The Evolution Of Curves Rock Weekend

This was the fourth installment of Curves Rock Weekend and I can see clear evidence of the growth and evolution of this plus- friendly event which features everything from karaoke to an expo of some of the most sought after designers in the plus- community.

This year I had a chance to attend the Fashion Meets Curves brunch which provided media, stylists and bloggers the opportunity to hear first hand from some of the designers showcased during the runway show.

Ashley Stewart served as a sponsor for the weekend and Big Women: Big Love star Sabrina Servance was awesome as she encouraged attendees to embrace their beauty and curves as well as giving transparent insight into her own journey as a quirky, curvy girl with a unique sense of style.

Looks from Ashley Stewart
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Style expert Denise Cadell also addressed attendees- Some of her best advice for being snatched? Select your shapers/ Spanx in one size smaller for ultimate silouette under your clothes.

I had several fan girl moments during the weekend as I had a chance to buy pieces from one of my favorite designers Courtney Noelle ( formerly Rum and Coke). Her items were deeply discounted and I fell so deeply in love with one of the dresses that I opted to wear it that evening.image

Me rocking Courtney Noelle

The runway show is always the highlight of the show and featured designs from the likes of Tru Diva Designs, Ashley Stewart and Eyani Couture.

 

 

Check out some of the other looks from the Runway show:

 

 

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Make sure you follow Curves Rock Weekend to keep updated on next years event.

Photo credit: Brian Hall, Luxe Glam Collective

Essence Festival 2015 Recap #BringTheLove

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Essence Fest is like going to your family reunion and rather than hiring your cousin Boobie to DJ there’s Grammy award winners, legends and rising stars. Touted as one of the largest marketing events with a highly desirable demographic of black women, Essence Fest is something everyone should experience at least once. Inevitably you will let out squeals of excitement as you run into people from your past on Bourbon Street and the performances at the Superdome are equal parts electrifying or intimate depending on if the artist is on the main stage or performing in one of the lounges.

Goapele Verizon Lounge

Goapele Verizon Lounge

Jonathan McReynolds, Verizon Lounge

Jonathan McReynolds, Verizon Lounge

This is my second year attending the festival and I was committed to experiencing the empowerment sessions and other awesome opportunities beyond the music.

The session that touched me the most was an overview of the keys to finding your soulmate with Sarah Jakes Roberts and her husband Toure Roberts. They were funny, insightful and engaging but most importantly they delivered a powerful message about healing as an individual before seeking out your soulmate. At one point I was looking for an usher to pass me a tissue as their transparency raised questions from the attendees and it became clear that though we were not in church, yokes were being broken and people were being saved from repeating relationship mistakes.

Sarah Jakes Roberts and Toure Roberts

Sarah Jakes Roberts and Toure Roberts

 

 

Make plans to attend next years festival now as hotels sell out quickly. Check out the Essence Festival site for updates on next years’ line up.

Wale

Wale

Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland

All photos courtesy of Brian Hall, Luxe Glam Media

Beauty Buzz: What Is Strobing?

I swear every week (day?)there’s a new trend in beauty. The current buzz is all about strobing which is essentially highlighting minus the contour. Summers’ humidity combined with warmer temperatures means a lighter touch with your make up. Ditch the heavy foundations, skip the contour and add your highlight and voila! Strobing in full effect. If your skin tends to be a bit oilier, find a good mattifying primer to pair with a powder and top it with your highlighter of choice in order to complete your look.

Here are some of my favorite products to help you achieve the strobing effect:

Budget-friendly

Hands down one of my favorite products is Ruby Kisses bronzer in bronze glow. Whenever I wear this product people will inevitably stop me to ask what im wearing. You can find it in most beauty supply stores for a budget-friendly 4.99.

Ruby Kisses Bronze Glow

Ruby Kisses Bronze Glow

Mid-range

MAC prep and prime highlighter is another great option it comes in a range of shades and was always one of my favorite products when I worked on counter. Prep and prime highlighter retails for $26.00 can be found online at MAC cosmetics.

MAC prep and prime highlighter

MAC prep and prime highlighter

Photo source

Break the bank
Touche éclat by Yves Saint Laurent has an almost cult like following because of its ability to produce natural looking highlights. I expect miracles with the $46.00 price tag. You can purchase touche éclat at Sephora.

Touche éclat

Touche éclat

Photo source

Big Easy Style Lounge 2.0

Design Essentials Coconut and Monoi

Design Essentials Coconut and Monoi

 

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Design Essentials hosted the Big Easy Style Lounge 2.0 during this past weekend’s Essence Festival and Ledisi announced the introduction of a Look Book created in conjunction with the brand. The style lounge continues to be one of the premier day party events for beauty bloggers, naturalistas and celebs alike.

