Style Item of the Week- Avon Attraction

 

Attraction photo courtesy of Avon

Attraction photo courtesy of Avon

 

The holiday shopping season is in full swing and if you are anything like me you inevitably find yourself doing a bit of shopping for yourself while you’re trying to figure out the ideal gift for your loved ones. I for one fancy myself a perfumista so perfume in any form is a gift that I love to both give and receive. I love a wide range of fragrances- Bond 9 Perfumista is one of my signature fragrances; another one of my current faves is Attraction by Avon. The top notes include blackberry, pink pepper and peach nectar and one of the base notes is rock rose a floral note that tends to be consistent in all of my favorites.  Imagine my delight when purchasing a gift set including shower gel, lotion and fragrance when I realized that Avon was running a BOGO special. For a limited time you can purchase a complete set and get a second one for a total of $50 bucks. With this special you can buy a gift set for you and your bestie or opt to get the men’s gift set which includes after shave conditioner, hair and shower gel and the men’s cologne. If you are a fragrance snob and can’t imagine buying a fragrance from Avon you should know that Avon partners with global perfumers to cultivate its intoxicating line of fragrances. This is not your grandmothers Avon.

Attraction is a great gift for you and the special someone in your life and for the low price of $50 for a gift for you and someone else is virtually a steal.
For more details or to purchase please visit  Avon.

Holiday Staycation: Bingeworthy TV

 

Netflix homescreen

Netflix homescreen

The holidays are upon us and perhaps you have some long overdue stay-cation plans. I for one intend to  make good use of the multiple streaming services I have available including Netflix and Amazon video all while giving new meaning to sofa surfing. Here’s my list of binge-worthy shows to make your season bright.

A Different World-Netflix
Let me just be honest. I chose to attend an HBCU ( historically black college/university) because of the fictional Hilman college- the school featured on this Cosby Show spinoff. Because I came of age during the time the show originally aired, I was completely surprised at the amount of millennials unfamiliar with what I consider to be a classic. Several well-known actors walked the fictional Hilman campus including Halle Berry and Marisa Tomei. I loved everything about the story lines especially the later episodes directed by Debbie Allen as she tackled issues from an HIV positive student to domestic abuse on campus. If you were a fan of the show the holiday season is a great way to revisit it, if you are new to it, be prepared to take a pretty realistic glimpse into life on a black college campus.

Greys Anatomy- Netflix
Shonda Rhimes is a talented goddess who has us hooked on Thursday nights like a sale on Celine bags. There is much attention paid to her show Scandal and though I love Kerry Washington with her lip-quiver and enviable collection of Prada bags, it is Greys Anatomy that continues to win my heart. The show does an amazing job of ripping stories from the headlines and presenting them in such a way that is filled with humanity that I cry just about every episode. Grab your tissue and prepare to be hooked on this series currently in season 11.

flesh and bone- Starz
This show is Black Swan meets Flowers In The Attic with lots of twisted darkness and great choreography thrown in for good measure. The first episode opens with Claire Robbins leaving her Polish Hill, Pittsburg neighborhood to audition for the American Ballet Company In NYC- she wins acceptance into the company and as the first season progresses we learn more about the past of this gorgeous ballerina with a dark past. Follow the adventures of the dancers of ABC as they navigate grueling dance rehearsals, compete for prima and navigate life in the Big City of dreams.

Narcos-Netflix
Narcos quite frankly is one of the best interpretations of the life of Pablo Escobar that I’ve seen. The show follows the infamous drug lord and the DEA agents charged with bringing down his cartel from Medillin to Miami and everywhere in between. The show can be brutal, but alas the graphic nature makes it that much more realistic. The show has just been renewed for a second season so grab the remote, settle in with your popcorn and wine and catch up on this great series.
Entourage- Amazon Video
I was a huge fan of the HBO series which showcases a group of friends from Queens, NY who transplant to Los Angeles after one of them- Vincebt Chase makes it to the big screen after being discovered in of all things a Mentos commercial. Mark Wahlberg serves as one of the executive producers of the show and is loosely based on his career. The series is humorous, with lots of eye candy with Adrien Grenier in the lead. Sit back and relax and watch the boys from Queens make a name for themselves on the Left Coast.

Viola Davis- WON!


