Thursday, May 31, 2012

5 "Berry" Good Reasons to Eat Berries

Balmy weather, beach bumming, impromptu barbecues, and delicious berries are the cornerstones of summer. All fruits have outstanding health advantages, but berries are the crème de la crème when it comes to wellness and beautifying benefits.

Packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C, minerals, and more, these scrumptious bites can enhance complexions, contribute to weight loss, and even help prevent certain cancers. From strawberries to blueberries, berries are always at the top of my grocery list. Plus, they're the perfect snack for my 2-year-old daughter who can eat them by the carton!

Check out what these tasty, nutritious treats can do:

1. Antioxidants found in blueberries have been proven to soften skin, decrease inflammation, and reduce the onset of wrinkles.
2. Cranberries and blueberries contain compounds that help ward off bladder infections.
3. Blueberries and raspberries contain lutein, which help improve vision.
4. Blueberries' anthocyanins attack cancer-causing agents.
5.  Strawberries are used topically in traditional medicines to treat burns and other skin ailments due to their astringent properties.

What's your favorite berry?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vera Wang Wins with Cosmetics Line

Vera Wang is undeniably one of the most sought-after designers in the world. Her breathtaking fashion creations have mesmerized style-seekers for decades. Now with the recent launch of SimplyVera Cosmetics, Ms. Wang is working her wondrous creative magic in the makeup realm.

Simply Vera Vera Wang Cosmetics available exclusively at

Inspired by the designer's personal makeup philosophy - the collection is comprised of 16 elegant, fun, and modern offerings for face, lips, and eyes in over 70 shades. Plus, the line consists of skincare products that brides will love such as primers and serums that will help keep their makeup in place for their "big day."

Fans of Vera Wang fashions can now wear makeup that will complement their overall style and serve as an extension of the designer's unique vision.

Have you ever worn a Vera Wang design? What's your favorite makeup brand?

Pretty-in-Print Bikinis

With the unofficial start of summer underway, it's time to hit the beach in this season's hottest print bikinis.

Don't fret if you weren't blessed with the svelte body of a Victoria's Secret model or boast Baywatch-worthy curves, there are endless cuts and designs to complement all shapes and sizes. 

From tankinis to halters to itty-bitty string bikinis, wearing a flattering two-piece bathing suit is the most fashionable way to have fun in the sun.

Remember, all you need is confidence to be a bombshell on or off the beach!

Check out a few of these pretty print two-pieces:  

There's no skirting around the fact that this Robin Piccone Ikat is beyond eye-catching. Available here, $132

For those who don't dare to bare their bellies, this Pily Q tankini is ideal. Available at here, $128

Beyoncé showed off her killer bod in this 80s-inspired Luli Fama Delirio bikini via her Tumblr. Available here, $152

This sexy Mara Hoffman Underwire Cami bikini will provide maximum support for your best assets. Available here, $220

 Customizing your perfect fit will be a cinch with this drawstring Roberta Roller Rabbit bikini. Available here, $100

A twist on the classic bandeau style, this Argentovivo Graphic Print is a striking standout. Available, here, $350

Let your shoulders take center-stage with this sleek Vince Camuto Camouflage Halter bikini. Available, here, $138

Are you bikini-ready for the summer? What's your favorite bikini style?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Black Opal Takes a Step in a New Direction

Since 1994, Black Opal has been celebrating brown-skinned beauty by offering products that cater to our specific skin needs. However, since becoming one of the first cosmetics and skincare brands to solely cater to melanin-rich skin tones, it seems to have gotten a bit lost in the shuffle. In my opinion, the launch of similar lines and mainstream makeup companies finally addressing the void in the marketplace caused the brand to somewhat fly under the radar in recent years.

That's all about to change with the help of  celebrity makeup artist, Frank Guyton, who will serve as the brand's new Artistic Director. Under his guidance, Black Opal will continue to serve and take brown beauty to exciting new heights by developing color trends, shade palettes, cosmetic techniques, and more. First up, the lovely Paradise Passion and Colada Cocktail compacts for summer.