Attendees were treated to massages, mini-makeovers and given an opportunity to try products from the coconut and monoi line (which I love!); an added bonus for me was I won a gorgeous Gregory Sylvia leather bag as part of the door prizes. Trust me, the bag is all kinds of gorgeous and this pic doesn’t really do it any justice.

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Winner! Gregory Sylvia Bag w/ Host Jade of Lipstick and Curls

Normally when I travel to New Orleans, I always opt for some protective styling because the heat does my natural hair no favors. However I decided to rock my Fro this trip and the coconut and manoi product line from Design Essentials was the perfect remedy for my thirsty curls. The curling gel tamed my frizz and gave me great definition.
Check out design essentials to learn more about their full range of products.

 

 

photo credit: Brian Hall, www.luxeglammedia.com

Digital Sorority At Magnolia Makeup

Essence Fest is filled with great music and without question the nightly performances at the Super dome are a highlight for most attendees. However, the icing on the festival cake for me is the networking and brand experiences that take place beyond the music. I had a chance to visit Magnolia Makeup– a brand I was familiar with but had never experienced thanks to the Glamx event hosted by the ladies of Digital Sorority.

The afternoon was filled with make-overs and of course some good old fashion kee kee.

I fell in love with the highly pigmented shadows which offer full coverage eliminating the need to use a shadow as a base.

Check out the lovely ladies of Digital Sorority and visit Magnolia Makeup in order to shop their full range of products.

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Kela Walker and Ty Alexander of Digital Sorority

Ty of Gorgeous In Grey

Ty of Gorgeous In Grey

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Me with the ladies of Digital Sorority l-r- Kela Walker, Christen Rochon, Ty Alexander

photo credit: Brian Hall, Luxe Glam Media

The Pursuit of Inches

Hair weave I spent the early years of my career as a social worker. I did everything from working at an alternative school to doing family reunification therapy for children who were formerly wards of the state. Though I no longer practice social work my passion has always been for youth and more specifically young women. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interact with young women in a multitude of arenas and one of the trends that I find so disturbing is the need to feel pretty or even beautiful based on having weaved hair. Now let me pause in this moment and acknowledge that black women have a long history of issues over “good” or “bad” hair, so I will not use this forum to beat that horse- what I’m talking about now has more to do with the accessibility of weaving hair and the pervasive need for “inches”- which refers to the length of said weaving hair. I was recently talking to a beautiful young woman, around 15 years old who did not feel pretty because she was wearing her natural hair. She went on to say that she had been asking her mother for more hair as she currently only had 24 inches and wanted 28. I reminded myself to fix my face during this conversation because I remember a time when black women though not ashamed of wearing weaves spent a lot of money to ensure that their hair looked as natural as possible- now the focus is on installations and the longer the hair the better. This way down to the nether regions hair has jokingly been referred to as stripper hair as longer lengths are de rigueur for those who drop down and get their eagle on.

I find myself completely at a loss for this affinity for stripper-like hair and the endless pursuit of “inches”. The pervasive issue of the pursuit of some young black woman seeking to be more mainstream in their appearance, while their white counterparts are doing everything they can to look like US. The Brazilian butt lift is an ode to the oft revered black woman’s bottom and lip injections? Well that clearly is deference to our succulent lips.

There is a responsibility for leaders, mentors and key influencers to let young girls know that they are more than enough, and the pursuit of inches has nothing to do with the beauty that is within.

#TeamMushiya DC Watch Party (Recap)

The rooftop of the Woodward Building in Northwest DC served as the backdrop for the #TeamMushiya watch party for WE Tv’s run away new hit Cutting It In The ATL. Mushiya Tshikuka, the shows resident naturalista and fan favorite is both authentic and beautiful with a confidence she exudes in immeasurable doses.

A select group of DMV naturalistas and fans of the show were treated to a private screening accompanied by a five course meal and the piece de la resistance? The meal was expertly prepared by Mushiya and gracefully served by “TheDamn Girls” who are the talented stylists from the salon.

 

I had a chance to sit down with Mushiya and asked her about her personal mantra- “I don’t dream, I goal” and the beauty was very clear about her vision- essentially affirming that while it’s  nice to dream, success comes from having a definitive plan. One of the expressions The Damn Salon has become famous for is the tagline- “hair that creates horny usbands” Mushiya emphasizes that she is not opposed to straight hair, she just wants women to realize that hair in its natural state demonstrates such a level of confidence and that is the essence of what men are attracted to- the confidence of a woman who is completely at home in her own skin… And natural hair.

Catch Mushiya on Cutting It In The ATL on Thursdays at 10pm.

