Friday, March 30, 2012

Get Beyoncé's Vibrant Boho Chic Look

 Beyoncé stepped out yesterday in New York City donning a fitted neon pink tee paired with a pretty, floor-skimming print maxi skirt. While some may think the new mom may have gone a bit color overboard with her get-up, but I'm personally OBSESSED with this look!

Beyoncé out and about in NYC.

I have a tendency to purchase anything pink and if it's bright, even better! If you're like me and think the Queen Bee rocked this vibrant, boho ensemble check out a few pieces to replicate the electrifying look (warning: most of these maxi skirts come with a hefty price tag!):
       
Do you like Beyoncé's boho chic look? Are you a fan of maxi skirts?

Partying for a Cause with Petals-N-Belles

We BGs know that the only way to move forward in life is to give back. That's why I was so excited to attend the Petals-N-Belles' Limitless 2012 one-year anniversary event at Greenhouse here in New York City earlier this week. Founded by Damali Elliott last year, Petals-n-Belles is a New York-based mentoring  organization created to empower and inspire young girls.

Hosted by 106 & Park TV personality, Rocsi Diaz, the fabulous fundraiser was co-chaired by ESSENCE's Editor-at-Large, Emil Wilbekin and social media maven and founder of Dinner with Bevy, LLC, Bevy Smith. With over 300 attendees, Petals-N-Belles raised over $10,000 to help support its spring and summer mentorship programs.

Not only did guests give back, but they also mingled and partied to the tunes of DJ Kiss. Plus, some of the mentees were present and spoke positively about the powerful influence of Petals-n-Belles. Having only been established for a year, Elliott is well on her way to improving and impacting the lives of countless young girls one mentee at a time.

Check out these pics from the event:

From (L toR): Petals-N-Belle founder, Damali Elliott, Shantelle (singer), and Rocsi Diaz


Event co-chairs: Essence Editor-at-Large Emil Wilbekin and social media maven/Dinner with Bevy LLC founder, Bevy Smith

Chrisette Michelle

Petals-N-Belles partner Isis Adewale and Board member Larry Ossei-Mensah

All photos Hannan/Selah/Essence.com

For more information on Petals-N-Belles, please click here.

Do you mentor? Were you or are you currently being mentored? 

VIDEO: How to Diagnose Rosacea

Remember last year when I went to the Emmy's on behalf of Galderma? Well, in between soaking up the sun and stargazing in L.A, I had the pleasure of speaking with celebrity dermatologist Dr. Deborah Luftman about how rosacea affects us BGs and guys. Although we aren't as susceptible to the skincare ailment as our fairer-skinned counterparts, some of us do suffer from the condition.

Watch Dr. Luftman describe how to diagnose rosacea:

video


Do you suffer from any skin conditions?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Event Alert: IMAN Cosmetics Spring In-Store Makeovers

If you're a Georgia peach looking to spruce up your spring beauty routine, there's a super sweet event taking place in your neck of the woods this weekend. IMAN Cosmetics, the quintessential makeup line for women of color will be hosting mini-makeovers and one-on-one consultations at select Wal-Mart stores throughout Georgia, March 31st.


These in-store events will showcase IMAN's new Spring 2012 Collection, "Sweet Temptations," featuring bold pops of colors and irresistible shades to enliven your look. This collection of complementary hues for women of color is the perfect palette to usher in the spring season.

Click here for more details.

Have you ever worn IMAN Cosmetics? If so, what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Over the Moon in Cancun

A few weeks ago I shared with you that I was taking a mini-vacation. Well, that much-needed break involved a ton of sun, great food, and even better music in Cancun, Mexico! I know what you're thinking, "Isn't BGG well beyond her wild partying college days?"

You're correct, my college years are behind me (I still can't believe it's been 10 years since I graduated - yikes!), but you're wrong if you think Cancun is solely the hotspot synonymous with rowdy college spring breaks and nonstop partying.

