Friday, June 29, 2012

Get Happy Feet at Old Navy

Tomorrow you'll flip for the highly anticipated flip flop sale at Old Navy. For only a buck, frugal fashionistas will be able to slip their feet into colorful flip flops that are comfy and chic.

Whether worn to the beach or a backyard barbecue, flip flops are the quintessential summer must-have.


Available at www.oldnavy.com for $1 (while supplies last)

For this super low price you'll be able to stock up on a wide variety of colorful styles!

How many pairs of flip flops do you own?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Alicia Keys is Back with a "New Day"

With only a couple days left in June, Black Music Month is going out with a bang.  Singer Alicia Keys treated true R&B/pop music fans to ear candy with the release of her new, slightly anthemic single, "New Day."


Produced by her husband Swizz Beatz, the track has an infectious, celebratory-feel coupled with a strong drumline that will surely get "party people" on the dance-floor. The single reintroduces the new mom, 31, to the masses since her last CD, Element of Freedom in 2009. 

If this single sets the tone for her upcoming album, I'll be anticipating its release.

Listen to the song here

What's your favorite Alicia Keys' song? 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MUSIC: Old School vs. New School

After attending the launch party for Angela Simmons' new hair extensions line last week, I realized that my music taste is stuck in the past. During the party, I only heard one song (something by Beyoncé) that I knew and could happily hum along to.

Surely, had I stayed longer, familiar "old school" tracks would've trickled in between the current hits, but for my duration "new school" tunes dominated the DJ's playlist.

It seems like I'm becoming one of those people whom I heard growing up saying, "They don't make good music anymore." Well, I'm not sure if that's completely true, but I do know that I have been left out of the popular music scene ever since I moved to New York nearly a decade ago.

Grammy award-winning artist Nicki Minaj

Maybe it's because I don't drive here to hear what's hot on the radio or perhaps it's due to the fact that I'd much rather listen to more customized music picks from Pandora or Music Choice (Throwback Jamz). Whatever the case, contemporary music has taken a backseat for me.

While my nieces and nephew are fans of Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Big Sean, I'm still "bank-head bouncing" to R&B and pop hits of the 80s, 90s, and aughts (I know, I'm not sure how the 2000s got coined that either)!

Do you listen to the radio on a daily basis? Who are some of your favorite artists past or present?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Denim Delights

Forget basic blues and even those eye-catching bright hues while jean shopping this summer. Instead, switch things up with fun patterned pairs.

From florals to polka-dots to ikat designs, dive right into sexy yet playful denim duds this season for an unexpected alternative.

Check out a few chic choices:

7 For All Mankind Ikat Print Jeans available here, $110


Paige Verdugo Polka Dot Jeans available here, $189


Current/Elliott The Stiletto Cropped Printed Jeans available here, $170


Alice & Olivia 5-Pocket Printed Skinny Jeans available here, $118

Guess Brittney Ankle Skinny Leopard Jean available here, $29.95


7 for All Mankind Garden Party Skinny Jeans available here, $109

Will you wear printed jeans this summer?

Friday, June 22, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Mixed Chicks Prize Pack

Like many BGs, I have various hair textures. For instance, the hair in the front of my head has a looser curl pattern, while the back tends to be a bit coarser, tighter curl. Having combination hair can make finding one product to speak to all of my strands difficult. That's why I've been tempted to try Mixed Chicks to treat my "mixed-up" hair, but haven't had the chance. 

Now that the cruelty-free, vegan natural hair care line is launching its full adult line in over 700 Target stores, I just might get that opportunity (check back for a full review). I'm curious to see how well the products work for a non-"mixed chick."  

Ideal for multicultural women seeking a one-stop shop for all of their hair care needs, Mixed Chicks boasts a bevy of products for curly, kinky, wavy-haired, or somewhere in-between BGs. 

Mixed Chicks founders Kim Etheredge (L) and Wendi Levy (R). 

In celebration of their Target partnership, I'm giving away the following products: Mixed Chicks Sulfate Free Shampoo, Mixed Chicks Detangling Deep Conditioner, and the Mixed Chicks Straightening Serum

Mixed Chicks line available here

To learn more about the products and the BGs behind the brand, click here for an exclusive Q&A with founders, Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy

Who's your celebrity hair icon? Simply leave a comment and one winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, July 9th. Again, the prize pack includes a shampoo, conditioner, and serum. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Carol's Daughter Site Caters to Naturalistas

In case you haven't already check out Carol's Daughter relatively new site, TransitioningMovement.com, it's a wonderful online destination for women going through various transitions in their lives.

While the site's focus is mainly on transitioning from chemically-treated to natural hair (tips, products, etc.), it also features beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and mind & body write-ups. The site's aim is to be the resource for your journey.

