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LoveBrownSugar


October 2010 archive

LoveBrownSugar Feature: MTV Style

In the words of Rachel Zoe, “I DIE!” Yesterday MTV Style made my week by posting a feature on myself and two other bloggers rocking our favorite cargo jackets. I’m so incredibly ecstatic! Definitely one of my best features thus far. Feel free to check out the post entitled Top Style Blogger Looks of the Week: Military Cargo Jackets
Here’s what MTV Style had to say about my look:



“New York City blogger Christina Brown took on the urban trendsetter look with her entire outfit, including her vintage military jacket. With this look, she wore her jacket as she would a blazer, which means on top of an already-amazing outfit. H&M leggings, a chainlink purse, and Anne Michelle chunky booties complete the sleekness of her outfit overall, while her jacket’s light green hue adds just a pop of color.”

Check out the full article HERE

Tough Love

I’m a girly girl. Ever since I can remember I’ve been a sucker for pretty dresses that I can twirl and play with. So when I spotted this printed dress at H&M, with it’s asymmetrical hemlines and purple cheetah print, I knew it had to come home with me…
 Given it’s no longer summer, every dress in my closet now needs a companion. I normally reach for this vintage leather jacket I scored last fall. It’s the perfect length, it goes with everything and it adds just enough edge to a romantic ensemble.

And of course, nothing adds edge like my favorite Jeffrey Campbell Clinics. I’ll have to test drive pairing socks with these for winter looks, Oh boy, we’ll see how that goes…

Jacket: Vintage. Dress: H&M. Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell. Jesus Piece: Forever 21. Ring: H&M

P.S. Congratulations to our two giveaway winners thus far this month – Sherine P won our Pink Velvet Breast Cancer Awareness giveaway AND xoxoKeyanna has won our Jamila Jo “Brown Sugar Ring” giveaway. Congrats to you both! Email luvbrownsugar@gmail.com to claim your prizes.

Photography by Tia Hendricks

Sick Sites Spotlight: Responses to "Curvy Girl’s Ode…"

Christina of Profreshstyle highlights her experience on Lookbook.nu
 This week’s “Sick Site Spotlight” is dedicated to the overwhelming response I’ve received to my Curvy Girl’s Ode to Outfit Posts. I am so incredibly humbled and inspired by all the post comments, emails (including one from Gabi of Young, Fat & Fabulous) and subsequent blog posts that have gone up as a result of me addresssing this topic! It warms my heart to know that there are other people who felt the same way I did. Just a disclaimer: I didn’t write the post to deter anyone from enjoying sites like Chictopia or Lookbook.nu as I personally still think they’re great places to find inspiration. I simply wanted to address an issue that I felt wasn’t being discussed. All that to say, you guys rock! Thanks for your support. Below are some amazing posts by some fabulous bloggers, in response to my Curvy Girl’s Ode. For your reading pleasure…

Vahni of Grit & Glamour discusses the alarming statistics behind some of these street style forums & the demographic of the true “winners” in her post Why I’m Not on Weardrobe, Chictopia, Lookbook, or Hypeed.

Screenshot of stats from Grit & Glamour report.

Christina of  Profreshstyle (pictured above) talks about her lack of “hype” on Loobook as a curvy mixed chick, and the lack of substantial traffic the sites bring to user’s blogs. Check it out HERE.

Beautifully Invisible explains her disgust for the “plus-size” classification of blogging and terms like “fatshion” in Can’t We All Just Be Fashionistas?

Evie Kemp of One More actually posted last Wednesday about the divide between the “plus size” blogger and the “others”. Read her post “Getting Serious: That Weighty Issue“.

 So grab a cup of coffee and indulge! And feel free to keep the conversation going. Post links if you’ve been compelled to discuss the issue on your blogs or you’ve seen something on topic. Looking forward to it!

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Why Don’t You Love Me? A Curvy Girl’s Ode to Outfit Posts

 I know what you’re thinking. No, this post isn’t about Beyonce. While I’m wildly obsessed with the singer and I happen to love the WDYLM video (posted about it HERE), this isn’t about her. It’s about me. Me and every other plus-sized fashion blogger out there who gets discouraged or thinks twice about posting an outfit series or exposing our curves to fashion communities like Chictopia or Lookbook.Nu to name a few. On my weekly blog-hunting trip this week, I stumbled on a post by curvy British blogger Jettica of Feeling Stylish entitled “Why Do I Need To Be Thin?” After reading her words and sentiments – a mix of curiosity and disappointment – I came to the realization that I too have the same insecurities and harsh feelings. Here’s what she had to say…

 “It seems that on sites like LookBook or Chictopia you only get ‘HYPE’ and fans if you are thin…I sort of feel that I don’t get a great deal of comments or love on my blog because I’m a fat girl writing about fashion.