Granted, you will have a good time in Cancun if co-ed crowds are what you're looking for, but the city has so much more to offer if you're not. The city is becoming the go-to-spot for luxurious lounging, exquisite dining, and even music.

During my stay at the Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort, I experienced top-notch service in addition to a full-on concert (it was included in the package) by Latin pop sensation Enrique Iglesias, which was attended by over 10,000. Plus, the mouthwatering cuisine from room-service and the numerous restaurants on site satiated my bottomless pit appetite.

From sipping strawberry margaritas by the pool to visiting an exotic crocodile zoo to dancing the night away at a concert, I found Cancun's Palace Resorts to be a destination ideal for music-lovers looking for relaxation, good food, and outstanding service. 

Check out some of my pics:

On my way to a cocktail party.


One of several pool areas on the resort.

During my visit to the CrocoCun Zoo.

I LOVED this lime sorbet. It was refreshing and had just the right amount of tang.

A lovely view from my room.

I didn't realize just how hot Enrique Iglesias was until I saw him in concert!

Do you have any spring break or summer trips on the horizons?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

BGG Chats with Beverly Johnson

Beverly Johnson's enviable cheekbones, smooth cocoa brown skin, almond-shaped eyes, and megawatt smile defined black beauty in the 70s and beyond. Having graced more than 500 magazine covers throughout her career, including the coveted first Vogue cover featuring an African-American model, Johnson, 59, has staying power that's proven that she's by far more than just a pretty face.


The model/actress who can be seen in Tyler Perry's latest film, Good Deeds, also recently relaunched an eponymous haircare product and ponytail line available at Target and Beverly Johnson. Plus, she's heading to the small screen with: Beverly's Full House, an OWN networked-produced docu-series guaranteed to give us a glimpse into the woman behind the magazine covers, movies, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

I recently spoke with the super talented supermodel-turned-mogul about her upcoming projects, being a grandmother, and more. Check it out below:

On getting her reality show on Oprah's Winfrey's OWN network.
"The last time I was on her (The Oprah Winfrey Show) show, I told her that I had a couple of great shows that I'd like to pitch to her. I had a pitch meeting with her producers and they were like, "Wow, that's a great show and wow, that's a great show." Then I said that there was one other show that I didn't have completely fleshed out, but I started telling them about the funny stories about my daughter and her family moving in with me. And they were like, "That's the television show."


Sneak Peek: Watch the First 5 Minutes of Beverly's Full House

On becoming a grandmother.
"Yay, baby Ava! I'm so in love. She's 8-months old. The name (Ava) is coming back. I chose the name. It's such a beautiful name and it's romantic, but it's strong. It just has so much character. What was so beautiful about Beverly Johnson's Full House is that Ava's whole life is recorded since the time she was born. It's kind of nice because all of that is documented."

On what she learned from taping Beverly's Full House.
"I was surprised to learn things about me. I'm an authentic person to begin with meaning I don't really put on airs, but you really see yourself for who you are and what was so interesting with this show is that you learn so much about yourself. I'm thinking that i know everything about myself, but I realized that I really don't know anything about myself. I'm watching it and saying, "No, you didn't just say that or you're short with someone or being moody."

One her most cherished magazine cover.
"The Vogue (1974) cover. That's the one that defined me. That's the one that defined black beauty in America where they finally said, "Ok, we are beautiful and they acknowledged that in mainstream America."

Beverly Johnson was the first black model ever to land the cover of Vogue in 1974.

On whom she enjoys seeing grace the runways. 
"I love Joan Smalls, Liya Kebede, Jessica White, and others;  I like keeping up with the girls."

Advice for aspiring models. 
"Always have a Plan A, B, C, and D! It's not that kind of career that's going to last forever. I also insist that they continue with their education. That's something that no one can ever take away. That's the same advice I gave my daughter and it's the same advice I give to all young ladies."