Yours truly penned a piece about combatting those bad-hairs. Check it out here!


Are you currently in the midst of a transition? Hair? Relationship? Weight? Job? 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Correct Your Complexion with Rx for Brown Skin

June is Acne Awareness Month and unfortunately, my skin seems to be "celebrating." For the past few months, my skin has been sprinkled with breakouts.  Seriously, my skin is starting to resemble a tween's instead of a 32-year-old's!

I'm not sure if it's the stress of potty-training a toddler (I recently accomplished that huge feat) or simply hormonal. Whatever the culprit, I've been giving Rx for Brown Skin's new acne products a go in hopes that they will halt my newfound skin horrors.

Founded by a BG dermatologist, Dr. Susan Taylor, the line speaks to our specific skin needs.

Rx for Brown Skin Clear Luminosity Hydrating Acne Lotion ($32.95) and Precise Clarity Acne Spot Treatment ($39.95) available at rxforbrownskin.com

So far, the Precise Clarity spot treatment has been successful at shrinking my zits overnight. The salicylic acid-based formula soaks up the gunk leaving behind a much more presentable pimple (if such a thing exists). Plus, once applied it gives a slight tingle, which makes me feel like it's really working! But, wait what's worse than unsightly blemishes? Dark spots aka hyper-pigmentation that's what. Luckily, the Clear Luminosity hydrating cne lotion tackles the post-pimple plight by evening skin tone.

If your skin seems to be taking you on a roller-coaster ride hop off and get some stability with this amazing BG brand.

Have you ever tried Rx for Brown Skin products? 

**The winner of the Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Ultra Shea product line is: Tiffany Victoria. Congrats! Please send me your mailing address. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Arsenio Hall to Return to Late Night TV

If you grew up in the late 80s and early 90s , then you're probably just as excited as I am to learn that our king of late-night, Arsenio Hall, is coming back to TV.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the recently appointed winner of Celebrity Apprentice, 56,  is partnering with CBS to host a new late-night talk show set to air 2013.

After watching him battle it out in Donald Trump's boardroom, I was reminded of just how much I missed seeing him on TV. I stayed up countless nights to catch him "woof" it up with his "dog pound" audience.


At the time, The Arsenio Hall Show was the only television outlet to showcase the majority of our stars and give us a glimpse into their glamorous lives, which would've otherwise gone undocumented in mainstream media.

Trust me, Johnny Carson was not featuring Bell Biv Devoe or Jodeci, but Arsenio always celebrated our musicians, actors, and more.  He's a trailblazer whose shoes haven't been filled since his show ended in 1994.

Arsenio, it's been a long time so let's get busy!

Were you a fan of The Arsenio Hall Show back in the day? Will you watch his new show?

Monday, June 18, 2012

REVIEW: L'Oreal Paris Voluminous False Fibers Mascara

I'll admit it, I'm a bit late to board the L'Oreal Paris Voluminous False Fibers mascara bandwagon. I'm not exactly sure why I hadn't heard about this lash-loving product before now, but thanks to last month's Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Beauty Awards I got the memo.

This is the mother of all mascaras, which is why it was named by CEW as one of the best beauty products of 2012.

Available at drugstore.com for $8.95

The tiny bristles allow for ultra-fine fibers to cling to every lash making them appear longer and thicker.  Plus, the application is super easy and the intensifying formula eliminates the need of double coats (I still apply two coats because Tammy Faye Baker is my role model when it comes to lashes). Forget about clumps, flakes, or gooey lashes with this mascara must-have.

Oh and it's called "false" lashes for a reason. It will make your eyes pop and look as if you're wearing falsies because of the full, volumized effect. Nothing makes me look more alive than a swipe of mascara and this one rises to the occasion.

If you envy long, luscious lashes look no further than this "liquid falsies" mascara.

*I was provided product for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own."

What's your favorite mascara brand?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Daddy's Little Girl

There's no denying that dads don't get as much attention as us moms when it comes to their special day – Father's Day. Hallmark commercials aren't exactly flooding the airwaves with sentimental ads nor is there nonstop chatter about the best brunch spots to take dad for his reserved "holiday." Honestly, I never thought much of the day either until my husband became a father.

The moment I gave birth to our daughter, Ava, I've watched him blossom into the absolute best father that any child could ever have. His attentiveness, love, and care for her is simply beautiful to witness. Despite me doing most of the spoiling, Ava is still a true blue daddy's girl. From play-dates in the park to watching basketball, their bond is special and strong.

Hats off to well-deserving dads like him who exemplify what it truly means to be a father. As my gift this Sunday, I just might let him watch the Miami vs. Oklahoma City game completely uninterrupted. Maybe.

My two favorite people: my hubby and Ava G.! 