The Caribbean-inspired palettes will transform peepers into tropical delights. With bold shades of cool ocean blues, dazzling bronzes, and unexpected yellows, these shadows and shimmers capture the true spirit of the season.

Tropical Sizzle compacts will be exclusively available at starting June 21st

Do you wear bold and bright shadows during the summer or do you tend to stick to neutral palettes throughout the year?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Have a Snap Happy Holiday Weekend

If you guys caught any of my tweets from earlier this week, you'd know that I was in my hometown, Chicago. I was back in the Windy City to attend yet another Oprah's LifeClass taping.

I know, I know, I'm totally Oprah obsessed, but I'm really just trying to get tips on how to "live my best life ever!"

The show featured author Iyanla Vanzant and the topic was about having those tough talks with a loved one. The show hit close to home because who hasn't had a time in their lives when they were faced with the rather unpleasant task of having a hard conversation? I actually am facing that very scenario with a former close friend.

Whether we confront conflicts head-on or cower away in fear, we have all had those times when we just have to let it all out in order to move on and resolve the problem. But, whatever you do, don't ever try to resolve a problem via email or any social media platform. Far too often I see people airing their dirty laundry on social media when a conversation over the phone or better yet in person would be the obvious smarter choice. Oprah and Iyanla agree.

I used to dream of working at Harpo Studios when I lived in Chicago. 

That said, I'll be back next week with more beauty, style, and giveaways. In the meantime, please check me out on Instagram:

Are you on Instagram? If so, I'd love to follow you! Leave your handles in the comments. Also, if you have any recommendations, please let me know. Right now, I'm only following 2 ppl! Ha!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

FashionIndie Features My Summer Beauty Must-Have

My friends over at recently featured my summer makeup must-have along with four other fantastic beauty blogger favorites.

It's always flattering when fellow blogs and websites include my two cents in their roundups.

Check out our best balmy weather picks here.

What's your summer makeup essential?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Event Recap: The Brotherhood & Sister Sol Voices 8

The African proverb, "it takes a village to raise a child," is an ideology that I've always believed to be true. The Brotherhood and Sister Sol organization exemplifies that concept. For nearly 20 years, Bro/Sis has served as a long-term support system for thousands of Black and Latino youth from ages 8 to 22.

Founded in 1995 by Khary Lazarre-White and Jason Warwin, the New York City-based non-profit organization focuses on leadership building and educational advancement through a myriad of enriched, hands-on programs and outreach. From helping students with homework to funding life-changing trips abroad, Bro/Sis has positively impacted many lives.

Last week, Bro/Sis held its 8th Annual VOICES event held at the Frederick P. Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center honoring and celebrating those who have helped make the organization a success throughout the year.

Hosted by actor Boris Kodjoe, the night was filled with inspiring, soul-stirring speeches by attendees and honorees including: Soledad O'Brien, Ana L. Oliveira, Harry Belafonte, Mayor David Dinkins to name a few.

From L to R: Wyclef Jean, Harry Belafonte, and Boris Kodjoe. 

“We strive to offer long term, intensive involvement for our members and provide unique services that support their personal development and academic achievements which is why 95% of BHSS Alumni are working full time or enrolled in college,” said Lazarre-White.

Although Bro/Sis is based in New York, its leaders have worked with various schools and similar programs throughout the country to help expand its mission. With organizations like Bro/Sis, our villages will be filled with smart, globally-aware, upstanding citizens.

What are some of your favorite outstanding youth serving organizations?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Listen: Whitney Houston's Last Recorded Work

It's still hard to believe that Whitney Houston aka "The Voice," is no longer with us, but her fans will be comforted today with the release of the late songbird's final recording.

"Celebrate," from the upcoming remake film, Sparkle, in which Houston stars was her last recorded song before her passing in February.

The uptempo single features Jordin Sparks who also co-stars in the movie set for release in August.

Listen below:

Did you watch the Whitney Houston tribute on the Billboard Awards last night?

Event Recap: "Spring Is In The Hair" National Natural Hair Day Event

This year National Natural Hair Day took place on Saturday, May 19th. In cities across the country, naturalistas gathered to talk hair, network, and gain information about how to care for natural textures.