 

Rooftop View, Woodward Building, DC

Rooftop View, Woodward Building, DC

Guests enjoying the rooftop view

Guests enjoying the rooftop view

Mushiya

Mushiya

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Photo credit: www.luxeglammedia.com

Style Item Of The Week- Esqido False Lashes

Esqido False Lashes

Esqido False Lashes

As a makeup artist I definitely keep my share of lashes on hand; however I had never tried mink lashes so I jumped at the opportunity to try Esqido false lashes, especially when I heard they were favorites of one of my beauty icons Rihanna.

The lashes are incredibly natural, so much so that when I visited my mother ( my biggest champion and often toughest critic) she declared: “are those your lashes? They look so natural.”

The Unforgettable lashes are natural enough that they can be worn in the office, however they have enough glam factor that they can be worn for an event or special occasion.

After trimming the lashes to ensure proper fit, here are a few of my tips for application:

1. Line your eyes directly above the
Lash line- this line will serve as a guide for applying your lashes

2. Fully coat lashes with lash glue-( I prefer the Duo brand) ensure that the glue dries to the point of tackiness- this usually happens around 45 seconds after the glue has been applied

3. Apply lashes from inner to outer lid- it helps if you look down while applying.

4. After the lash has been applied, look down and gently tap the entire width of the band to ensure adhesion

5. Top the lashes with a second coat of liner to completely conceal any evidence of the band

I have already worn my lashes twice and in order to ensure there longevity, I gently wipe the band with makeup remover before storing them in the box they came in.

The Make Up Show Launches Beauty Week

The Make a Up Show

The Make a Up Show


This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the Make Up Show and in honor of a decade worth of beauty, glam and education the premier beauty event welcomes the launch of the first Beauty Week.

The week kicks off on April 29th through May 5th and includes hands on workshops and seminars a career fair, a gala and a champagne- fueled beauty tour led by James Vincent. The Make Up Show sponsors include MAKE UP FOR EVER, TEMPTU PRO, Crown Brush, NARS, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Alcone, INGLOT, Smashbox, MAKE UP FOR EVER Academy, Pinnacle Cosmetics, Bdellium Tools, Glamcor, The Powder Group, and On Makeup Magazine.

Here’s an overview of some of the events for the week:

DAY 1 – Wednesday, April 29th – Hands-on workshops

• Artisanal Beauty with Multidimensional Makeup with Danessa Myricks
• Character Creation Through Makeup Design and Application with Joe Dulude II

DAY 2 – Thursday, April 30th – Signature Style Seminars

• Unconventional Beauty with Danessa Myricks
• Beyond Bridal with Esterique Aidan
• Modern Glamour with Bethany Townes
• Unforgettable Editorial with Orlando Santiago
• New York Groove with James Vincent
• Secrets of My Success: A panel of The Makeup Show Artists – This is complimentary and only open to those taking at least 3 other seminars. Stay late for this session and join some of your favorite artists to share personal stories over a glass of wine.

DAY 3 – Friday, May 1st—The Makeup Show Gala Dinner & After-Party – Join The Makeup Show for their 2nd annual ball to celebrate The Makeup Show’s 10 Year Anniversary with a touch of glamour, gorgeous makeup, the spirit of giving, and an opportunity to gather with the makeup community.

DAY 4 – Saturday, May 2nd—Hands-on workshops – Saturday is a day for full day hands-on workshops before The Makeup Show.

DAY 5 & 6 – Sunday, May 3rd and Monday, May 4th The Makeup Show NYC – Sunday and Monday The Makeup Show NYC opens doors for full days of beauty, inspiration, and opportunity.

DAY 6 – Monday, May 4th—The Makeup Show Career Fair – Following the conclusion of the show, is The Makeup Show Career Fair which is limited to ticket holders of The Makeup Show NYC attending on Monday, May 4. Limited to 100 attendees

DAY 7 – Tuesday, May 5th—Beauty Tour NYC – Join celebrity makeup artist James Vincent through a champagne fueled ride around Manhattan and make stops along the way at all of this favorite makeup haunts. End the tour with legendary Dany Sanz at MAKE UP FOR EVER’s pro studio.

This is definitely a can’t miss event for MUA’s and beauty girls! For more details please visit http://www.themakeupshow.com/nyc/

Book Your Runway Curls Glamover!

Runway Curls

Runway Curls

The Natural Hair Expo is taking place in Birmingham on March 28th and Runway Curls, the 100% textured, Ethiopian, virgin hair line is offering an opportunity for a complete Glam Over during the show. The Glam Over is a natural hair make over and includes hair, installation, styling, makeup and products. Spaces are extremely limited and this incredible package valued at $1,000 is a steal for only $325!

The package includes:

1 Ticket to the 4th Annual Natural Hair & Health Expo
2 Bundles Runway Curls Ethiopian Textured Extensions
Professional Installation and Styling
Design Essentials Natural Maintenance Kit
Professional Make-up
& Glam Photo

You can book your Runway Curls Glamover by visiting Runway Curls

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