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Kickin’ It: Verizon Presents “The Big Payoff NYC”

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Verizon celebrated their consumers with a night of entertainment and inspiration at “ The Big Payoff ” in Harlem. Assembling an expert panel of industry insiders that included Apprentice finalist and MSNBC commentator Kwame Jackson, Live Events Coordinator at Essence, Michelle Nance, Director of Publicity for the Entertainment Communications division of CBS Television Network, Noelle Llewellyn  and more. The telecommunications giant continued to encourage the public to pursue their passions and explore their potential with this evening of community centered fun. Attendees were permitted to ask questions during the panel discussion and the first one hundred people to arrive were rewarded with wristbands allowing them one on one time to pick the brains of the panel during a meet and greet.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15:  (L-R) Rose Gold, Ryan Cross, Haithem Elembaby, Kwame Jackson, Vy Higginsen, Noelle LLewellyn, Willie Jackson, and Michelle Nance speak as Verizon Celebrates Consumers With "The Big Payoff" Featuring A Special Exclusive Performance By Melanie Fiona And Expert Entertainment Panel on May 15, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Verizon)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 15: (L-R) Rose Gold, Ryan Cross, Haithem Elembaby, Kwame Jackson, Vy Higginsen, Noelle LLewellyn, Willie Jackson, and Michelle Nance speak as Verizon Celebrates Consumers With “The Big Payoff” Featuring A Special Exclusive Performance By Melanie Fiona And Expert Entertainment Panel on May 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Verizon)

The “Potential of Us” event series has been a huge hit for the company who has given consumers the opportunity to connect with and learn from major media players like Allure magazine’s Market Editor Tiffany Reid, super stylist Wouri Vice, who keeps Cookie slaying on the small screen, and New York Radio Personality Angela Yee of Power 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club” . The series, which kicked off during Black History Month,  is designed to not only celebrate history but highlight different means of making it including music, science, fashion, sports and especially tech. The panel discussed the importance of digital branding and those unable to attend physically participated through social media using the hashtags #potentialofus and #thebigpayoff.

The night came to an end with an energetic performance by Melanie Fiona who belted out her signature hits “4 AM “ and “Give It to Me Right” along with her latest single “Bite the Bullet”.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15:  Melanie Fiona performs as Verizon Celebrates Consumers With "The Big Payoff" Featuring A Special Exclusive Performance By Melanie Fiona And Expert Entertainment Panel on May 15, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Verizon)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 15: Melanie Fiona performs as Verizon Celebrates Consumers With “The Big Payoff” Featuring A Special Exclusive Performance By Melanie Fiona And Expert Entertainment Panel on May 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Verizon)

Learn more about this amazing evening and how you can be apart of future Verizon events below.

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3 Must Have Prints to Try This Summer

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While it’s always a good time for #allblackeverything this summer has some prints that are too good to pass up. From traditionals with a modern twist to the totally re-imagined this season has something to suit every sense of personal style. Here are three of our must have prints for summer.

The extremely popular grid print is a great way to add some structure to your summer attire. This print is universally flattering for women of all sizes with the style of the garment fluctuating with the scale of the print.

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It’s also perfect for pants or a shirt, compare how Kerry Washington rocks it on the cover of Ebony magazine above to how Monique wears it below in her spread for Rolling Out. The print works for both of their beautiful bodies.

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Looking for a luxe upgrade to your weekend wear? Try integrating some watercolor pieces. A favorite of designers like Lela Rose and Issac Mizrahi this easy print can transform a basic shape into a brilliant look with minimal effort. Ease into the trend with a tee shirt or go all in with a watercolor printed dress like this one from Vince Camuto. See how blogger Gabi Fresh kicked off her summer by rocking an abstract version of the trend with a fun clutch below.

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Once exclusively reserved for pretty hair ties, and picnic baskets gingham is now all grown up. Smart tailoring and sharp color combinations take this classic print into modern territory. Pair it with a black pencil skirt to make it an option for the office or punch it up with denim high-waisted shorts for a fun nighttime look. See how high-end designers handled interpreting the trend at Elle and get into how Alissa Wilson of Stylish Curves works it into her street style below.

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What prints are you looking forward to rocking this summer? Show us your personal style by using the hashtag #browngirlslove on instagram.

-Keyaira N. Boone

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Round Sunglasses

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Seen on Beyonce’, Gwen Stefani, and more round sunglasses are the perfect way to give your look vintage inspired glam. We’ve put together a list of great options from your favorite retailers this summer. As an added bonus they’re all under $50! There’s nothing like affordable fashion to kick off your summer.

Dip a toe into the trend with these pair of traditional frames from Asos.

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Take a cue from Queen Bey by adding a modern touch with these circle framed lenses from River Island.

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The ombre’ trend works for more than just Christina’s curls. These pair of shades can complement any pastels you have in your closet or make a clear statement against a black dress.