I attended the "Spring Is In the Hair," meet-up  hosted by Natasha Gaspard of My Mane Moves and Imani Dawson of A Tribe Called Curl at The Rock Shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The event location was only a few blocks from my apartment so there was no excuse not to attend the soiree celebrating our curls, coils, kinks, and waves.

Admittedly, my hair didn't turn out the way I had hoped. So I took a last-ditch effort and quickly pulled my hair into pompadour held in place with a mini headband.

At the event, we learned tips from Karen's Body Beautiful and super cute styling techniques from sought-after stylist Diane Bailey of Tendrils Hair Spa in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Plus, there were plenty of fun interactive games and giveaways throughout the afternoon. To top it off, each attendee walked away with a gift bag filled with full-size hair, bath, and body products.

I'm still a newbie when it comes to natural hair meet-ups so this gathering was a great introduction.  

Check out a few pics:

Co-host Natasha Gaspard (center) with attendees. 

Some of the products from the swag bag.  

Diane Bailey doing a hair demo on a model. 

Have you ever attended a natural hair event? If not, would you? 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kiss Transitioning Troubles Goodbye with Carol's Daughter 3-Step Kit

Now that the natural hair revolution is underway, more women are making the decision to ditch relaxers and embrace their curlier textures. However, that journey isn't always easy. Transitioning can be a tough task to take on for someone unequipped with the proper hair care knowledge needed to successfully go au naturel.

Carol's Daughter's 3-Step Transitioning Kit was created to help make that leap from silky straight strands to curls, kinks or coils a lot smoother.

Transitioning 1-2-3 Kit available at Carol's Daughter stores,, Dillards, Macy's, Sephora, Ricky's NYC, HSN, and Regis Salons starting in June, $40

They've identified product build-up, scarred scalp, and demarcation breakage as the three main problems many women face when transitioning and formulated products to serve as solutions. The trio of products includes: Purifying Low-Poo Cleanser (makes it easy to detangle without stripping hair of its moisture), Renewing Scalp Spray (exfoliates the scalp), and Restoring Anti-Breakage Treatment (strengthens demarcation points). Plus, the products are packed with natural ingredients such as sugarcane, olive oil, coconut, and soy protein to promote healthy hair transitions.

Had this kit been around a few years ago, it would’ve saved me from emotional stress and helped me tackle my once tortured tresses with ease.

Are you currently transitioning? If so, what has been your experience?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Target Unveils Second Series of "The Shops"

Who doesn't love Target? The cheery and chic atmosphere makes it hard not to walk out of the store empty-headed. It has become the standard destination for shoppers seeking everything from home goods to designer duds. And with the successful launch of The Shops earlier this month, they've really upped the ante. The unique idea to showcase and celebrate shop owners by giving them an opportunity to sell their merchandise to the masses is a refreshing and innovative take on retail.

This September (9th), the superstore will debut its second installment of The Shops. The new addition will bring Target and shoppers four exclusive limited-edition collections from fashion and home decor brands.

Items from New York's Kirna Zabête (women's apparel and accessories) and Odin (men's apparel and accessories), San Francisco's The Curiosity Shoppe (giftables) and Boston's PATCH NYC (home décor) will surely give Target customers new reasons to keep hitting the Bullseye.

Elegant Orange Bowl, available at PATCH, NYC, $120

Have you checked out the current installment of The Shops at Target?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sponsored: Ambi Skincare Regimen to the Rescue

For me, having clear and even skin is the epitome of outward beauty. That's why countless facial products, including Ambi's Skincare Regimen clutter my bathroom shelf in an attempt to achieve ultimate beauty bliss. Oh and because I am a complete cosmetic junkie.

While I've tried Ambi in the past, I was always lured by the latest new product that I never stuck with it long enough to see just how awesome it works.

After having several months of blemish-free skin, my picture-perfect journey abruptly ended and the breakouts returned.

Being the experts in skincare for us brown-skinned beauties, I turned to the Ambi Skincare Regimen: Even and Clear Foaming Cleanser, Even and Clear Daily Moisturizer, and Fade Cream for some much-needed help. I used the trio of products consistently for three weeks and saw a remarkable difference.

