Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nicole Ari Parker & Blair Underwood to Star in "A Streetcar Named Desire"

Looks like Broadway will soon be featuring a few of our favorite BGs and guys. Nicole Ari Parker and Blair Underwood, Wood Harris, and Daphne Rubin-Vegas will star in the incredibly popular play "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Based on the 1947 original by Tennessee Williams, the stellar cast directed by Emily Mann will surely bring a refreshing twist to the clash of class drama that captivated audiences for decades.

The rehearsals started earlier this week. I can't wait to see this play!

Pictured from L to R: Wood Harris, Nicole Ari Parker, Daphne Rubin-Vegas, and Blair Underwood.

Are you looking forward to seeing this Broadway play? What was the last good play/musical you've seen?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fabulous Photos from the Oscars

Although I was less than impressed by the fashions gracing the red carpet at yesterday's 84th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, I was overjoyed that Octavia Spencer took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in box office hit, The Help.

Despite, not winning the coveted trophy for Best Actress for the aforementioned movie, Viola Davis still dazzled in emerald green with her uber-fabulous natural 'do.

Take a look at some of the stunning BGs (and guys) in attendance:

Octavia Spencer

Sean "Diddy" Combs' "Undefeated" won Best Documentary, where he served as an Executive Producer.

Grammy-winner Esperanza Spalding.

Jennifer Lopez

Pharrell Williams

Robin Roberts

Shaun Robinson 

Sheila E. *Be sure to catch her episode of "Unsung," airing tonight on TV One at 10PM/EST.

Sherri Shepherd

Viola Davis

Did you have a favorite red carpet look?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let The Lip Bar Prettify Your Pucker

Last night I was invited to attend the highly-anticipated Lip Bar launch hosted by fashion blogger Gabi Fresh and sunglass designers Coco & Breezy here in New York City. In case you're wondering, "what's the Lip Bar?" Trust me, you won't be wondering for long. This innovative cosmetic line is well on its way to becoming a coveted brand for adventurous beauty buffs.

Each lipstick retails $20. Click here to purchase.

Founded by Melissa Butler, a BG Detroit native, The Lip Bar is an all-natural, hand-crafted line of incredibly moisturizing lipsticks in shades that aren't for the color-shy.

Founder, Melissa Butler, and me at the Lip Bar launch. 

These super pigmented lipsticks are like Skittles for your kisser. With colors resembling a rainbow's spectrum, The Lipbar boasts a bevy of hues named after popular alcoholic beverages such as the "Bahamas Mama," a  cool coral color and a mint green shade named "Sour Apple Martini."

The Lip Bar team in all of their colorful glory. 

Not only will these lip shades stand out in a crowd, they're made with enriching ingredients: shea butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, and Vitamin E for maximum moisture.

Would you dare to wear these bold, electrifying colors on your pucker? Do you make it your business to support BG entrepreneurs?

Sean "Diddy" Combs to Lead a 'Revolt'

We all know that Sean "Diddy" Combs "can't stop and won't stop," and so far he's holding true to his word. The music, fashion, and media mogul will add one more thing to his many hats: network owner. Yep, our favorite "bad boy" will join the ranks of Oprah's OWN with his new cable channel, Revolt

Scheduled to air in 2013, the Comcast-distributed network will reportedly feature music and pop culture programming with a heavy social media influence.

"Revolt is the first channel created entirely from the ground up in this new era of social media. We’re building this platform for artists to reach an extraordinary number of people in a completely different way. Revolt will be live, like all great moments in television history," Diddy said in a statement. 

In addition to Diddy's new television venture, Magic Johnson and Tyler Perry are reportedly also in the works on their own networks too. Stay tuned.

Will you tune in to Revolt? Do you watch OWN?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Target Exec Laysha Ward Talks Diversity

Anyone who knows me knows that Target is by far my favorite store. The fact that I visit the superstore at least 4 times a week speaks volumes about obsession.

