Eleventh Hour Christmas Gifts

As the wee hours of Christmas Eve close in on you, your window to Christmas shop in the “big box” stores has sadly come to a close. If you are a holiday procrastinator the drug store may be your only option for purchasing gifts. Sure there’s always gift cards which manage to brighten up a recipients face but I tend to think that gift cards are the lazy approach to the holidays.

Here are some great budget friendly items that you can find in your local drug store- and added plus? Many drug stores are open until midnight and several will be open on Christmas Day.

First off, did you know that Nivea has been around since 1911? Clearly such longevity in the beauty industry means that they must be doing something right and for just $1 it’s the perfect stocking stuffer item. Nivea is ideal for smoothing out rough edges. Apply Nivea post bath or shower at night generously to your feet and then put on your favorite socks and your feet will feel like you just got a pedicure in the morning. Nivea also serves as a great alternative to cuticle oil. Use it around your nail bed to keep hang nails at bay between manicures.

Nivea Creme

Nivea Creme

Cantu Curling Cream
If your last minute holiday shopped list includes a naturalista, Cantu curling cream works universally to not only enhance curls, but it also does a great job of minimizing frizz.

Cantu Curling Creme

Cantu Curling Creme

Rocher Chocolates

I will readily admit it- I have a sweet tooth. I discovered Rocher one year when my parents gave me a box for Christmas and I’ve been hooked ever since.

ELF products

For the beauty girl in your life ELF- eyes, lips, face is an awesome option. From deluxe brushes to a wide range of products for well, your eyes, lips and face offers a beautiful stocking stuffer for the beauty-obsessed.

ELF, starting at $2.99

ELF, starting at $2.99

AJ Crimson Debuts Dual Skin Cream Foundation During New York Fashion Week

AJ Crimson dishes on his new line w/ press

AJ Crimson dishes on his new line w/ press

AJ Crimson served as the makeup sponsor to several shows this season and I was able to get a sneak peek of his new dual foundation which debuted during fashion week.
Dual Skin Cream Foundation

Dual Skin Cream Foundation

The foundation is buildable and offers sheer to full coverage. Crimson indicted that he created the colors for the dual foundation from dark to light so there is definitely something in the wide range of hues for brown girls. I had a chance to catch up with the makeup guru backstage at Harbison where I swatched his new banana cream which is perfect for creating highlight and contour. The biggest plus of the banana cream is that it goes on wet versus the powdery finish of other brands that can sometimes leave you looking ghostly.

The other exciting update from Crimson is that his foundation will be offered in a pro-palette which is a perfect addition to makeup artists kits.

The look backstage for Harbison was clean, natural lines with a pop of color on the lid. The goal essentially was to enhance the natural beauty versus an overly dramatic look.
To learn more about the collection visit AJ Crimson

Photo credit: Sherrie Wood www.luxeglammedia.com

NYFW-Backstage At Victor dE Souza with Mizani

Backstage at Victor dE Souza

Backstage at Victor dE Souza

Master Mizani Stylist Ceaser Ramirez was tapped to create looks for the Victor dE Souza Spring 2015 Collection and the textured hair was very reminiscent of 80s disco chic. The arctic- icy blonde tresses were the perfect exclamation to accentuate the beautifully cut satins and silks in the collection.

“I wanted to design a dimensional style in this icy, arctic shade for a dramatic look,” says Ramirez. “Using MIZANI products to create the bold, textured style was a perfect match, as the brand has always been a leader in the professional textured market. I loved having the opportunity to work with Victor because he brings drama and his pieces are incredibly theatrical, so it really inspires my creativity.”

Ramirez used the following Mizani products in order to create what he describes as an “A-line bob”:

First the entire head was coated with
Mizani Iron Curl Heat Styling cream and the hair was braided all over in a figure 8 pattern; once the pins were secure, the hair was sealed with the humidity resistant mist and touched briefly with a flat iron.

Figure 8 braid

Figure 8 braid

Finally the hair was taken down and teased to create textured voluminous bob.

For more product details please visit:www.mizani.com
Follow them on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @mizaniusa

“Gone Natural”?

Lisa Brown-Hall photo by :Luxe Glam Collective

Lisa Brown-Hall
photo by :Luxe Glam Collective

First of all, I have not  “gone natural”  I simply took my weave out one day and discovered that  trimming my ends regularly between weaves and wearing my hair braided under my Spanish wavy tresses, my hair was more “natural” then relaxed.  I make this important distinction right off the bat because my hair is not some political statement.  I have no desire to begin to wear fragrances that mimic the scent of incense nor am I trading in my stilettos for Birkenstocks; I simply decided that after years of wearing a weave the hair that God blessed me with is sufficient enough.   Please understand that my incense/Birkenstock comment is not a judgment of those who favor either- however, there is a pervasive impression that natural hair is not glamorous, sexy or desirable.  The natural hair debate is a sensitive and often divisive one that can become incredibly heated- just like the dreaded team light skin or dark skin debate- who started THAT nonsense?  Natural versus relaxed hair as a conversation starter has likely broken up family gatherings.