Ambi Skincare Regimen available here

The foam wash kept my face clean and balanced by unclogging pores and combatting excessive oil in an effort to prevent new breakouts. Plus, it didn't leave my skin feeling tingly or irritated like other brands I've used in the past. I don't know about you, but there's just something fun about slathering foam on your face.

However, using the moisturizer was a initially a bit of a challenge. I was so used to applying one of my tried and true formulas that I was reluctant to stop, but resisted in order to use the entire Ambi system. It was a bit thicker than my usual go-to, but it still properly moisturized my skin.

As disappointed as I was that I had to reach for a fade cream to lighten those dreaded dark marks, I was delighted by the results. The hyper-pigmentation spots haven't completely disappeared, but the darkness has definitely diminished. That's a huge coup considering I haven't been using it for that long.

I'm certain that with continued use of Ambi, my once radiant skin will resurface better than ever!

The experts in skin of color, brings you a skin care regimen to help you achieve flawless skin. Use AMBI®’s Even and Clear Foaming Cleanser to help clear breakouts and reduce dark marks. Follow with Even & Clear Daily Moisturizer, so skin will look even and smooth. And AMBI®’s #1rated Fade Cream, diminishes dark spots and discoloration, for a beautiful and natural skin tone.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by AMBI® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of AMBI®.

Have you tried Ambi products? If so, what was your experience?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Swatch Still Ticking with Style

Back in the day, Swatch was the watch to rock. Now, it seems the popular Swiss watch and jewelry brand is more stylish than ever. With two new additions for summer to its signature Chrono Collection -- Red and Fucshia Circle Irony Chronos, the watches are as fashionable as they're functional.

The sleek polished stainless steel design coupled with the colorful tone-on-tone counters make for a chic timepiece.

While I tend to peek at my phone to tell the time,  these watches make me want to switch back to looking at my wrist.

Irony Chrono Collection (White Circle is from a previous season) Available at Swatch, $175

Have you ever worn a Swatch watch? Do you wear watches or depend on your phone for the time?

Friday, May 11, 2012

ELLE Cosmetics Launches at Kohl's

As if Kohl's couldn't get any better, ELLE Cosmetics, a chic new makeup line will be sold exclusively at the store.

Comprised of various complementary shades for eyes, lips, and face, ELLE Cosmetics brings a fresh and updated feel to the makeup offered at the chain. Inspired by runway looks, the line includes products in ultra-sleek packaging that reflect the current fashion trends.

I'm totally obsessed with the creamy, yet shimmery lip glosses that glide on smoothly without leaving lips sticky or gooey.

From electrifying neon polishes to straight-from-the-beach bronzers, the collection boasts quality items that will help make your beauty radiate.

Available exclusively at Kohls and for $10-$16

Also, if you haven't already purchased your mom a gift for Mother's Day (I'm the queen of procrastination too), stop by Kohl's and instantly update her makeup bag with a few of these goodies!

What makeup trend are you loving this spring?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fantasia Talks Motherhood & Beauty with BGG

Since becoming the American Idol back in 2004, Fantasia Barrino has experienced many triumphs, as well as her fair share of trials and tribulations.

From a highly publicized suicide attempt to controversy surrounding her alleged affair with a married man, Fantasia has risen above the drama.  The Grammy-nominated singer, 27, chooses to focus on what's the most important aspect of her life -- being a mother.

Mom to infant son, Dallas Xavier, and daughter, Zion, 11, Fantasia will celebrate this Mother's Day, Sunday May 13th,  here in New York City where she'll be performing in concert with Charlie Wilson at The Paradise Theater in the Bronx.

I caught up with the busy mom to talk motherhood, beauty, and if she still watches the show that made her a household name.

Check out the Q&A:

I know that your son is only a few months old, but so far, how has motherhood been different this time around since having your daughter, Zion?
"Motherhood is amazing! I love it! Being a mother you learn something new about yourself everyday. Having an older daughter, I have gotten comfortable in the way I was raising my child. But having a new addition, it's the start of new ideas. I’m nurturing both of them and in return they are helping me continue to define who Fantasia is. I love my babies!"