Were you a daddy's girl? What's the best advice your father has ever given you?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

5 Surprising Facts About Miss Jessie's

I had the awesome pleasure of attending AMBERmag.com's Survival Secrets of Game Changers event on Tuesday featuring textured hair product trailblazers: Miko and Titi Branch of Miss Jessie's.

Moderated by Tia Williams of ShakeYourBeauty.com and co-owner of The Fly Cut, the masterminds behind Miss Jessie's shared very candid and incredibly personal accounts of how they reached mass-produced success.

Being an aspiring entrepreneur, it was refreshing and enlightening to hear first-hand how these BG game changers paved the way for countless other curly hair care product lines.

Titi and Miko Branch of Miss Jessie's

Here are a few facts that I learned about the curly 'do dynamos:
  • The sisters lived together in the brownstone that housed their first salon in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. 
  • They didn't take out any loans to finance their hair care product line. Instead, they used their salon to finance the launch of their products. 
  • From 2006-2008, the sisters were in a bitter dispute that resulted in litigation. In fact, Miko was legally restricted from working within 200 miles of New York.
  • They fought against being placed in the the "ethnic" beauty section of Target, which negatively affected their sales.  After a lot of convincing, the products were ultimately placed in their desired professional styling section of the store.
  • The sisters are currently shopping a book that will give their fans and aspiring entrepreneurs an in-depth look into what it took to create their curly hair care empire.  
Have you ever used Miss Jessie's products? Which entrepreneur do you admire most?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Ultra Shea

Since I’ve suffered from a super dry, flaky scalp for as long as I can remember, I’m always on the hunt for a solution to my problem. Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy’s Ultra Shea Nourishing Scalp & Hair Oil has been my most recent answer.

I've tried countless products and even prescriptions to provide moisture that my scalp and strands so desperately needed, but none of them have worked as well as this oil. It soaks in quickly without leaving behind a greasy build-up akin to the majority of the other scalp nourishments I’ve tried.

Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Ultra Shea available at drugstores nationwide starting at $4.99

Ideal for hot oil treatments, it soothes and locks in moisture leaving strands and scalp fully hydrated. Formulated with natural goodies such as shea butter, coconut, almond, sunflower, argon, soybean, and palm oils, this product is perfect for naturalistas and relaxed BGs.

While I know that water intake is the most effective and sensible solution to combating dry scalp, sometimes you just need a little instant help to mask unsightly dry patches. Used in conjunction with the shampoo and conditioner, it’s the perfect antidote for those who seeking healthy, hydrated hair and scalp.

What products do you use to quench your dry scalp and hair? Would you like to try this entire line (shampoo, conditioner, oil, and balm)? If so, simply leave a comment and a winner will be randomly selected and announced next Wednesday, June 20th. 


**The winner of the AVEENO prize pack is Nylse! Congrats and please send me your mailing address.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Angela Simmons to Launch Hair Extension Line

Angela Simmons may be the offspring of hip-hop royalty, but she's a fashion and beauty trendsetter in her own right. The business-savvy entrepreneur is set to launch a hair extension line in collaboration with leading human hair extension brand Indiqué later this month called Angela Simmons by Indiqué Hair.

In celebration of summer, the line is releasing its debut offering – BIKINI, a wavy, tousled texture ideal for beach jaunts and strolls on the shore.

Angela Simmons by Indiqué Hair: Bikini will retail for $210-$325 per 4oz tube starting June 21st

"To me, hair is a statement and an extension of your wardrobe and I’ve always been drawn to fashion and being able to change up my look," Simmons said in a release.

Known for her philanthropic efforts, Simmons will donate a portion of the proceeds from BIKINI to CancerCare, a national organization whose mission is to provide free professional help to people will all types of cancers through counseling, education, information and referral, and direct financial assistance.

Whether she's dodging paparazzi or fending off rumors of a romance with Lil Romeo, Simmons is a BG who keeps us watching.

What's your go-to hairstyle for the summer? Would you ever purchase extensions from this line? 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Event Alert: AmberMag's Survival Secrets of Game Changers with Miss Jessie's & Tia Williams

For all of my fellow bourgeoning beauty bosses (I co-founded a beauty brand back in the day), AMBERmag.com is hosting an event that you absolutely can't miss!

On Tuesday, June 12th beauty mavens Titi & Miko Branch, the sister duo behind Miss Jessie's will be on hand to share tips/insight on how they built their curly hair care empire while one of my absolute favorite editors, Tia Williams, of the brown beauty blog authority –  ShakeYour Beautywill serve as moderator.

If you've ever dreamed of selling that irresistible lip scrub concocted in your kitchen or envisioned your homemade hair products on store shelves, this is the perfect event for you!

