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February 2011 archive

Fashion Countdown: 83rd Annual Oscar Awards

 You guys have heard it all before, and if you follow me on Twitter you probably already know who my fashion faves were from the Oscars. Just in case you don’t, here they are! My top 10 best & worst from the 83rd Annual Academy Awards red carpet…

10. Worst: Reese Witherspoon
 
So although she was apparently channeling Julia Roberts circa 2001, Reese Witherspoon’s look didn’t do it for me. I was not a fan of the high poofy ponytail. This look was way too “Barbie Goes to the Oscars” for me.
 
9. Best: Anne Hathaway
When does Anne Hathaway NOT look drop-dead gorgeous. Her looks are always so elegant and absolutely perfect. Rachel Zoe did an amazing job with her wardrobe changes throughout the show, as Anne was this year’s host. I so would’ve appreciated seeing the Rachel Zoe Project make a special comeback just to showcase Zoe pulling Anne’s Oscar looks together. Flawless.
 8. Worst: Florence Welch
What a travesty this red carpet look was. And it could’ve been a win, had it been in another color or a sexier silhouette. Ladies of paler skin tones should shy away from colors like this. This off-white/creme combination looks horrid against her complexion. And she looks like a milkmaid, yikes!
7. Best: Hillary Swank
Definitely one of my favorite looks of the night. This strapless Gucci gown on Hillary made her look like a million dollars baby, pun intended. I loved the sparkle up top and the texture down below. And the gown was tailored perfectly to accentuate her shape. I do wish she paired the look with a nice sparkly stud, though. That would’ve put the icing on the cake.
6. Worst: Helena Bonham Carter
This lady always looks ridiculous to me. I mean I know “The King’s Speech” was the film she was nominated for, but Helena…the movie is over! Take off the costume and step out of the 19th Century, for Oscar’s sake.
5. Best: Michelle Williams
I really thought Michelle Williams looked stunning in her white beaded Chanel gown. I think I was even more proud of her considering what a huge fail she was during the Golden Globes. This look was tailored perfectly to her petite shape. The hair looks absolutely gorgeous, and it just fits her so well.

4. Worst: Nicole Kidman
I don’t care what anyone says, I stand behind my claim that Nicole Kidman’s Dior look was a complete fail. I get what she was trying to do. I get that she likes to be two steps ahead. but this silhouette made her look like she had 5 hips! It just looked very uncomfortable and I wasn’t a fan of the overall look. Poor House of Dior, first this tragedy then Galliano’s nonsense. Le sigh…
3. Best: Halle Berry
Halle looked like a dream in this champagne Marchesa gown. Will this woman ever age? I thought it was a great classic shape in a fabric that could’ve gone totally wrong on anyone else, but on Halle it looks phenomenal.

2. Worst: Scarlett Johansonn
While Scarlett ended up on my “Best Dressed” list for the Golden Globes, she was a complete fail for me during the Oscars. I hated the color, loved the silhouette, but thought the whole transparent lace thing didn’t translate well. And to top it off, she had bed head! Yikes, major fail. Scarlett doesn’t always look good in scarlet, sadly.
1. Best: Mila Kunis 
My all-time favorite Oscars look has to go to Mila Kunis. I thought she looked absolutely flawless. This lavender Elie Saab gown made her look chic and effortlessly glamorous. I thought the sheer fabric was perfect, not too sheer but sultry enough to make a statement. The color gave her an angelic flair and the hair and makeup matched perfectly. An all around win in my book.
What did you guys think? Agree with my list? Soundoff below!

Top 5 Looks: Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon

Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Tamera Mowry. Photos courtesy UPTOWNMagazine.com
 Yesterday in Tinseltown, Essence Magazine held their annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. Featuring the top names in film, television & more, the occasion called for fierce ensembles in a ladies-who-lunch kinda way. Check out some of the highlights featuring my top 5 favorite looks of the event…