On what sets her products apart from other brands. 
"I'm doing something that I was always afraid to do and that is to go into business myself. For the last line I had partners and the hair extension company was a royalty licensing agreement. I decided that it's either now or never so I took the leap of faith.

The new haircare line are my dream products. I always felt that there was always a hole in multicultural haircare market. Everything is not about Shea butter and I love Shea butter! The products that I had before were ok, but now these are my dream products. It's my direct involvement in the sense that I own my own power. It was time for me to do what I thought was best and that's what we're doing."

Top Model Shampoo available at www.beverlyjohnson.com for $12.95

On her absolute must-haves from the line. 
"'Top Model' shampoo and the 'Work It' conditioning treatments are just divine products. Also the shine spray can be used on very fine or curly hair because it's really light-weight. Target only has 7 of our products, but my website Beverly Johnson has all 24. There's something for everybody on the site. I also just began my introductory skincare products too.


The price-points are a bit higher from the first Beverly Johnson brand, but the new and improved line is reflective of the quality. We also have my all new dream packaging!"

On being an entrepreneur.
"More women are going into business now more than ever before. People shouldn't be afraid. There's  certainly room for more women to go into business."

Beverly Johnson's Full House premieres Saturday, March 31st at 10PM, EST on OWN

Will you tune in to watch Beverly's Full House?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sponsored - Aveeno's Beautiful Change Challenge: Part 1


While beautifying our bodies with blushes, bronzers and other cosmetics is fun and makes us feel and look good on the outside, it's what goes inside our bodies that's the most important. That's why lately I've been approaching the grocery aisles like I do makeup counters – the bolder the color of the product or produce the better! Whether it's a ripe cantaloupe, crisp cucumber, or a pretty coral nail polish, I  enjoy shopping for vibrant fruits and vegetables just as much as I do for beauty products.


Fueling our bodies with fresh produce and lean proteins is imperative to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Plus, eating well contributes to improving our skin, hair, and nails. So if you feel good and energized, you're going to radiate from within no matter what makeup, body or haircare products you use. But, if you can find products that give you the best of both worlds like Aveeno's Active Naturals by incorporating quality ingredients such as oats, seaweed extract, soy, and shiitake mushrooms into their products it's a win-win!



Bottom-line, stocking up on with richly-hued produce and products made with naturally enriching ingredients is always a good look.

New AVEENO® PURE RENEWAL™ lets you renew your hair to its naturally balanced state daily. Unlike ordinary shampoos, these sulphate-free formulas have Balancing Seaweed Extract; bringing hair back to its naturally healthy, most balanced state with each wash, for beautifully healthy-looking hair. Learn more here http://bit.ly/A1cjWg

“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by AVEENO® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of AVEENO®”

I challenge you to make a beautiful change with your diet to uncover a healthy and even more gorgeous you! What foods do you enjoy eating to keep your skin and hair flawless?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Brown Baby Gumbo Is Back/Disney To Debut New BG-Friendly Animated-Series

For all of my BG mommy readers, please check out my sister site: Brown Baby Gumbo, where I'll be stirring up everything that chic brown babies (and moms) love! I started this blog back in 2010 a few months after the birth of my daughter, Ava, but I put it on hiatus shortly after its launch. Now that I'm able to devote more time to it, I've decided to bring it back.

Check out what Disney has in store for little brown girls and boys over at Brown Baby Gumbo!


I appreciate your support on my new site venture in advance! XOXO - Karla 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

EVENT ALERT: "Million Hoodie March" in NYC for Trayvon Martin

While I typically only cover light-hearted, fashion, beauty, and celebrity stories, I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the disgusting and heinous death of Trayvon Martin, 17, who was gunned down by  "neighborhood watchman" George Zimmerman, 28, Feb. 26 in Sanford, Florida. To date, Zimmerman has not been officially charged with any crime and is currently a free man. Zimmerman claims that he acted in "self-defense."