I've attended two of these Survival Secrets of Game Changers' events and trust me, this will be $20 well spent.

Click here to register. 

PRICE: $20 

DATE: TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012 

TIME: 6:30 P.M. to 9 P.M. 

LOCATION: National Comedy Theatre 347 West 36th Street, Between 8th and 9th Avenues New York, NY
 *Wine, light fare and gift bag with samples from Miss Jessie's. Must Pre-Register. No payment at the door.

Do you use Miss Jessie's products?

Tune In: Centric's Hip-Hop Takeover Weekend

We're over a week into June, which means Black Music Month is in full swing. To celebrate the historical music month, Centric TV is airing "takeovers" featuring specials each weekend throughout June. Last week they kicked things off by highlighting the career of the legendary group Earth, Wind & Fire.

Starting tomorrow (10PM EST), hip-hop fans will be in for a weekend of high notes. Viewers will get an inside look into the history of hip-hop with various programming including: Being Mary J. BligeHip-Hop Odyssey: Know Your HistoryHeavy D: Be Inpsired, and Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome.

In between those specials, the network will air old school videos from some of the hip-hop greats and trailblazers.



The next couple of weekends will feature specials celebrating Don Cornelius, Teena Marie, R. Kelly, Gladys Knight, and more.

If you could choose, who would you like to see have a music "takeover" on Centric?

**The winners of the L'Oreal Paris True Match makeup are: Zee, Bailey, and Steel Heels! Congrats. Please email me your mailing addresses. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Giveway: Aveeno Sun-Protection Prize Pack

Sitting poolside soaking up the sun getting a pedicure is definitely on my summer agenda. Before I plan my fun days in the sun, I'll need to fill my tote with a few sun-protecting essentials: sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sun-shielding hat.

Thanks to Aveeno, I want to make sure that you're covered for summer too. I'm giving away one prize pack to a lucky reader filled with the following: Wide-Brimmed Hat, AVEENO Hydrosport Sunscreen SPF30, AVEENO Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Mositurizer SPF 30, a pair of 100% UV-Protecting Shades, and One Month of ACUVUE OASYS Brand Contacts.

If you're wondering how contact lenses fit into this summer bundle, well that's because most contacts don't offer any UV protection. These offer the highest level of UV blocking available in the marketplace.



For more information on how the sun affects vision, be sure to take a listen to HealthVision with Dr. Val's podcast here.



While those warm sun rays feel good beaming down on our bodies, we need to take the proper precautions to prevent skin cancer.  Sometimes we BGs forget that like our fair-skinned counterparts, we're also susceptible to the disease.

Simply leave a comment sharing your summer vacation plans for a chance to win the prize pack. **Exam and fitting fees not included. Winner must present current, valid prescription for ACUVUE Brand Contact Lenses. Please note that this giveaway is only open to U.S residents. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, June 11th. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Giveaway: Test Your Memory With L'Oreal Paris' True Match

Growing up, I loved playing memory games. If any kid thought of challenging me to memory card pursuits, they had to be pretty confident in their matching skills. That's why when I learned about the L'Oreal Paris True Match memory game I couldn't wait to play. A beauty game combo? Count me in!

It's super easy to play. Simply go to the site, click on virtual color swatches until you uncover all matches and voila, you're on to the next level. From now until July 11, the player who flexes her memory muscles to the max by becoming the day's highest scorer can win a prize pack worth $70.  

Available here, for $10.95

Plus, Balanda Atis and Janine Cherette, two BG chemists, worked diligently for 7 years researching 57 ethnic backgrounds to develop this innovative 33-shade collection. They've come up with a formula that's oil-free, doesn't clog  pores, and goes on seamlessly for a flawless finish.  

Whether your complexion is beautifully bronze or a lovely deep mahogany, let L'Oreal Paris help you find your precise True Match shade. 

Have you played the game? Three lucky readers will win their shade as determined by the site. Simply leave your True Match makeup color in the comments. The winners will be randomly selected and announced on Friday. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Beauty News: Carol's Daughter Transitioning Kit Now Available

For those naturalista newbies who've been waiting for a haircare savior for their in-between strands, the time is here.  Carol's Daughter Transitioning 1-2-3 Kit is now available for purchase online.

The set which includes: Purifying Low Poo Cleanser, Renewing Scalp Spray, and Restoring Anti-Breakage Treatment is ideal for those journeying into a newfound freedom from chemically straightened tresses.

Solange Knowles, style maven and Carol's Daughter spokeswoman, is featured in the brand's chic, summery ad video for the kit. Check it out below and to learn more about the products read my overview here.

video

Carol's Daughter Transitioning 1-2-3 Kit available  here,  for $40

What are some of your go-to natural or in-between styles?