January 2011 archive

LoveBrownSugar Feature: Links à la Mode

I’m proud to announce that The Great Debate: Do Skinny Girls Have More Fun post was selected for this week’s Links à la Mode. Check out the rest of the amazing links featured below…

links a la mode

It’s Getting Hot In Here

Edited by Ann of Holier than Now
Though you may be living in a snow globe (sure feels like it here on the East Coast), you’re never out in the cold – assuming the snow hasn’t knocked out your internet … This week’s links will warm you up with hot topics that, ideally, bring out the best in a thoughtful, vibrant blogging community. Take your gloves off (the wool kind, not the boxing kind) and join the conversation!
P.S. If you’d like your voice heard here in Links a La Mode, take a look at this helpful guide by Grit & Glamour.

Links à la Mode: January 27th

Shopbop: Clogs, Flats, Heels, Platforms, Knee Highs Boots, Wedge Sandals, Booties, Open Toe, Shoe Sale, Designers

Flavor of Friday: Curlism & the Natural Hair "Movement"

Nope, you’re not the only one who didn’t realize ‘curlism’ was an actual word. I too was in the dark about the bitter controversy over what people are calling the natural hair “movement”. Let me first declare that I, for one, didn’t decide to let go of my relaxed hair back in 2006 because of any kind of movement going on. I did it because I joined an African dance troupe (shoutout to African Rhythms at UPENN) in college, had rigorous dance practice on a regular basis and couldn’t deal with maintaining straight hair at Philly hairstylist prices.

Me, circa 2006 (First time natural since childhood)
 Anyway, fast forward 5 years later and everywhere you turn there are girls chopping off their relaxers and rocking their curls. Hell, even I decided (after regretfully relaxing it last year) to chop mine off again and start from scratch. I think it’s great that there are so many resources out there now for people who want to do it. But I didn’t realize there were SO many strong viewpoints about who could “rightfully” participate in this movement. Well, one of my fave Youtube vloggers Taren916 decided to make a thought-provoking video about the controversy. After a few followers told Taren she couldn’t rightfully be part of the “movement” because she’s of mixed race and has loose curls, she sounded off with her opinions:
I thought this was interesting to highlight because I know for a fact that you guys are a mixed audience. I’m grateful to have all of you as faithful blog readers – from dark & curly haired gals to blond bombshells with bone straight hair. And I’m curious to know your opinion on this. Should there be such a thing as CURL-ism? Like racism, it separates people based on a physical feature – the texture, shape and size of their CURLS. Can’t we all just get along?

It’s My Birthday!

Me, 2 Years Old (I’ve always had a big mouth)
 Today is the one day of the year I can be completely SELFISH and get away with it!! Ok that’s not why I wrote this post, and that’s not what I intend to do all day (maybe just from 10am-2pm) but the real reason I’m writing this is to reflect on the amazing 20-something years I’ve been afforded the opportunity to live. 
From Summer Wrap Up: Part 2
So many people in this world don’t make it to their 20-something birthdays, so I’m grateful. Everyday. And more than anything I’m grateful for all of you lovelies who follow my daily journey and motivate me on a regular basis, with all your thought-provoking, knee-slapping, and tear-jerking comments. I love you all. A toast to us!

The PJ Chronicles: Bee Mine Curly Butter

Reader Nicki of NickiBCurly writes in:

*Stands Up*
Hello! I am Nickki B. Curly and I am a fellow product junkie. One product in particular is my Bee Mine Curly Butter. 

It smells like candy y’all and it makes my chunky braid-outs look awesome and touchable. It also keeps my hair very moisturized. It is a STAPLE product in my hair product closet….yeah, I said closet lol!

Check out Nicki’s gorgeous hair:

Has anyone else tried Bee Mine Curly Butter? What were your results? Soundoff below!
Are you a PJ? If you’re giddy over a beauty product, email luvbrownsugar@gmail.com with subject line “PJ Chronicles”and provide the following: Name, Contact Info and/or Website, Name of Item, Description of why you love it, and Images (preferably of you wearing the product).

Beauty Buzz: Jimmy Choo Fragrance Launch

 Luxury and truly covet-worthy shoe line Jimmy Choo is now branching off into the world of eau de parfum. The newest addition to their product line, Jimmy Choo Fragrance is coming to a Saks Fifth Avenue fragrance counter near you. This one’s going on my birthday list for sure. Here are some behind the scenes flicks of Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon shooting promo for the fragrance…

Promo Shoot, Jimmy Choo Fragrance

Tamara Mellon, Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Jimmy Choo says of the new launch,

Fragrance has always been part of my vision for Jimmy Choo. To fully extend the Jimmy Choo lifestyle, enveloping a woman with the sensuality and essence of the brand. I have always loved wearing perfume; it is part of my identity. Now to create a signature fragrance for Jimmy Choo expressing an aura of strength and beauty is my ultimate dream.

Founder, Tamara Mellon
 I’m excited! Will you be purchasing?