Thanks to social media, people who are outraged that Zimmerman is not in jail facing a murder trial will have the opportunity to join others who are calling for justice and an end to racial profiling at 6pm this evening for a "Million Hoodie March," in New York City. It has been reported that Martin's parents will be in attendance.

The event, which was organized via Facebook will start in Union Square and end at the United Nations building on the east side. Organizers hope that participants will wear hooded apparel for the march. "A Black person in a hood isn't automatically 'suspicious,'"reads the event's Facebook page.



Participants are also urged to upload photos of themselves in their hoodies to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using hashtag #MillionHoodies. Also, be sure to sign the petition to prosecute Martin's murderer on Change.org.

Giveaway: Beyoncé's Pulse Summer Edition Perfume

Beyoncé may still be mesmerized by the intoxicating new baby smell of her bundle of joy: Blue Ivy, but this hot momma wants fans to fall for her new limited edition fragrance: Beyoncé Pulse Summer Edition. The new addition to the singer's successful perfume collection is just the scent to send us into spring and summer.

Beyoncé Pulse Summer Edition available at retailers nationwide for $49 (50 ml) and $59 (100 ml)

A fragrant, exotic mix of fruit and florals with notes of pear, icy mandarin, and pink pepper makes this the perfect perfume to complement warmer weather. It's light and airy, which is my ideal combination when it comes to spritzing myself in the spring/summer. Plus, the eye-catching turquoise and purple bottle design is bound to stand-out on your vanity.

Have you ever worn any of celebrity fragrances?  

Since today is National Fragrance Day, I'm giving away a 100 ml. bottle of Beyoncé's Pulse Summer Edition (a $59 value). Simply leave a comment or retweet this post. Also, "liking" me on Facebook wouldn't hurt either :-). The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday 3/26.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reality Star Evelyn Lozada Launches Cosmetics Line

Looks like Evelyn Lozada of VH1's Basketball Wives is the newest BG on the block to start her own beauty line. Today it was announced in a release that the reality star has launched, "E" by Evelyn Lozada,  a full cosmetics collection. Inspired by her makeup looks on the show, the debut line will feature shimmery eye shadow palettes and makeup brush sets. The collection will eventually include powder pigments, lipgloss, nail polish, and more.

Eveyln Lozada

“I have always been a risk taker when it comes to my personal style and the opportunity to leave my creative mark on the cosmetics world is beyond thrilling and a huge dream,” Lozada said in a statement. “I wanted to create a trendy high-quality product that didn't need to come with high costs for that savvy beauty consumer.”

28-Color Neutral Palette

Cosmo Color Collection

78-Color Combo Palette

Prices start at $24.95 and are available at www.ebyevelyncosmetics.com

Would you buy any products from her line? Do you watch Basketball Wives?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stylish Spring/Summer Scarves

Pleasant, spring-like breezes seem to be on the rise as we march toward warmer weather. That means now's the time to ditch big, bulky coats and replace them with light-weight jackets coupled with chic, cotton scarves to ward off any unexpected cold winds.

Kaaru, a Los Angeles-based line of hand-woven, 100% organic cotton clothing offers a stylish variety of scarves to brighten your spring wardrobe. Handmade by rural artisans of Bangladesh, proceeds from these unique, high-quality accessories helps provide fair wages for Bengali women and their children. Plus, customers will also receive a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted 5x8 canvas by Kaaru's founder with each purchase. 

Fashion, art, and giving back...what's not to love?



Check www.kaaruonline.com for prices and availability.

Are you a fan of spring/summer scarves? 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Let Nicole Ari Parker "Save Your Do"

Nicole Ari Parker, one of our favorite BG actresses is now a budding entrepreneur. The former Soul Food star is on a quest to "save our 'dos," with the launch of her revolutionary "Save Your Do Gymwrap," to help keep our hair sweat-free during workouts.

While I've never sacrificed exercising for the sake of my strands, I do know many women who do. We all know those who see the gym as instant "kryptonite" when it comes to maintaining their styles. For those lock-loving ladies, this souped up sweatband is an answer to their hair-preserving prayers.