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Last night Viola Davis made history. Typically my posts after any awards show are about who wore what and how they achieved their look but today, is different because Viola won. My excitement for her win is much like any “firsts” for a woman of color. I recognize the pride in other black women too on the day after a major accomplishment- we give knowing smiles because if Viola can do it there is a part of each of us that realizes that no matter what the “it” is we can accomplish “it” too. Shonda Rhimes opened the door to opportunity for leading ladies who defy tradition and in her acceptance speech Davis proclaimed- “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.”

My constant prayer is asking for a spirit of excellence, that my light shine brightly and when I see excellence in the accomplishments of others I realize that my goals and dreams are probably closer than I think because after all, if Viola did it, I can and I WILL.
Congrats to Viola Davis for being the first African-American woman to win an Emmy in a drama series. Davis was wearing Carmen Marc Valvo, in case you were wondering.

Photo credit

 

NYFW- Hanes Hosiery Bibhu Mohapatra

Hanes Hosiery Bibhu Mohapatra

Hanes Hosiery Bibhu Mohapatra

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NYFW- Sally Hansen For Phillip Lim

Sally Hansen For Phillip Lim

Sally Hansen For Phillip Lim

The nail look has very much become a part of the total story to complete runway collections. Sally Hansen is a beloved brand and with a budget-friendly price point, the polishes remain accessible to the masses. Phillip Lim turned to Sally Hansen’s Global Color Ambassador Madeline Poole in order to create looks that complimented his 2016 Spring Collection. On the inspiration for the collection Poole indicated “Every nail is different at Phillip Lim. The girls are each wearing a sporty stripe of chrome-silver in varying thicknesses on top of an organic, creamy brown in shade ‘All Bark.’ The collection’s theme, ‘Stop and Smell the Roses,’ embraces beauty in dirtiness and transitional colors, with high-shine specks and glossy accents. Silver is Phillip Lim’s 10th anniversary color, and the stripe is an homage to his decade of style.”

I personally love the creamy, chocolate richness of the All Bark collection and for 7.99 you can’t beat the price.

Visit www.sallyhansen.com for more details.

NYFW- Shea Moisture Backstage At Tracy Reese

Shea Moisture returned for the second year as the official hair sponsor for Tracy Reese’s runway show. Bok-Hee served as lead stylist for the show and she created an interesting combination of a sleek, classic chignon featuring textured bangs that provided a slightly wind blown effect. According to Bok-Hee the vision was to “keep the woman looking natural and truly authentic.”

Here is a rundown of the products used to get the look:
1. Shea Moisture Professional Curl- Leave In Conditioner was used to combat frizz.
2. Section out a small portion of leave-out in order to create the bangs.


3. Use Shea Moisture Professional Vibrant Color Shine Glaze and then pull the hair into a ponytail
4. Two-strand twist the ponytail in order to create a chignon, secure with bobby pins
5. To create the textured bangs apply Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Coconut water then braid the hair in a single braid from ear to ear. ( the stylists created pin curls to achieve texture, however a braid is easier at home!) tr the process
6. Unbraid the hair after letting it set for 10 minutes and then finish the look by spraying Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Mist.

 

Finished Look

Finished Look

 

Shea Moisture products are available at Target and Sally Beauty Supply Stores nationwide.

Please visit www.sheamoisture.com for additional product information.

 

photo credit:  Brian Hall, www.luxeglammedia.com

Simply Be Empowerment Campaign Featuring My Boo Ty Alexander

Ty Alexander

Ty Alexander

As a lifestyle blogger my inbox is frequently filled with press releases touting the next greatest beauty product or some epic, can’t miss event. I often skim these releases, consider whether they resonate with me and my audience and never really give them much thought. This morning was quite different because I received a release featuring a woman I truly consider a friend and I teared up with pride and excitement because my boo Ty Alexander was included among a list of stellar bloggers. I have had a glimpse into her rise, I know a bit about her journey and I couldn’t be happier for this season in her life. Ty is featured in the Simply Be Empowerment campaign and the cast of ANTM will be challenged to represent their given hashtag:

#SimplyBeFearless
#SimplyBeUnique
#SimplyBeSeductive
#SimplyBeHeard

Tune into the CW network at 8pm EST as Top Model alum Whitney Thompson along with Simply Be US publicist and Kelly Cutrone hosts tonight’s challenge.

You can see all the bloggers featured in the campaign here

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

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