Granted, I frequent the store to stock up on coveted fashions from Missoni to Jason Wu, and other essentials, but also because the "bullseye" gives back extensively. Plus, it seems to understand the importance and power of diversity, which so many other companies still struggle with despite the tapestry of America.

Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations and Target Foundation, reading with a young girl. Photo Courtesy of Target

That said, in honor of Black History Month, Laysha Ward, the President, Community Relations and Target Foundation (who happens to be a BG), spoke in a recent interview with Target's online magazine about community, who inspires her, and more.

Check out a snippet of the interview:

What does Black History Month mean to you?
Laysha Ward: I celebrate the rich tapestry and melting pot that represents the foundation of the United States 365 days out of the year. But I love how Black History Month opens up the conversation on progress we’ve made in helping people of all backgrounds succeed – and the reality of how far we have to go.

How does Target inspire an inclusive community?
LW: The most important thing any company can do is to listen, and I think that is something we are doing very well right now. We are listening to team members from every background, culture and preference. We are asking what it feels like to work at Target – all the good and all the challenges. And we’re using that information to drive decisions about how to make this a more inclusive place to work – and a stronger company all around.

To read the rest of the interview click here.

How often do you shop at Target?

Trend-Setting Styles from 90s' Movie Sets

With the 84th annual Academy Awards airing this Sunday, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of our favorite old-school movies featuring BGs that made an impact on our style.

From Halle Berry’s short and sassy ‘do in  Strictly Business to Janet Jackson’s box braids in Poetic Justice to Nia Long’s lovely deep plum lip color in Love Jones, many BGs across the country went to great lengths to mimic these trailblazing beauty and hair trends from 90s' movies.

Take a trip down movie memory lane:

Halle Berry's role, in 1991's Strictly Business stole the show with her short hairstyle that sent thousands of BGs to salons throughout the country requesting the coveted cut.  

Boomerang showed us brown girls and guys in a refreshing professional light back in 1992, but Robin Givens' long and flowing weave gave hair mavens a new muse to emulate.  

Miss Janet Jackson, the ever-changing style chameleon, brought box-braids to the big screen with her film debut, Poetic Justice in 1993.

We all fell in love with 1997's Love Jones, but Nia Long's sleek wrap do' and daring dark lips also caught our attention. 

Did I miss any movies from the 90s or 2000s that set hair or beauty trends for us BGs? If so, tell me in the comments. Out of these movies mentioned, which was your favorite?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Miss Jessie's to Open "CurlBar" in March

Calling all curly-haired BGs in the NYC area, Miss Jessie's is opening CurlBar next month - the first go-to spot specializing in kinky, curly, and coily strands without the sky-high price tag. At Curl-Bar, customers will be able to get super quick chemical-free service that my fellow naturalistas will absolutely love.

Ideal for the woman who doesn't want to spend hours in the salon, but doesn't want to compromise the style or health of her treasured tresses.

I'm a huge fan of some of their products so I'll definitely give the CurlBar a try when it officially opens March 12.

Check out this snapshot of services:

Do you use Miss Jessie's products? Would you visit the CurlBar?

The Best of NYFW: Tracy Reese & Rachel Roy

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 has finally come to a close, but not without leaving fashion lovers with their bi-annual dose of fierce style both on and off the catwalk.

The fashionistas that descended on Lincoln Center were just as captivating as the professional models who they'd come to see walk the runway. From avant garde getups to prim and proper conservative looks, everyone knows that nothing's off-limits when it comes to fashion week in the city that never sleeps.

While inside the coveted shows, it came as no surprise that the collections that wowed me the most came from my two make-believe besties: Tracy Reese and Rachel Roy. Even though they're not on my speed dial, I have had the pleasure of interviewing both sought-after BG designers.

Their bold, colorful, audacious collections were akin to watching a fashion fantasy come to life by way of exquisitely beautiful beings. Not only were their designs mind-blowingly gorgeous, but their ability to use makeup to further convey their stories was nothing less than a job well-done.  The lovely Mally Rancol worked her magic for the TR show, while makeup legend Bobbi Brown brought out the best in the RR models.