Can you describe your ideal Mother's Day? 
I feel like my ideal Mother’s Day is everyday. Zion and Dallas both make me smile everyday without there being any special occasion. They are both still very young so there isn’t much they can give but their love and the special card’s Zion makes at school, which always warms my spirit.

Being a mom myself, I know that it's the hardest, yet most rewarding job in the world. What would you say has been the most challenging aspect of motherhood being an entertainer? 
"I think the most challenging part of being a mother and working not just in the music industry, but any industry would have to me managing your time. I have done a great job at managing my time between work and making sure I am around for every significant moment in my children’s lives."

You've had many hairstyles throughout the years. With so many women going natural lately, would you ever consider it?
"I would consider going natural. I do what makes me feel good at that moment. If going natural so happens to be it, then so be it!"

What are a few of the beauty products that you absolutely can't live without? 
"I love Pink Luster products not only because I have worked with them, but because I've used it since before anyone ever knew who I was. They make great products that not only make your hair look good, but also keep it healthy which is important."

You've overcome so much in your life. What do you do to stay above the drama and as stress-free as possible? Do you do yoga or meditate?
"Praying and keeping God first has always helped me over come any difficulties in my life. I don’t allow myself to stress because it doesn’t change anything."

Do you still watch American Idol
"I still love American Idol and I am spilt between Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez. I love both of them!"

What's your favorite Fantasia song?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NYC Event Alert: Get Free Skin Cancer Screening

If you're in the New York City area today, be sure to stop by The Skin Cancer Foundation's Road to Healthy Skin Tour bus presented by Aveeno and Rite Aid for a free skin cancer screening. The bus will be at Lincoln Center on 62nd Street between Broadway and Columbus from 11am - 4pm.

Although we BGs are less likely to develop skin cancer due to our darker skin complexions than other groups, doesn't mean that we shouldn't take the proper precautions toward preventing this deadly disease.

Far too often we BGs fail to get screened for melanomas until it's too late. That's why it's important to wear sunscreen, be cognizant of new and existing moles, and get periodically screened.

Have you ever been screened for skin cancer? What's your favorite SPF moisturizer?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Get Rihanna's Met Gala Updo

While there were many head-turning looks at last night's Met Gala, Rihanna really got tongues wagging. Her unique updo raised eye-brows in the blogosphere, but I thought the multi-bun look complemented her crocodile Tom Ford gown and fit her cutting-edge vibe.

Celebrity stylist, Ursula Stephens who styled the pop diva for fashion's big night says that the style was "inspired by an illustrated cartoon character."

If you're eager to emulate the Barbadian beauty's eye-catching updo, follow Stephens' tips below:

Start by sectioning the hair into three ponytails:
  • One at the front of the head, slightly off to the side 
  • One at the crown of the head, slightly off to the opposite side 
  • The last one at the nape of the neck, slightly off to the same side as the section at the front of the head 
  • For each ponytail, twist from the end and wrap around itself into a loose bun, pinning to secure and gently tugging on pieces to achieve an “undone” look. 
  • Hold the look in place with Motions Light Hold Working Spritz (SRP: $3.99; most mass retailers)
Did you like Rihanna's hair last night at the Met Gala? Who would you crown best tressed or dressed? 

Allison Samuels Celebrates Michelle Obama in "What Would Michelle Do?"

It's hard to believe that it's been nearly four years since Michelle Obama (aka FLOTUS) became the first African-American First Lady. Since that groundbreaking moment she has single-handedly changed how we BGs view ourselves. Prior to her appointment, we had never seen any first lady look even remotely like us.

That’s why award-winning journalist and author, Allison Samuels' new book, "What Would Michelle Do?" is a must-read for women of color who have been inspired by her elegance, fierce fashions, off-the-charts intellect, or more.

In the style of a detailed guide, “WWMD,” serves as the ultimate form of flattery toward the first lady while providing readers with insightful ways on how to be more like, well, Michelle.

From loving one's own unique beauty to effective parenting tips, “WWMD,” brilliantly chronicles and highlights Obama’s personal and professional achievements while allowing them to serve as examples of excellence for readers.