Fierce: Michelle Obama at the State of the Union Address

Michelle Obama
 For the first time in LoveBrownSugar history, I did not leave the “Fierce or Foolish” option open. Michelle O at the State of the Union address last night was simply fierce – no doubt about it. She looked absolutely flawless in a fitted Rachel Roy frock, simple jewelry and the perfect hair and makeup. What’s not to love? I have to say, she just might surpass Jackie O as the “Most Fashionable First Lady of All Time”. She’s definitely got my vote!
What about yours? Soundoff below!
Image Source

Flavor of Friday: 365 New Things

Inspired by a number of sources, at the beginning of this year I decided to embark on a new challenge for myself. A 365 day challenge to be exact.You may have seen photographers and bloggers alike embark on year-long challenges like this before, all based around a year-long commitment. I first saw one of these in action over at Apricot Tea‘s blog some time ago. 

Ev’Yan of Apricot Tea
 She embarked on the project as part of her personal development in photography and now once again in 2011 she’s doing the project as a renewed commitment to her blog. Love it! Check out her Project 365.

Tales of Twipics Past Collage, NYFW SP’11
Anyway, my 365 challenge is similar but slightly different. I’m the type of girl who thrives on variety, so my challenge this year will be about discovering 365 New Things. I know it sounds crazy, but considering all the things there are to do and see in this world, I think committing myself to discovering a measly 365 of them shouldn’t be too hard. Once a month, similar to my Tales of Twitpics Past collage above, I’ll be filling you all in on 30 new things I’ve discovered. So far, I’ve learned about 5 new recipes, gone a few places I’ve never been and tried a few products I’ve never tried before. Stay tuned for my update at the end of January! (Of course with beauty products alone, I can knock out 75% of this challenge off the bat, right? I kid.)

What about you guys? Embarking on any year-long challenges in 2011?

The Great Debate: Do Skinny Girls Have More Fun?

Jennifer Hudson: Before & After weight loss

The other night I found myself in the middle of an intriguing discussion on Twitter with a well-known maven in the fashion & entertainment industry. The discussion was so thought-provoking, I figured I would bring it to LoveBrownSugar and get you guys’ opinion on the situation. As you all know, from my Curvy Girls Ode and all the hype that generated in the fashion blogosphere about that post, I’m very outspoken when it comes to the great debate about plus size vs. skinny in the fashion industry. If you haven’t read it, check it out HERE.

So on last Tuesday evening as everyone on my timeline revved up for the premiere of BET’s new series The Game, I stumbled on a tweet from a prominent black socialite and fashionista while she was watching a rerun of hit TV series Glee. I’ve always loved her sophisticated style as a plus-sized vet in the industry. So I was surprised and intrigued when I saw this statement from her on Twitter…

@(SocialiteNameHere):Black girl on Glee is EVERYTHING to me, I want her to lose weight & no not 4 health reasons but so she can be 20 in a HIT show & enjoy it FULLY”

Now upon first reading it, I didn’t take it very seriously. But once I re-read the part about “not 4 health reasons”, I had to think to myself – “Why then? If not for health, why does she want her to lose weight?”

Amber Riley at 2011 Golden Globes

I personally love Amber Riley’s style and I think, as a plus size girl on a hit TV show who never looks sloppy or inappropriately dressed, she’s a great role model. In fact, I thought she looked FAB at this year’s Golden Globes (pictured above). So when I saw this statement I was intrigued and I decided to comment.

Here’s how the Twitter conversation went:

LoveBrownSugar: I actually like Amber’s curves! I think she’s such a great role model for plus size girls on TV. And she’s so pretty!

(SocialiteNameHere): She is pretty however, if you are a young girl that can’t wear a bikini without rolls spilling over, I’m sure it sucks!

LoveBrownSugar: Lol don’t sleep on a FIERCE one piece honey! Hahah but yeah I get where you’re coming from.

(SocialiteNameHere): Lamb, a 1-piece is fine at a certain age but I wouldn’t trade my Versace 2-piece of yesterday for my Pucci 1 piece of today! You don’t have to be rail thin but no one wants to be on a hit show w/girls that borrow DESIGNER gowns & u get yours made! End of the day what overweight female celeb do u know that stays overweight, even J Hud finally slimmed down & now LOOK. 

LoveBrownSugar: Hmm I guess it’s a case of “can’t miss something you’ve never had” b/c I’ve never been considered thin but never felt slighted.

(SocialiteNameHere):  Having access but not being able to access it due to something that you can change can’t be fun!

And that was the end of our Twitter conversation. I could’ve responded to her last statement but it really made me think. Not only did I begin to question whether or not there was a whole new “skinny girl” world I was missing out on my entire life, but I started to question if that’s what outsiders thought about me and every other girl who isn’t considered slim. 