Save Your Do GymWrap is available here starting at $24.95

I recently used the "SYDGW" during a strenuous workout in in Park Slope and was incredibly pleased with the results. It kept my hair dry by keeping moisture away from the skin while letting cool air in. Even though I have natural hair, I still have it blown out periodically and it kept my edges smooth and frizz-free. 

Not only is this brilliantly-designed wrap good at protecting our 'dos, but it also gives back to a great cause.  10% of proceeds will go toward the Sophie's Voice Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 2008 by Parker and her husband, actor Boris Kodjoe, whose mission is to help individuals diagnosed with spina bifida.

Remember ladies, hair is hair; leading a healthy lifestyle is what's really important. Also, if you're wondering if Parker has given up her thespian roots, don't worry; you can catch her this spring starring in the Broadway revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Have you ever halted your workout plans to preserve your 'do? Would you wear the "Save Your Do Gymwrap?"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jumping for Jouer

During a recent reorganization of my beauty drawers, I was excited to discover a hot pink blush from Jouer Cosmetics. Not sure how I overlooked the lovely peony shade, but boy was I happy to have found it! The vibrant, electric hue provides the perfect pop of color that my cheeks have been craving.

The mineral-based powder blush blends easily onto my skin while complementing my melanin-rich complexion.  Even though the color looks nearly neon in the packaging, after application it gives you just the punch of pink that will freshen up your beauty routine for spring.

Jouer Cosmetics Mineral Powder Blush available here for $24

Do you ever rediscover beauty products that you used to love? What's your must-have beauty product for spring?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Giveaway: Get Hair Like Oprah's!

As BGs, our admiration for Oprah Winfrey spans decades and ranges from her undeniable talent as a media icon, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher to her unwavering healthy-looking hair!  Yes, you know that when it comes to our crowning glory, we don't play. And apparently, that goes for Lady O too! That's why she's entrusted her lovely locks with none other than her right-hand hair man of 25 years –– Andre Walker.

Walker has been the mastermind behind our beloved media mogul's mane since she first graced our small screens back in 1986. Never compromising the health of hair to accommodate various styles, Walker's main priority has always been to keep tresses at their best. For several years, Walker has been sharing a few of his secrets to great hair by launching his own hair care product line: Andre Walker  Hair.

One of my favorite products from the line is his "Q"- Oil: Quench Essential Oil. This weightless serum is formulated with Argan Oil, which is naturally-rich in Vitamin E and adds instant shine. Plus, the colorless oil also nourishes and hydrates hair.

Just applying a small pump of the serum into my palms puts life back into my oftentimes lifeless, dry natural hair. The serum quickly soaks into my coarse, curly strands and doesn't leave a sticky build-up.

Available at Andre Walker Hair for $35.


If you're on the hunt for a serum that adds brilliance without a greasy-feel, "Q" Oil would be ideal for you. Whether you rock your locks chemically-straightened or natural, this product works for all hair types.

Have you ever tried any products from the Andre Walker Hair line? Speaking of Oprah, did you watch her interview with the late Whitney Houston's family?


**Leave a comment or retweet this link for your your chance to win a bottle of "Q" Oil (a $35 value). The winner will be randomly selected and announced later this week!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

EVENT ALERT: Atelier AZZA To Make Retail Debut

There's an emerging Chicago-based clothing designer who's well on her way to becoming a household name: Azeeza Desai Khan.  Not only is she catching the attention of Vogue editors, fashionistas, and buyers across the country, but she's also my BFF.

This Sunday, March 11 her line Atelier AZZA, will make its retail debut at Dose Market, the premiere vendor marketplace for food, fashion, and design purveyors in Chicago. 

Azeeza sporting an embellished blazer from her SS12 collection. 