I absolutely loved Serena Williams‘ off-the-soldier white cocktail dress. I think it shows off her toned arms to a tee. Sultry but still luncheon-appropriate. Not a fan of the flats though. Girl, where are your heels?
Hot mama Tia Mowry-Hardrict showed off her baby bumb in a goddess-like black gown. Tia always looks so stunning, and of course the pregnancy glow just adds to the overall effect. Gorgeous!
Access Hollywood show anchor Shaun Robinson showed off the quintessential “ladies who lunch” look in a coral gown and nude heels. The color looks amazing against her skin tone, and the dress is tailored perfectly to show off her curves. Loved this look!
Of course I couldn’t leave out my girl Angela Simmons! This dress looks amazing her. Love the sheer chiffon, love the asymmetry and those shoes? Wowzers!
My last pick goes to Ms. Tatyana Ali, who looked glam in a blue iridescent cocktail number. I’m always a fan of brown girls taking on bright colors. They make you glow! I love the construction on this piece too, not too much but just enough to make you look twice.
You can see more pics from the Women in Hollywood Luncheon over at UPTOWN Magazine.
What do you guys think of these looks? Any faves that I haven’t listed here? Soundoff below!

Flavor of Friday: Bloglovin’

This week’s Flavor of Friday is dedicated to a few of my favorite bloggers who are doing big things. Like a good neighbor, LoveBrownSugar is here. Check out what these bloggers are up to, and how you all can show your support

Happy Birthday to Masque Magazine!

My friends over at Masque Magazine are celebrating their 2nd Blogaversary – yaay! *throws confetti*

Now instead of asking for roses and diamonds and pearls, they’re asking for readers and friends alike to support an amazing cause called GirlUp. GirlUp is a campaign under the United Nations that gives American girls a chance to help out all the girls of the world. Find out more about it over at Masque Magazine and show your support.

Street Etiquette at the Apple Store in NYC!

For those of you who reside in NYC, come out tonight and support the fly guys over at Street Etiquette. They’ll be speaking on a panel at the Apple Store in Soho. All the deets are on the flyer below!

Vote for The Gorgeous Blog

I had the pleasure of meeting SanTara of TheGorgeousIngredient during the Cocktails & Couture event at NYFW. Miss SanTara is a hair stylist, makeup artist, product trainer & beauty blogger. Let me just say, she’s a darling & truly gorgeous. Well, she’s out to win her very own product line via the #TeamBeauty contest taking place on Youtube. Those of you who are Flavor of Friday regulars may remember my girl Taren916 who was featured last month for her video about Curlism. She’s one of the spearheads for this #TeamBeauty contest, which is giving everyday women an opportunity to pursue their dreams of starting a product line. Take a look at SanTara’s video below and Vote For Her by giving the video a “thumbs up” on Youtube.

Fierce or Foolish: Beyonce in L’Officiel Magazine

Beyonce covers L’Officiel Magazine
 So by now I’m sure most of you have seen or at least heard about Beyonce’s new photo spread for French fashion magazine L’Officiel Paris in which the pop starlet was commissioned to pay tribute to the late Fela Kuti? In case you haven’t heard, it has generated quite the controversy as Beyonce agreed to shoot one of the looks for the magazine’s 90th Anniversary issue in blackface! See below for more pics…

 Though I’m not surprised at Beyonce’s decision to shoot the spread in blackface, I am disappointed. 

 For those who may not know, blackface is theatrical makeup historically used in minstrel shows. Its main purpose was to propagate American racist stereotypes in theater. 

Historical poster demonstrating blackface.
Given the historical context, it’s easy to understand why people are outraged. I personally think it was a dumb move, but no dumber than some of the celebrities who call themselves “role models” and then pose nude or demi-nude for men’s magazines in the name of publicity. At the end of the day, I think the issue has definitely been broadcast because it deals with race and not sex. After all, if she were naked on the cover, most of us would be applauding her (and/or drooling). 

Hmm…what do you all think? Fierce or foolish? Do you think it’s art or an atrocity? Soundoff below!

The PJ Chronicles: Forever 21 Nail Color

Forever 21 Love & Beauty Nail Color, $2.80 each
Forever 21 is good for alot of things. Fast & affordable fashions, cute shoes (that aren’t necessarily comfortable but cute nonetheless) and now…beauty products! I may be the last person on earth to realize that they actually sell beauty items like nail polish but I felt I had to share my experience with you all. For just under $3, they offer bright & vibrant colors that surprisingly have staying power if you employ the right techniques. Here’s what I did…

STEP 1. Gather your product arsenal.