Although spring is near, the fashions shown this week have me anxious for autumn already.

Check out some of the highlights:

Model wearing Rachel Roy

 Model wearing Rachel Roy

 Model wearing Rachel Roy

Model wearing Rachel Roy

Model wearing Rachel Roy

Bobbi Brown's makeup chart for the Rachel Roy show.

Model wearing Tracy Reese

Model wearing Tracy Reese

Model wearing Tracy Reese

Model wearing Tracy Reese

Mally Roncal's makeup chart for the Tracy Reese show

What's your favorite look from these two collections?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Event Recap: Essence Magazine's 24/7 Style Breakfast

One of the highlights of New York Fashion Week for me so far was attending Essence's "24/7 Style" breakfast at Strand Hotel on Monday. The intimate gathering hosted by Essence Editor-in-Chief, Constance C.R. White, was the perfect way to kick-off and celebrate the beauty of black women in fashion. 

Designer Mimi Plange showcased her Fall 2012 collection, which featured breathtakingly beautiful, modern, and sophisticated silhouettes. Three stunning models strutted their stuff in camel-colored, cream, magenta, and burgundy ensembles throughout the venue for up-close viewing. Plange, known for her luxury, chic and sleek womenswear definitely delivered. 

Pictured L to R: Editor Constance C.R White, models, and Mimi Plange. 

Not only were attendees treated to the lovely Plange designs, but were also pampered with manicures from our favorite BG nail polish pioneers - Ginger + Liz Colour Collection. Plus, we were also gifted with crystal bracelets provided by Swarovski Elements.

Pictured L to R: T. Bernie (CocoaChic Beauty), Kathryn Finney (The Budget Fashionista) and me (I think I was just about to blink).

The morning was filled with food, fashion, and friendly networking, which is always great! Be sure to check out for all your FW needs, including street styles, photo diaries, and more. 

Have you been attending any Fall 2012 New York Fashion Week festivities? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Red-Hot Looks for Valentine's Day

Whether you plan to have an intimate dinner with your significant other or have a fun-filled night out on the town with your girls, celebrate Valentine's Day by incorporating the sexiest shade of all -- red, into your look.

From fire-engine red lips to sexy, scarlet-colored stilettos, adding a bit of crimson can instantly create festive flair for the lovey-dovey "holiday."

Check out some of these picks:

Maybelline ColorSenstational Lipstick in "Red Revival" available at for $7.50

Deena Ozzy Faux Snakeskin Envelope Clutch available at for $10

Enzo Angiolini Red Bow Heels available at for $54.99

Ginger and Liz "Draw Blood" nail lacquer available at for $12

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Modern Straight Leg Jeans available at for $100

L'Oreal Color Rich Red Ravishing Lipstick available at for $8

Eight Sixty Tie Dress in "Chili Red" available at for $89

P.S Since red lips can sometimes make your pearly whites look well, less than pearly; preserve your camera-ready smile by applying the Listerine on-the-go teeth whitener pen, as well as gargling with mouthwash for clean and fresh breath. So when your sweetie comes in for a kiss, you'll be confident.

Check them out:

Listerine Whitening Pen available at for $12

Listerine Whitening Plus Restoring Mouthwash available at for $6.29

Are you incorporating red into your look today?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Grammy's Red Carpet Looks

Although Grammy weekend got off to a somber start, the stars still managed to shine brightly for the biggest night in music. From Nicki Minaj's head-scratching red habit getup to Kelly Rowland's blush-toned embellished dress, BGs definitely rocked the red carpet.

Check out the night's looks:

Kelly Rowland wearing Alerta Ferretti

Alicia Keys wearing Alexandre Vauthier Couture with her husband Swizz Beatz.

LL Cool J 

Nicki Minaj 

Rihanna in Armani. 

Taraji P. Henson 

Evan Ross with his mom Diana Ross. 

Who was your best and worst dressed celebrity of the night?