– Jettica of Feeling Stylish

After reading these words on Jettica’s post, I became overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions. Part of me was angry. Not at Jettica, but at myself, for feeling the exact same way. “I mean, who cares? It’s just a fashion community. It’s just for fun, it doesn’t mean anything”, I uttered to myself in defense. As much I tried to shrug it off, the reality is – it does matter. The validation of having someone else credit your style choices and give you their stamp of approval feels good. Knowing that you inspire others and that your fashion efforts are duly noted gives a high nearly equivalent to narcotics. But sadly, only a certain “type” of user gets to revel in these emotional rewards…

Snapshot: Lookbook.Nu Homepage, Oct. 23rd, 2AM EST

Take a homepage snapshot of any of these fashion communities, on any given day. They will undoubtedly be flooded with images of rail thin, model-esque (or so we think) users who generate tons of followers and rack up all this “HYPE” because essentially their pictures look like editorials snatched straight out of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar. Now considering the lack of anything above a size 0 in the modeling industry, let alone in fashion editorials, how is a plus sized girl to compete in an arena like this? I can’t tell you how many outfit posts I’ve decided not to reveal for fear of criticism or because of the overwhelming and devastating assumption that no one will care.

Snapshot: Lookbook.Nu post with no comments, October 23rd, 2AM EST

I’m new to Lookbook.Nu, so granted I haven’t had much experience, but I’ve personally posted 2 looks on there since joining two weeks ago and it seems they’ve both gone completely unnoticed. Not a comment, not a “HYPE”, not a peep. Is it because I’m new? Or is it, like Jettica points out, because “I’m a fat girl writing about fashion” who is not interesting enough for the masses or not worthy enough to be noted or regarded?

Via PeopleStyleWatch.com

Karl Prouse/Getty; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty; Alfred/Sipa

Now don’t get me wrong, the fashion industry has definitely come a long way. It warms my heart to see curvy models like Crystal Renn stomping the runways in Paris, and shows like One Stop Plus actually getting shine during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC, and fashion icons like Diane Von Furstenberg cracking down on eating disorders in the modeling industry with CFDA regulations. Tyra Banks and DVF even got rid of the first contestant on this season’s ANTM because of her anorexic image! But while the industry can try and correct itself over time, the real power is truly with the people. If users on sites like Chictopia, Lookbook.Nu or Weardrobe are in any way indicative of the fashion-forward masses, then these sentiments still resonate loud and clear. Plus size isn’t posh. Curves aren’t chic. Hips don’t get “HYPE”. And thus the unsuspecting outfit-poster who boasts a size of double digits is left to wonder if there’s room for her, or if she should just stand by and look.


What do you think? Is there room for the plus sized fashionista in these communities? Soundoff below!

PNK Elephant Accessories Style Soiree

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a special Style Soiree hosted by the lovely ladies of PNK Elephant Accesories. PNKElephant.com features an amazing line of affordable glam jewelry pieces from bracelets to necklaces and rings. All retailing between $5-$30, the pieces are handpicked with trend and budget in mind. Those being my two favorite things (style + budget), I couldn’t miss this one!  So down to Union Square I went. And I’m sure if you follow me on Twitter, you already got the play by play. Here’s what I got into…

Upon arrival I was treated to a mini manicure courtesy Ginger & Liz. I opted for their winter green “Blowin’ Money Fast“, my fave! After that I was escorted around the table to indulge in the beautiful accessories PNK Elephant had to offer, like the gorgeous 4 finger ring pictured above in rose brushed gold.

 They displayed a beautiful array of military-inspired pieces with studding and spikes and multi-finger rings galore! I was in heaven… 
 Imagine my surprise when they mentioned that each guest would be able to pick one item to keep. The hardest thing I did all night was try to decide which item to request. I wanted everything!
Since I’ve been obsessed with bows lately, my eyes were immediately drawn to this conversation piece. Reminded me of the diamond one I posted HERE so I opted for something different…
In the end, I finally made a choice and requested the hammered gold-brushed ring on the top right above. I loved the hammered effect and thought it was really unique. And it’s covered in diamonds, which I love. Which of these pieces are you guys gagging over? Soundoff below!
For more info on PNK Elephant Accessories, check out their Website and Follow @PNKAccessories on Twitter

