“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,

GF

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.

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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.

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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,

GF

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,
GF

Haute Beauty Event- Essential Essence Wellness Spa

The Haute Beauty by Good Girl PR tweet-up  provided DMV beauty bloggers with the opportunity to get treated to hand treatments, massages, foot treatments and facials at the Essential Essence Spa in Laurel, Md.  The event offered great networking for local beauty girls  and everyone raved at how awesome their treatments were over decadent cupcakes.

In spite of the fact that I went to the event with a full face of make-up, I was talked into getting a facial by the salon owner, Ava.   I was not disappointed as Ava has the magic touch and my mini-facial ended with aromatherapy and a back massage.  She prefers to use Dermalogica products for skin care as they incorporate very little additives and come as close to natural as possible. 

After my facial I was treated to a foot treatment that was part pedicure, part reflexology massage.  The tech who performed my treatment- Marie is trained not only in reflexology but also toe reading and after taking one look at my feet and she knew immediately that I am nurturer, accustomed to taking care of other people. I stuck around to hear her assessments of other attendees and she was pretty spot on with their personalities as well.

 In addition to featuring Dermalogica products for skin care, the spa also has their own line of scrubs and a moisturizer that everyone jokingly referred to as “Soul Glow”. Essential Essence offers a long list of treatments including hair styling and the spa is also focused on the total well-being of their client base as they also offer personal training.

If you have not already visited, make an appointment for Essential Essence today!!

ABFF Beauty Lounge

Miami played host to the 15th annual American Black Film Festival and the Black Glitterati were out in full force. In addition to multiple film screenings, there were master classes in everything from the business of movie making to learning how to hone your acting chops.

During the festival, Tracy Wilson Mourning hosted a Beauty Lounge in conjunction with Janice and Denise Tunnell, the gorgeous twins behind the Illusions Cosmetics line.  The event attendees included  some of the most beautiful and well-dressed women I encountered during my Miami visit. The energy was great, the mojitos were flowing and everyone was relaxed thanks to the pampering that included massages, make-overs and hair styling.

The Honey Child collection by Mourning offers up some of the most fragrant and emollient scrubs, body oils and lotions I have ever experienced.  I loved the fragrances so much, I chose both Lover and Kiss, both fragrances embody the promise to “envelope the body calms the mind and kisses the soul”.

Visit www.honeychild.net  to learn more about this exciting collection.

Honey Child potions and lotions

Tracy Mourning describing the line to Sheree Whitfield

 

The GF w/ Tracy Wilson Mourning

There were a long line of fashionistas waiting to get their faces beat by the Illusions Cosmetics line.  The company was founded by celebrity make-up artists (and Baltimore natives) Janice and Denise Tunnell. The range was created with women of color in mind and the lip gloss has received accolades from the likes of Taraji P. Henson and carries the names of some of our favorite movies including: Carmen Jones, Brown Sugar and Mahogany just to name a few.  Visit  www.illusionsbeauty.com  to get yours today!

Illusions Cosmetics Make-Over

There was a long line for massages

Fashionistas with their goodies from Honey Child and Illusions Cosmetics

Hair styling courtesy of Chez Badeux Salon

Jennifer Lopez Graces Cover of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Issue

Thanks to a successful turn on American Idol, Jennifer Lopez visits us on a weekly basis via Fox television as our favorite judge on the popular reality show. Her laugh is infectious, her wardrobe enviable and her compassion for the contestants on the show is evident. Her luminous beauty is undeniable and now Jenny from the block has received international acclaim as she graces the annual People Magazine’s most beautiful cover.

The issue will be on newsstands on Friday.

photo credit: People Magazine

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