Perfect for Mother’s Day, this book is a great gift for your Michelle-loving mom, BFF, soror, or you!

Available in bookstores nationwide, as an e-book, and

What do you most admire about our first lady?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Oprah's Stylist Andre Walker Talks Hair

While most wish they had Oprah's wealth, many also covet the media mogul's gorgeous mane. For over 25 years, hairstylist Andre Walker has made sure that the talk show trailblazer's tresses are always camera-ready.

Now, with the help of his haircare line, Make Peace With Your Hair, we can all get a taste of one of Lady O's many luxuries.

I recently caught up with the stylist to talk natural hair, humidity, and his favorite Oprah 'do. 

Walker styling Oprah's lovely locks on set.

Check out the Q&A:

What are your thoughts about the natural hair revolution amongst women of color that seems to be sweeping the country? 
"I’m happy to see women make peace with their hair. I believe it came about because women of color want more freedom than they get going straight. Going natural you can swim and exercise without the worries of wetting your straight style. Not to mention that all of the processes of straightening (chemical, pressing, blowdrying) are all very damaging when not done correctly.

Now what is needed are great products and expert care for natural hair, which is very fragile due to coarse texture and dryness. It is important to keep your ends trimmed, and get salon-quality deep conditioning into the hair. I created my TKO Deep Conditioning Keratin Treatment for all hair that needs moisture infusion. I am also developing new products that will respond to the needs of natural hair in a way we've never experienced before, so stay tuned!"

What advice do you have for someone who wants to transition from relaxed strands to non-processed tresses?
"The best way to transition is the BIG CHOP. If you are courageous and ready, this is the best way. To gradually change - you can continue blow-drying your hair straight until it becomes too difficult to continue this type of styling, or the relaxed hair starts to break. By doing the later, you must condition, condition and condition."

Now that spring is in full swing and summer is rapidly approaching, what are some of your tips for avoiding the dreaded "poof" during wet and humid weather? 
"There aren’t many ways to avoid the “poof." Humidity is straight hair’s biggest enemy. During this type of weather the best style is one that is natural. If your hair is relaxed, don’t try to style it as usual. Try pulling it up in to a cool pony or ballerina’s knot. You can add hair to your pony to make it longer and more fun or make a messy knot for a more updated ballerina."

Of your haircare products, what's the most universal for all hair types? 
"All of my products can be used by all. Everyone needs a good shampoo and conditioner. My TKO is an intensive conditioning mask that is perfect for a little extra care. My Q Oil is loved by people with very straight hair to aid with styling, to those with kinky hair to add shine and lock in moisture."

You've created countless hairstyles for Oprah Winfrey, but what's your personal favorite look for her?
"My favorite changes all the time. I love her hair curly and I love her most recent long luxurious loose wavy look. We just shot the cover for September O, The Oprah Magazine where I gave her a completely new look that may be my new favorite. You’ll have to wait to see the cover because I can’t reveal it."

What do you think is the single most important key to the maintaining healthy hair? 
"The single most important key to healthy hair is very basic:
1. Shampoo regularly - never go more than a week without shampooing at least once.
2. Condition after every shampoo and do a deep conditioning treatment at least once a month.
3. Get regular cuts/shaping every 6 to 8 weeks to do away with any split damaged ends and to keep your style."

If you missed my post on his Q Oil, click here for a full review. Also for more haircare tips from Andre Walker be sure to check out:

Whose hair do you admire the most in Hollywood?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Let's Celebrate!

As many of you know, I'm a huge Oprah fan. Even my 2-year-old daughter says, "Mommy watching Obrah?" whenever I turn on the TV. That said, I was glued to the tube during her Lifeclass series; I was even lucky enough to watch the show live during her tour stop here in New York last month.

During one particular episode she and life adviser Tony Robbins touched on the importance of celebrating. They said that far too often we don't take the time to savor and appreciate precious life moments even if they aren't grand occasions or huge milestones.

Ever since that "Aha" moment, I decided that I'd take heed and revel more in life's successes with my friends and family. So today, which happens to be my birthday I plan to live it up even if that means just going out to dinner with my sister, hubby, and daughter.

