Tuesday, July 31, 2012

CONTEST: Black Opal Hosts "Sparkle" Giveaway

Since I've never seen the original Sparkle movie (I know I'm in the minority!), I'm super anxious to see the remake next month. I'm sure many of my fellow BGs are highly anticipating the release of the film starring Jordin Sparks, Tika Sumpter, Carmen Ejogo and the late Whitney Houston too!

Lucky for us, the movie's official cosmetics partner—Black Opal, is hosting a cool contest in conjunction with the film. One grand prize winner will win a spa day, beauty swag bag, and a private screening of Sparkle for her and 10 of her besties! Plus, 25 finalists will win two movie passes to the film and beauty gift bags.

From now until August 17th, simply click here for your chance to win, well, sparkle!

Pampering, popcorn and primping with your girls? This is a contest you definitely don't want to miss!

Are you planning on seeing Sparkle when it hits theaters August 17th?

Monday, July 30, 2012

3 Must-Have Makeup Removers

Many of us enjoy putting on makeup to play up our best features, but taking it off is never fun. Thanks to a few handy makeup-removing wipes, the task of taking off our "faces" can be fast and easy!

Whether you need to dissolve waterproof mascara or lift away full-on foundation, these products can help you reclaim a clean and clear face.

Check out a few of my faves: 
Aveeno Ultra-Calming Makeup Removing Wipes should be a bathroom staple! The oil-free formula is gentle enough for everyday use and contains active naturals that leaves skin feeling fresh and balanced. I especially love that the wipes' scent isn't overwhelming, which is always a turn-off for me. Available here, $6.99

Say Yes to Cucumbers Eye Makeup Remover Pads are a great way to clear away resistant liners and mascaras. The cooling effect of the natural, cucumber-infused pads soothes eyes while leaving them soft and clean. Available here, $6.99

Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes have become an instant beauty classic. The plush wipes take away dirt and makeup with an easy swipe. Plus, they're great for traveling! Available here, $4.99  

Have you ever accidentally fallen asleep in your makeup? What removers do you use?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cheer on Team USA in Style!

With the opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics starting tonight, Kris Nations's super cute United States pendant is the perfect accessory for cheering on Team USA! It's a cleverly stylish way to show off your patriotic pride.

The eco-friendly pendant is made of recycled metal and plated in either 14K gold or sterling silver for an incredibly light-weight and delicate eye-catching shape.

Kris Nations "USA" Pendant available here, $42

Plus, the jewelry line also offers state pendants that can be worn to showcase your geographical location of choice. These ultra-chic accessories are a cool and simple way to keep home close to your heart!

Kris Nations State Pendants available here, $42

What state are you from? Will you tune in to the 2012 Summer Olympics? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dr. Dina Strachan Joins CVS Pharmacy's Beauty Board

My best-kept beauty secret (aside from all of my fave products) is going to be available to all of my fellow BGs! That's right, my very own personal dermatologist, Dr. Dina Strachan, is the newest member of the CVS Pharmacy Beauty Board.

In celebration of joining the beauty advisory team,  she'll host a live chat via Facebook tomorrow, July 26 at 12pm to 1:30pm EST. She'll be on-hand to answer all skincare-related questions, from dandruff concerns to acne issues.

She has helped my skin through various ups and downs, including pregnancy (when my skin was at its worst!) and beyond. Her knowledge of ethnic skincare, attentiveness, and overall pleasant demeanor makes her one of the most sought after dermatologists in the New York city area.

For those who don't live in the NYC area,  be sure to take advantage of having her expertise literally at your fingertips!

I don't know about you, but I feel the most beautiful when my skin is clear and blemish-free! Dr. Strachan is the doctor who can help solve all of your skincare problems.

Be sure to RSVP here!

Do you have an excellent dermatologist? 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mariah Carey to Join "American Idol"

Looks like one of my favorite musical artists Mariah Carey, will join America Idol  this fall. The singer, 42, has officially reached a deal with Fox to serve as the show's latest pop diva judge.

On the heels of singer/actress Jennifer Lopez's and rock legend Steven Tyler's split from the show, it is the hope of Fox execs that Carey will keep Idol fans interested.

“It’s the biggest recording artist than any of these [singing competition] shows have ever had,” Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly told the press on Monday. “It’s an artist many of these contestants have tried to emulate. [The deal] only concluded only hours ago. Not being the only game in town we need to keep things fresh.”

In a recent phone call with reporters Carey said, "I am so excited to be joining Idol." 

Even though I haven't faithfully watched the televised singing competition since Simon Cowell's departure, I'll be sure to tune in to catch the queen of 90s R&B/pop share her two cents with the singing hopefuls.

Will you tune in to American Idol now that Mariah Carey will be a judge?

7 Totally Cool Canvas Totes for Summer

Canvas totes are the "it" bags of summer. Light-weight and comfortable, they're perfect for packing  summertime essentials for those lazy days lounging poolside (or beachside!).

From flip-flops to sunscreen to beach reads, totes are the go-to for carrying warm-weather  must-haves in style!