LoveBrownSugar’s Top 10 Winter Beauty Essentials

Though I’m not a complete beauty guru, working for a women’s magazine has definitely turned me into somewhat of a PJ (product junkie). Considering all the samples and products I’ve come across in my time as an editor, you would think I knew all the answers to my own beauty questions. Well I don’t. What I do know are the products that have come to be my faves this season. When I find something amazing I stick with it, and I rave about it to everyone who cares to listen. I’m also a huge proponent of staying on budget, so products that promote my inner beauty without demoting my bank account are always a win! The following are my Top 10 Winter Beauty Essentials this season…

1. Hair Crème: Tea & Honey Blends Curl Definer, $14.99

As I’m transitioning back to my curls and growing out my relaxer, I’m using extensions to help protect and maintain my hair until it gets to a length I can deal with. In the mean time, I was sent this amazing product from new hair care line Tea & Honey Blends. They boast a great line of Tea & Honey shampoo, leave-in conditioners and styling products. I’ve fallen in love with their Curl Definer! I apply it after I deep condition and it really helps soften my natural hair before and after styling. And in the harsh winter weather, my tresses need all the moisture they can get.
Runner-up: Mixed Chicks Leave-In. Great moisturizer for thirsty curls.

2. Lip Color: L’Oreal Infallible Stars Collection in Beyonce, $9.99

You guys have heard me rave about this one before. I wore it for THIS post and it is absolutely amazing. Aside from my borderline obsession with Beyonce, this particular color from the collection is really the perfect red for a number of complexions. I’m not as light as Bey, but somehow the shade works for me. And the real kicker: it actually lasts! It will NOT come off. Honestly guys, I tried…

3. Fragrance: Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie Natural Spray, $27.00

In the winter, I opt for fragrances with deeper, natural notes like vanilla and cinnamon as opposed to fruity florals for spring. I love the way Carol’s Daughter’s Almond Cookie products smell. They leave me sweet-smelling without being too overpowering. The natural spray adds the perfect touch after the shower. And of course the ingredients are all natural.

4. Mascara: Maybelline Falsies Volum Express, $7.50

This might be my all time favorite product this season. Although I have naturally long lashes, I like to take them to the next level with great mascara. Maybelline is hands down my favorite brand for affordable, trusted mascara. They recently released their Falsies Volum Express product which actually coats your lashes with kerafiber maximizing them in width and length. It’s unbelievable. Seriously.

Runner Up: Maybelline’s Lash Stiletto Voluptuous. Maximizes lash length and adds a little oomph to your wink.

5. Cuticle Crème: Carol’s Daughter Lemon & Jojoba Cuticle Oil

One thing I dread about the onset of cold weather – dry hands and cuticles. It drives me nuts when my winter manicures don’t live up to their fullest potential due to Mother Nature. A dab of this on each cuticle in the morning before you head out makes a huge difference in defending your manicure against harsh conditions.

6. Nail Color: Ginger & Liz “Swagger”, $12.00

My gals Ginger & Liz created a gem when they crafted this color. I love it because it’s neutral enough to wear in more professional environments but still has a touch of…well…swag! This light metallic rose gold goes great with everything and never goes out of style. Also their “Blowin’ Money Fast” pictured HERE is a great one for fall.

Runner Up: Essie Nail Color in “Chinchilly” pictured HERE. Gray nails are in!

7. Hair Oil: Dr. Miracles Follicle Healer Hydrating Oil, $4.99

Part of their new Follicle Healer line, this Dr.Miracles Hydrating Oil is my go-to for moisturizing my scalp and my edges. It has that same Dr. Miracles “tingly” feeling and comes in an easy to apply bottle with applicator. I also use it as a pre-poo treatment before washing my natural hair. Definitely a mainstay product for winter!

8. Facial Moisturizer: Specific Beauty Daily Hydrating Lotion, $17.99

This new skin care line created by an acclaimed female African-American dermatologist out of Miami, was specifically developed to address hyperpigmentation; discoloration of the skin that can affect many of us sisters, especially in the winter time. Specific Beauty provides an array of great skin products and the Daily Hydrating Lotion happens to be one of my favorites.

Runner Up: OLAY Complete All-Day UV Moisturizer. A great year-round moisturizer.

9. Body Scrub: Shea Moisture Organic Red Bush & Sage

 
In the winter, I make it a point to do a weekly body scrub and pamper my parched skin with moisture. Part of my weekly ritual has been Shea Moisture’s Red Bush & Sage scrub. It’s luxe, smells amazing and is completely organic. Your skin will literally feel like you’ve taken a milk bath! Shea Moisture hasn’t started sale of this product online so price and availability are TBA. Will update you soon on price and purchase details!