Intricate hand-woven and embroidered, fine cashmere summer shawls, as well as opulently embellished blazers, collars, and dresses from her SS12 collection will be available for purchase. Plus, with each Atelier AZZA buy, a garment will be provided to an impoverished South Asian woman in need. 

If you're looking for one-of-a-kind pieces that will get you noticed, definitely stop by Dose Market this weekend and check out Atelier AZZA. 

Do you make an effort to support local designers?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Oprah To Interview Bobbi Kristina

As reported last week, Oprah has landed the first interview with the late Whitney Houston's family. On Sunday, March 11, Lady O will sit down with the pop diva's sister/manager, brother, and the love of her life, her daughter: Bobbi Kristina.

I'm shocked that they're already speaking out about the passing of their beloved "Nippy," but everyone mourns differently. Also, I'm no psychologist, but perhaps talking publicly about their grief might be therapeutic. Whatever the case, I'll definitely be tuning in to hear what the Houston family has to say.

Watch a sneak peek below:

Oprah's Next Chapter will air on OWN Sunday, March 11 at 9pm/EST

Will you be tuning in? Did you watch Whitney Houston's funeral?

Nicole Scherzinger Nails It With ImPress

Last week beauty editors in New York were invited to an afternoon of nail talk with singer Nicole Scherzinger. The former Pussycat Doll front woman and X-Factor judge is now the celebrity brand ambassador for the popular imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails.


Ok, I'll be honest, when it comes to press-on nails I don't immediately think chic or cool. In fact, I think just the opposite. But after learning more about the quick and easy alternative to acrylics, gels, and the somewhat tedious task of painting your own nails (self-manis always leave my right hand looking less-than-presentable), I've had a change of heart.

Scherzinger's Limited Edition Signature Series is comprised of fun and funky designs that are incredibly simple to apply and are super eye-catching. Plus, they peel off without damaging your digits, come with a variety of sizes, and last for up to a week.

From tie-dye prints to star motifs, these trendy nails are not your grandmother's press-on manicure.

Starting May, Scherzinger's designs (6 patterns and 3 colors) will be available in Walmart and CVS stores nationwide for $7.99 and $5.99. 

If you're on-the-go and don't have time to polish, definitely give these affordable nails a try for a knock-out finish.

Have you ever worn press-on nails?

Brandy & Monica's New Video To Premiere Tonight

Brandy and Monica fans will be in for a treat today as the video for the reunited R&B duo's single, "It All Belongs To Me,"  premieres on Vh1 and Vh1.com.  Directed by Chris Robinson, the video will surely showcase the former teen stars in all their gorgeous grown-up glamour.

The video will air 11pm/EST.

Check out a few shots from the video set: 





All photos by: Adrian Sidney

Will you be tuning in? Also, is it me or does Monica look a little like La La Anthony in these stills? 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Boobie Prizes

Now that spring is on the horizon, what better time than now to clean out your closets and refill your drawers with brand-new bras? It's typically this time of year when I treat myself to beautiful bras to feel special and spruce up my lingerie stash.

Plus, we all know that our "girls" need to be lifted and appreciated and buying a good bra will do just that. Who can forget Oprah's life-changing boob-intervention episode? A good-fitting bra can instantly take you from frumpy to fabulous. From underwires to wow-inducing demi-cut wonders, bras are definitely the essential undergarment that we can't go without.

Check out a few of my favorite styles:

Calvin Klein Naked Glamour Underwire Push-Up Bra available at www.nordstrom.com for $25.90

Deborah Marquit Lace Soft Cup Bra available at www.netaporter.com for $175

Hanky Panky Neon Yellow Bra available at www.shopplanetblue.com for $37


Xhilaration Multi-Scoop Bra available at www.target.com for $16


Orange Multi-Way Bra available at www.victoriassecret.com for $39.50


No-Wire Full Coverage Bra available at www.victoriassecret.com for $39.50

Cosbella for J.Crew Emilia Underwire Bra available at www.jcrew.com for $68

What's your favorite bra cut?