Check out a few of my faves:

Coach Washed Canvas Beach Tote available at coach.com, $348

MZ Wallace "Ava" (gotta love that name!) Sequined Canvas Tote available at nordstrom.com, $185

Kate Spade New York "Daycation" Coated Canvas Tote available at nordstrom.com, $148

Kerrington Printed Canvas Tote available at neimanmarcus.com, $295

Cole Haan "Jitney" Canvas Tote available at nordstrom.com, $98

Neon Motif Shopper, available at topshop.com, $20

Urban Renewal Denim Tote, available at urbanoutfittters.com, $20

Do you have a canvas tote? If so, what's in your bag?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Calling All Curly Girls: Carol's Daughter Launches New Hair Milk Collection

If you're a fan of Carol's Daughter cult-favorite Hair Milk, then you're in for a true treat! The natural hair and body brand is introducing a new 4-product collection of the curl-perfecting system. While they've improved the scent and slightly reformulated the classic moisturizer, they've added three additional products to keep our curls clean, conditioned, hydrated and in place.

The collection includes a Co-wash Cleansing Conditioner, Original Leave-in Moisturizer (Hair Milk), Lite Leave-in Moisturizer (Hair Milk) and Pudding (Hair Milk that holds, defines and styles).

Hair Milk 4-Product Collection Starter Kit available here, $24

In celebration of the new launch founder, Lisa Price, is hosting "Curly Parties"across the country. Kicking off the festivities on July 27th at Macy's (State Street location) in my hometown, Chicago. During the event, attendees will be able to speak with on-site curly hair specialists and mingle with other curly girls. Plus, some who make a qualifying purchase will walk away with a limited edition goodie!

Sounds like a win-win to me!

Are you a fan of the original Hair Milk? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cute Ways to Store Your Jewelry

I don't know about you, but my jewelry box is an embarrassing mess! It's time for me to clear out the clutter and rediscover a few of my "lost" treasures by properly stashing and storing my rings, necklaces, and of course beloved hoops.

Photo Credit: Shelterness.com

Remember, just like with clothes, you can't wear what you don't see so it's time to toss the old and reorganize the new!

Check out a few of these super cute storage ideas:

Household Essentials Bracelet and Necklace Hanging Jewelry Organizer, Natural Canvas, $18 available at Amazon here.

Expandable Jewelry Tree, $20 available at The Container Store here.

Little Black Dress Jewelry Storage, $20 available at The Container Store here

4-Section Acrylic Jewelry Organizer, $10 available at The Container Store here.

Bling HangIt, $10 available at The Container Store here

Do you use hanging trees or jewelry boxes to stash your collection?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Beauty: Bronzers or Blush?

For a gorgeous glow, bronzers are the typical beauty go-to. But so far this summer, I've been smitten with M·A·C Cosmetics' matte powder blush in Mocha (a soft plum/pink shade).

While it doesn't make my skin look sun-kissed, it does provide a pretty pop of color that brings out my cheekbones and complements my recent bold lip choices.

I may change my mind and opt for a shimmery, just-left-the-beach look, but for now this matte blush will be a mainstay in my summer makeup bag.

M·A·C Cosmetics Powder Blush available here, $20

Which do you prefer during the summer, bronzers or powder blush?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Friendly Accessories

Accessories are like the cherry on top when it comes to pulling off killer outfits. This summer I'm all about piling on bright, chunky bracelets for a cool, edgy look. My favorite style is the updated friendship bracelet.

Designers like Holbrooke by S. Berry have reinvented the old school accessory with a fresh twist by interweaving gold links into colorful threads for extra wow factor. The gold and neon color mix makes it easy to wear with just about anything.

Whether you like trying new trends or stick to classic styles, there’s no denying that accessories are a must for amping up any ensemble!

"Miami Vice" Holbrooke by S. Berry bracelet, $100
 Get it here!

What's your favorite go-to accessory this summer?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Beat Balmy Weather Makeup Woes

With temps reaching triple digits, it's easy to have a makeup meltdown. But with the help of a few beauty basics, you'll be able to beat balmy weather makeup woes.

From combatting oily skin to runny liners, the following products will keep your face fresh and flawless. 

Check them out: 

These all-natural, oil-absorbing sheets are a must-have for those who suffer from shiny skin syndrome during the summer. Ideal for on-the-go, they won't alter makeup and will fit perfectly into compact purses and clutches. Tatcha Evening Aburatorigami Sheets (40 count) available here, $15

Forget gooey glosses and stick with a stay-in-place lippy for a polished look. Maybelline 14-Hour Lipstick available here, $8.49

Spritz on a a few squirts of this finishing spray and your makeup will stay marvelous and melt-proof. Skindinavia Finishing Spray available here, $30

Don't let runny liners leave you looking like a raccoon. Lock down your peepers with a smudge-free formula like Revlon's ColorStay Eyeliner available here, $7

What's your summer beauty routine? One lucky reader will win the Tatcha Evening Aburatorigami Sheets (40 count).  Simply leave a comment or Tweet this post and the winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday. 

**The winner of the Mixed Chicks prize pack is Live Love Natural Beauty! Congrats, please email me your mailing address by Monday, July 16th.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blast from the Past Post: Taking it to the Max!

Originally published: June 2, 2008

This season the maxi dress is the perfect piece to add to your summer wardrobe. The popular, Grecian-like style can be worn on cool days at the beach; or if paired with the right accessories can even be ideal for  fun date nights out on the town!

Plus, these fabulous, free-flowing frocks can create long & lean silhouettes, which I’m sure many BGs can appreciate. Who doesn’t want to look chic and elongated?

I haven’t actually bought one of these dresses yet, but I know that I’ll eventually get one before the summer is over.

Will you wear a maxi dress this summer?