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Take a cue from the boys with these neon frames or indulge your inner diva at brunch with these filigree framed shades.

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Unsure which round sunglasses are for you? Experiment with frame size until you find one that suits your face. You don’t have to automatically go with a totally traditional shape. You’re always more cute when you’re comfortable so play around, snap a few selfies in the store and see which design adorns you best. Ease into the trend with something subtle like this cat-eye shape. These burgundy glasses from Forever 21 have a more structured vibe.

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 While these feature a metallic bar that make them a little more funkier.

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What do you think of the round sunglasses trend? Would you rock it? 

Check out our beauty contributor Fatima sporting the trend at this year’s Coachella here.

-Keyaira N. Boone

7 Black Owned Nail Brands to Know

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It’s about that time ladies! Time to rock out and show the world your sexy feet and toes for the Summer season.  No digits are complete without the hottest colors applied to an awesome manicure and pedicure. How do you know which colors and brands are en mode? Have no fear we at Love Brown Sugar are getting ready for the hot days ahead right along with you. We have comprised a list of the best varnish colors and companies so that you can not only look stylish but support Black owned nail polish companies while you floss your perfectly polished talons.

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Talking Beauty With Motions Celebrity Stylist Ursula Stephen

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to attend the Motions product launch event at De Berardinis Salon in Manhattan. The evening was filled with lots of laughter and insightful convos about the new motions line. Motions celebrity stylist Ursula Stephen walked us through each product, how to use it and some of her styling secrets. We had the chance to chat with Ursula in more detail about her spring hair favorites and her best tips for styling your hair using the motions line.

Related: LBS Beauty: Talking Beauty With Tiffany Evans

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4 Stylish Plus-Size Outfits for Memorial Day

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Memorial Day weekend is upon us and whether you’re going to be spending it sailing down the shore or chasing the little ones around the backyard you’re going to need some summer staples to step out in. These four stylish plus-size outfits can suit any celebratory situation.

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Whether you love them or hate them warm weather brings with it the tradition of the white party. Start the season off on trend with this high-low lace option from H&M ($49.95). Pair it with a pair of wedges to match your skin tone to give the illusion of longer legs.

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Family Fun

Prep for an afternoon of family fun by using this LeSportsac tote ($88.50) to carry the essentials. With pockets that can accommodate everything from baby wipes to Edens Kids products LeSportsac bags are a god send for mommy moguls. Not traveling with a toddler in tow? They’re still a great place to pack playing cards, wine bottles, or any other cookout contributions. As a frequent passenger on public transportation I literally never go anywhere without mine. Check out Christina gushing about her new one here.

Memorial Day Family BBQ

Check out additional outfit options below.

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Dove Salon Day Hair Cut Dairies + Giveaway

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A few weeks ago Christina & I had the pleasure of getting our hair styled by talented celebrity stylist Cynthia Alvarez at the Dove Salon Day. I had been considering getting a short tapered cut for a few months. My hair long natural hair had gotten boring and and required a lot of maintenance. I was craving for a fresh new look that would allow me to keep my curls, but eliminate some of the styling time. Keep reading to see my entire transformation using the Dove Quench Absolute line. more this way

5 Easy Ways To Color Your Hair At Home

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Coloring your hair is a great way to add a bold or a subtle change to your overall look. However, whether you are going darker or lighter both transitions can cause damage to your natural hair such as dryness, breakage or texture change if done incorrectly. The key to switching up your hair color is to moisturize your hair before and after the treatment. If you are coloring your hair at home before adding any color apply a deep condition treatment and a protein treatment. This will ensure your hair is strong and prepared for the hair dye. The best way to prevent any type of damage is to use natural or temporary alternatives.

Keep reading for 5 Easy Ways To Temporarily Color Your Hair At Home 

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5 Tips For The Perfect Braid Out

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The braid-out is a simple style that can truly transform the look of your curls. This style is perfect for both transitioners and long time naturals. The perfect braid out creates a defined texture that can easily blend your relaxed hair with your “new growth”. Even if you aren’t transitioning, this style is a great way to temporarily change your natural curl pattern. It will elongate your curls and give you more length. Not to mention your hair will be extremely fluffy and soft if done properly.

Keep in mind no two braid outs will look identical. This post is meant to help you achieve YOUR own version of the perfect braid out. So let’s get started!

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Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System Update

beautiful-textures-texture-manageability-system-updateLast April, I wrote a hair review of Beautiful Textures’ Naturally Straight™ Texture Manageability System. It’s a system that helps girls like me with coarse and curly hair get our hair to stay straight longer after a blowout/press. It also has a host of other incredible uses for low-maintenance hair girls like myself who want to take the stress out of heat-styling, have an easier transition from relaxed to straight, or even who want to revive a weave on its last leg.

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And as an added bonus, after using it, kinks and curls are softened and more manageable than beforehand. My results last year were pretty awesome:

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