com for $69

Sterling Silver 1/2 ct. TW Diamond Studs available at www.kohls.com for $209.99 (originally $525)

Tarte Super Set available at www.sephora.com for $47 (originally $137) Contains products for the lids, lashes, lips, and complexion in a reusable tote bag.