Do people think I live a miserable life? Better yet, do I live a miserable life but I just don’t know it? I posed the question to my boyfriend and naturally he came to my defense. But to be true to this discussion, I really want to hear it from you guys – plus size or not – because I think these statements speak to a broader conversation about society and the way we think. Should Amber Riley feel any less beautiful or feel like she’s having less “fun” because she’s curvier than her castmates or because she has to get gowns custom-made? Should I feel bad that I have to skip to the double digit section of a department store rack instead of the single digit ones? I wanna know…

Do you guys think skinny girls have more fun? Be brutally honest with me. Soundoff below!

Ask LBS: How Do I Get My Blog Noticed?

Fashion Blogger Rumi Neely of FashionToast

Reader Shabana of Coco and Olive writes:
Hi Cece! I have been reading your blog for awhile now and I just wanted to say what an inspiration you are. I really like your fashion tips and your celebrity info. As well as your views on products and other stuff. I was inspired to start my own blog so that I can also share my thoughts with the world. But I am new to this and I just wanted to know what suggestions or advice you have for a newcomer trying to get her blog noticed.

Now I can’t proclaim to be an expert as I’ve only been blogging for about a year and a half now and I’m far from superstar blogger status, but there are definitely a few key takeaways I’ve learned over the course of time I’ve been part of this world. Read on for my Top 4 recommendations on getting your name out there…

1. Join The Community 

IFB Conference 2010 Flyer
 One of the biggest helps for me when I first started blogging was being part of fashion blog forums. Forums pertaining specifically to what you’re writing about can be great resources. If you’re into natural hair care, for example, join a community like NaturallyCurly.com that caters directly to your topic of choice. If you’re a fashionista branching into style blogging, utilize sites like Independent Fashion Bloggers and Style Sample Magazine. Not only do these sites provide you with an overwhelming amount of information like how-to’s and quick tips, but they’re great places to discover other bloggers and also submit your own content as they provide opportunities for guest posts and user contributions. My piece for IFB on the 5 P’s of Fashion Partying is a perfect example. All I did was submit a pitch for it and voila! I was able to share some helpful tips with the community as well as develop awareness for my blog.

2. Show Love

 You guys know the Golden Rule: do unto others as you’d have done to you? Well I don’t know a better arena than blogging where this holds true. The more you show love, the more you get. Posting comments on other blog pages can not only increase your site’s visibility but it can help you develop relationships with other bloggers just like you. I can’t tell you how many blogger BFFs I have now. I may never meet them face to face but we “talk” almost everyday via blog commentary.Some of those lovely people have shown me tremendous love and have helped encourage my blog growth through support, shoutouts and even placing me on their blogrolls. It’s so important to engage in conversation if you want to be heard. But note, engaging in conversation is different from self promotion. Don’t comment on a site simply to place your blog link there. Instead, speak from the heart and be genuine in your commentary. See IFB’s post about Self-Promotion for more on why this is important.

3. Get Social

As a new blogger, Twitter and Facebook are your best friends. Take full advantage of social media and social networking. Althought the world of social media can be a scary place, they’re incredible tools for exposure. Whether you’re starting a new business or simply want exposure for an existing one, social media can really help give your brand a voice and increase your followers exponentially with time. You basically have to think of your blog as your brand. If you want people to notice it, you have to put it in their faces. That’s what Facebook/Twitter does. Also, look into sites like Bloglovin’ and burning RSS feeds that allow for people to see your blog updates all in one place.

4. Get Your Mind Right 

Many bloggers, when they first start out, simply blog for the love of blogging and because it brings them joy. Then, somewhere between receiving your first few blog comments and being featured on another site for the first time, you go blog-crazy and start focusing so much on how to make your blog bigger and better and more well-known as opposed to staying focused on your original passion. Don’t get caught up in the hype! Don’t do it for popularity. Don’t do it for the money. Do it because you love it. Someone will eventually take notice. And all the other good stuff that comes along with recognition, like features and the occasional advertiser will eventually come. But just remember to stay focused on your true passion and people will inevitably love you, and your little blog too!

Any fellow bloggers out there? What’s your take on the subject? Soundoff below!

Have any pressing questions for me? Hit me up on Formspring – Ask LBS or send me an email.

The PJ Chronicles: Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding

Reader Kadyann of SpainMadHatter swears by Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding for her hair. Here’s what she had to say…
Hey girl. Its Kadyann and I became a product junkie when I got married, moved, and chopped all my hair off. I have eczema and so finding products that work for me is pretty hard.You can imagine what my apartment looks like, with various drugstore items sticking out of cupboards and falling off shelves at all hours of the day and night. I finally bought Miss Jessie’s Hair Products when they had a Buy 1/Get 1 sale recently and got up the urge to try it a week after.

 OMG! I had gotten the Unscented Curly Pudding, Curly Merengue and Quick Curls and they helped a lot. Now they are basically all I use but that doesn’t mean i still wont try new stuff so i guess being a PJ will stick with me for the rest of my life. Why not? When there are so many cool things to try.
Anyone else swear by Miss Jessie’s Products like Kadyann? I personally have used the Curly Pudding and LOVED the results, but they only give me good results when I twist on wet hair. What about you?