Runner Up: Carol’s Daughter Jamaican Punch Sea Salt Scrub. Smells like Jamaica in a bottle.

10. Body Moisturizer: Ambi Soft & Even Creamy Oil Lotion, $8.49

Most people know the AMBI brand for their scar removal products, but recently they’ve launched a brand of products that cater to the face & body with gentle moisturizing properties. I must confess – I’ve been using the Creamy Oil Lotion faithfully since the beginning of summer and it hasn’t failed me yet! Lightweight so it absorbs quickly, but the perfect amount of oil so I stay moisturized all day.

So, what are your winter beauty essentials? List them below! 

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LoveBrownSugar + Sole Discretion Shoe Giveaway!

So you guys know by now that I’m obsessed with shoes right? I’m always on the lookout for the hottest and most innovative in footwear so when I stumbled on new shoe brand Sole Discretion, I had to take note and share! One thing I absolutely hate about awesome shoes is that they’re often painful and hard to walk in for long periods of time. But what I don’t have time for when I’m off to a chic event, is carrying on oversized bag to stuff another pair of shoes into. So what do we ladies do? Suffer…

Flats are foldable/rollable for tucking into small bags.
 Well, if you’re looking for the perfect way to prance around in your heels and discreetly pack a pair of flats to change into at the end of the night, Sole Discretion is for you! With a small compact carry case and comfy flats that run the gamut from patent leather to leopard print, they offer an amazing way to be comfortable, discreet and still fashionable. At a retail price of only $15, they’re innovative and affordable – a combination that’s normally hard to find.
Wristlet included expands to tote size for carrying your heels…
 More than that, the brand is headed up by three chic sistas from Ohio who started the company with a dollar and a dream. I love supporting new ventures and this one isn’t just fashionable, it make sense! This week, Sole Discretion is giving Four Lucky LoveBrownSugar Readers the chance to own a pair of Sole Discretion flats. Here are the requirements…

RULES:

1. Comment below!
2. Sign up for Sole Discretion’s Mailing List HERE 
2. Winner MUST be following @LoveBrownSugar on Twitter OR Facebook

That’s all! The four winners will be announced next Thursday at 2pm. Good luck!

For more information on Sole Discretion, check out their Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Fresh Printsess

This season, for me, is all about being fearless. I’m loving how the trends are a giant mashup of contradictions. Minimalism and animal print, military and ladylike, and the list goes on… 

 I think the greatest thing about fashion is that it doesn’t have to make sense. You do what you want with it and at the end of the season, move on to the next… 

 I’ve been super obsessed with Willow Smith’s girl empowerment anthem “Whip My Hair” of late. I love the message, I love the video, and I love that she’s only 9 years old! I read a few articles about her after the video’s premiere yesterday and writers have officially dubbed her “The Fresh Princess” after her super-star daddy Will Smith. 
 Well, yesterday (in honor of my Willow obsession) I decided to dub myself the Fresh ‘Prints’ess. Why? Because it sounds cool. And prints are my official obsession this season…

Leopard Wrap Dress (turned cape): Thrifted. Mesh Top: H&M. Skirt: H&M. Rope Tassel Chain: Thrifted. Suede Boots: Anne Michelle. Belt: Thrifted. Ring: Street Vendor (HERE)
Photography by Tia Hendricks

Fierce or Foolish: Ciara in NYC

Over at TheYBF I spotted this pic of Ciara strolling the streets of NYC in a fur-collared sweater, skinny jeans, and utility boots. I personally like the entire look. I think she was smart to keep the hair simple and chic. the Birkin is luxe, but I might’ve appreciated an edgier bag with gold hardware. Anyway, I’d give it a fierce. What do you guys think?

Sunday Ramblings: Whip My Hair (Sesame Street Remix)

A few weeks ago, Sesame Street aired a new muppet skit featuring an African-American girl muppet with natural hair singing about how much she loves her hair. I thought it was absolutely adorable and empowering for young black girls. Well today, courtesy my web-obsessed boyfriend, I stumbled on this clip of the same little muppet rocking out with her natural hair, but this time she’s “whippin’ it” a la Willow Smith. Thought it was cute and timely considering Willow is finally debuting the long awaited music video for her hit single today. I’ll be tuning in to see that one. Enjoy and whip that hair ladies! Happy Sunday…