Life is a gift, why not celebrate it?

My dear friend, Cocoa Popps gave me this lovely birthday card. You guys know that I'm such a sucker  for cute stationery! 

Do you have any celebrations coming up? 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

11 Great Gift Ideas for Mom

Mom is the original beauty icon, first teacher, and the most inspiring role model of all, so why not shower the woman who gave you life with gifts that will keep her smiling this Mother's Day?

From delectable cupcakes to delightfully smelling candles to personalized wall canvases, treat this incredibly special woman to a wonderful day filled with love and adoration.

Although I'd be grateful to receive material items, I'd also be just as happy to get a couple of thoughtful homemade coupons (a day to sleep-in, breakfast in bed, dish-free day, etc.) to cash in at any time.

Check out some of these gift ideas:

Satisfy mom's sweet tooth with this 6-pack batch of mouthwatering Crumbs cupcakes, $27

The word emblazoned on this lovely gift set says it all, Victoria's Secret, $50

Give mom wow brows with this on-the-go grooming Satin Etched Petite Tweeze Set from Tweezerman, $30

Reminiscent of Caribbean summers, this sweet-smelling Aruba candle from Archipelago will surely enliven your mother's senses, $29

Slipping into this luxe, silky kimono-style robe will be a welcomed treat for mom, Victoria's Secret, $49

Mom will be so fresh and so clean with Aveeno's Positively Nourishing Body Wash. Create a gift basket with a variety of scents so she can soak up all the fragrant benefits, Drugstore, $7 

Have mom carry her iPad in style with this chic Michael Kors case available at Nordstrom, $128

Diamonds are definitely mom's best friend and this Victoria Townsend Diamond Bracelet, 18K Gold Over Sterling Silver will be a BFF that stands the test of time, Macy's, $90 

Bring out your mom's beautiful peepers with this pretty palette of complementary shadows, Urban Decay, $50 

For the original Top Chef in your life, this stylish collection of cookbook masterpieces will standout on your mom's countertop, AhaLife, $350

Celebrate your mom's favorite pic with an HP Faux Canvas Print 11x14 or 12x12 (similar to the one I had made of my daughter, Ava), Walmart, $20

**One lucky reader will win a personalized HP Faux Canvas Print (11x14 or 12x12) via an online voucher. The winner will be randomly selected from Twitter by using #BGGMothersDay, Facebook comments under the Mother's Day status post, or by simply leaving a comment below. The winner will be announced on  Tuesday, May 8th. 

What would be your ideal Mother's Day gift? If you aren't a mom, what do you plan on purchasing for your mom this Mother's Day?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Miss Jessie's Launches New How-To Videos

If you're a fan of Miss Jessie's products then you'll love that the cutting-edge brand for curly-haired beauties has launched several brand new how-to videos on its website.

From getting the perfect ringlets to cute coils, these videos show viewers step-by-step how to obtain coveted curly styles with the use of their products such as the popular Curly Pudding and Curly Meringue.

I've only recently started checking out online DIY hair videos for natural style inspiration and have been pleased with the content I've found.

Miss Jessie's website now offers new videos on how to get the hottest curly hairstyles.

Click here to check out the videos.

Do you watch how-to videos to check out new hairstyles? If so, who are some of your favorite hair vloggers? Also, do you use Miss Jessie's products?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crop Tops: Do or Don't?

Classic clothing dominates my wardrobe, but l'm definitely no stranger to purchasing a few trendy pieces here and there. However, I do draw the line when it comes to some of-the-moment fashion statements.  Case in point: the crop top trend popping up in stores across the country.

While it may be cool and cute for young fashionistas born in the 90s to wear, a midriff-baring top is not a good look for me. Considering that I'm days away from turning 32, this trend screams high school teeny-bopper. Perhaps, it's because I owned quite a few of these tummy-skimming tops as a teen, that I just can't seem to bear the thought of wearing them again at my age.

I'd like to think that my style has evolved since 1994 so I'll leave this trend to the teens and twentysomething set.

Motel Strappy Back Cropped Top available at for $40

What do you think, are crop tops a do or a don't? What trends have you avoided, past or present?