You have to have thick skin to be natural, especially if you live outside of major metropolitan areas where the relationship with the creamy crack or the press and comb go together like peanut butter and jelly. I had a conversation with a friend who holds the opinion that in order to be natural you have to dress a certain way and thought a bohemian wardrobe would become de rigueur.  My question is why has our hair (as in black women) always been such a political debate?  The bigger question is why is this debate such a divisive issue between black women especially?   If we continue to subscribe to the theory that natural= bad what does that say about our natural complexions which many people pay top dollar to achieve?  I do not anticipate that this debate will ever end anytime soon.  As for me and my house hair is just an accessory- I am just as likely to rock my glorious ‘fro as the aforementioned Spanish wavy.  After all it’s just hair.  I had another friend inquire about how I handle having a husband and natural hair- I was completely dumbfounded by this question because my husband has locs and is probably more pro- natural then most.   If the debate among black women is heated, black men can be downright cruel when a woman is natural- I recognize that I am fortunate in this regard because my husband loves my ‘fro.

My natural hair is not an “alternative” and I have not gone anywhere- I simply returned to my kinky, coiled roots and I love it.


CEW Names Best Beauty Products on the Market


The 18th Annual CEW (Cosmetics Executive Awards) took place on yesterday and the best and brightest from 29 categories including hair, skin care, cosmetics and nail care were named. With the wide range of beauty products available to women, the CEW awards signifies a stamp of approval from a panel of trusted advisors so women can easily shift through all of the advertising and purchase the right products in order to achieve results. “When it comes to buying beauty products, women are looking for proven performance and claims they can trust,” says Carlotta Jacobson, CEW President.

Some of my hands down favorites made the cut including Prada Candy which is quickly becoming my signature scent to the Sally Hansen nail strips which give you a professional look at home for a fraction of the cost.

A complete list of product winners can be found here.


Stay pretty,


The Make Up Show- Press Preview Recap

This weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of attending The Make Up Show press preview. This is a must- attend event for emerging make-up artists or even someone who has been in the business for awhile, as the show is designed to help artist develop their craft and truly get a foothold in the industry.  With panels ranging from understanding the business of beauty blogging to more of a career focus with a discussion on how to land an agent, the make-up show is the place for professionals to cultivate their artistry and hone their business acumen.


TMS also boasts over 75 booths with over 120 product lines represented.  One aspect of the show that is particularly exciting for me is the number of independent brands that get launched that I may not have otherwise had insight into.


I was charmed by the warm and infectious personality of James Vincent who is the Director of Artistry for the show.  During the preview he offered advice like “You have to know how to make anything that’s in your kit work” to tips on really seeing beyond the consumerism of the make up industry in order to develop an understanding what you need to take yourself to the next level.


Because I am a novice make-up artist, I took voracious notes and was delighted by all the products we were gifted- so stay tuned, because over the next few weeks my Style Item of the Week posts are likely to come from items received at the show.


Here’s a quick peek into the show and of course I captured just a little bit of real style.


James Vincent Director of Artistry, The Make Up Show


Danessa Myricks discussing her limited edition brush collection


Modern Day Marilyn- Andy Warhol exhibit during THMS


Fashionistas! @LipstickFashion and @MissMerli


Casual chic at its finest


@MissSherryBlossom one of the Beauty and The Blog Panelist


ME! Dressed way down and rocking my purple chucks!

Dress by Asos 

Fashionable at Any Age Iris Apfel for MAC

The fashion industry for all of its distinctly artistic inclination remains an arena for the young, thin and beautiful. Women of a certain age and size are clearly marginalized and it is because of this marginalization that I am estatic about MACs latest collection. Created by 90 year-old business woman, fashion icon and interior designer, Iris Apfel the new line is complete with a wide range of colors that are equally bright and vibrant. The preliminary ads include a rich red that just may give my signature Ruby Woo a run for it’s money.

The collection will be available beginning January 5th.


Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin For MAC

The Harajuku Barbie famous for her love of all things pink is once again teaming up with MAC cosmetics. After her Pink Friday sold out in record numbers, Minaj will be featured in the newest Viva Glam campaign and she shares the limelight with the Ricky Martin.

The 2012 Viva Glam will be available in February and 100% of all proceeds will benefit the MAC AIDS Fund.


Style Item of the Week- Dior Universal Brow Pencil

I am obsessed with eyebrows.  I ‘m not sure why, however every since I discovered there was a way to appropriately groom my brows I have been completely hooked on shaping mine to absolute perfection.  I probably started by tweezing my brows when I was in college, then I graduated to wax and now I am a true and through threading girl.   Threading, though a painful proposition feels cleaner and seems to last longer than waxing.   

Now that I have found the perfect way to keep my brows in check I am always on the hunt for a deeper exclamation point, that perfect cosmetic enhancement that truly make my brows pop.   I am fortunate enough to have a really good friend, who also happens to an equally amazing MUA- Cataanda J, so when she was doing some freelance work for Dior, she introduced me to the universal brow pencil and I have been hooked from the word “Go”.

The brow styler is virtually impossible to mess up; you simply fill in any areas of your brows that could use a little enhancement and the color universally maps to your brow color/tone.


I am addicted to this product and trust me, you will be too!

 Stay pretty,


Paula Patton is the new face of Cover Girl Queen Collection

Paula Patton


Cover Girl Queen is excited to announce their partnership with Paula Patton who will serve as the newest brand ambassador to the beloved brand. In addition to the new partnership, the lovely Patton will be chatting live about her makeup routine via the Cover Girl Facebook Page

Log in to the  Cover Girl Facebook page  beginning at noon EST on October 22nd in order to chat live with the newest cover girl and learn about how she achieves her own special brand of fabulosity,

Also stay tuned for Patton to reveal how you can spend time with her as well as one of her favorite “face beaters” plus info on how you can win your own Cover Girl Queen make over.

Stay pretty,


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