My Product Arsenal
From left: Emery board, Zoya Basecoat, CVS polish remover, Zoya Topcoat, Sally Hansen French White, Forever21 Love & Beauty Nail Polish.
Listed above are all the products I started out with. I know you’re probably wondering why I included the Sally Hansen French White in my arsenal. See, “what had happened was..”, I was attempting to do some really sick polka dot design on my nails, but that ended up being a fail. You’ll see what I’m talking about below.

STEP 2. Remove old polish

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need some super expensive polish remover to do the trick. I buy pharmacy brand and it works just fine. Just be sure to get all the old color off your nails before filing and reapplying color. 
STEP 3. Apply base coat.

Zoya Basecoat
The best way to make sure the color adheres to your nails, and to make sure your nails are protected (and don’t end  up stained) is to use a good quality base coat. My nail color lasts twice as long when I include this step. 
STEP 4. Apply 2 coats of polish.

Forever 21 Love & Beauty Nail Color in Olive Juice, $2.80
Clearly I’m not a master of technique when it comes to applying nail color. I just make sure to apply two strong coats, along each coat ample drying time. Hint: Dark colors tend to camouflage mistakes & mishaps much better than lighter colors. That’s why deep greens, navy blues & blacks are my best friend. In the spring time, I opt for a salon mani!
STEP 5. Experiment…or not.

So this is the part where I tried to get jazzy and experiment with polka dots. Needless to say it didn’t look as fab as I originally imagined, so I nixed the idea and stuck with solid color. Hint: If you don’t allow the “mistakes” to dry, there’s still time to recover! Use cotton balls or Q-tips to wipe away your mistake before it dries, and apply another coat of color for a quick fix.
STEP 6. Apply Topcoat to seal color.

Zoya Topcoat
All in all I was very pleased with the outcome. I automatically assumed since the polish was under $3 that the color quality would be horrible, but I was pleasantly surprised. With only 2 coats I achieved great results. This Olive Juice color from Forever 21 actually reminds me of Ginger & Liz “Blowin’ Money Fast” from [THIS] post. That’s one of the reasons I picked it up. Not bad for 3 bucks!

LoveBrownSugar Feature: VOGUE Black

I am completely overwhelmed and overjoyed with this news. I found out over the weekend that yours truly has been featured in VOGUE!
Words can’t even express how excited I am to be among the company of style greats like top model Ajak, stylists June Ambrose and Crystal Streets, and bloggers Tamu McPherson of All The Pretty Birds and Karen Blanchard of WhereDidUGetThat to name a few!
Photo courtesy Swagger360 for VOGUE Black.
I have to send a HUGE shoutout and internet hug to my good friend Guerre of Swagger 360 for snapping this amazing photo of me. Although my feet were killing me, he made me look like a glamazon. That’s what great photographers do right? I saw Guerre everyday on my way to the tents at NY Fashion Week, snapping away and capturing beauties on the NYC pavement. I’m just glad to call myself one of his featured subjects. Anyway, check out the feature over at VOGUE Black.
Oh yeah, here are my outfit credits. (A few of you asked about my pink floral top from [THIS] post).
Fur coat: Vintage, Top: American Apparel, Pants: H&M, Shoes: Forever21, Fringe Bag: H&M, Ring: Forever21
Soundoff below – tell me what you think!

Kickin’ It: Cocktails & Couture Blogger Event

 On the evening of February 12th, I attended an epic event combining some of the best and brightest fashion & beauty bloggers all under one roof! The Cocktails and Couture event hosted by beauty blogger Lianne Farbes of MakeupGirl.net was an amazing time. From the fruity drinks with blogger bffs to the networking and “filled-to-the-brim” goodie bags, I had an absolute ball!

Me, Marie Denee of TheCurvyFashionista
I finally had the opportunity to meet one of my fave bloggers Marie Denee of TheCurvyFashionista. She’s even more gorgeous in person! I felt like I’ve known her all my life. Don’t you love when that happens?
I hung out with the always-fab and inspiring Danielle of Style and Beauty Doctor. Love her new haircut!
Another group of my favorite gals were on deck – Shaunequa of Temple of Glam, fashion writer Annika H, and Misha of TheFabChick.
Top & Pants: H&M, Shoes: Steve Madden, Ring: Forever21
I took a shot on the red carpet at the Aveda Lifestyle Salon. Being on the carpet always makes me feel like a celebrity.
SanTara of TheGorgeousIngredient & up and coming fashion stylist Kailee Parker
 Nothing says “glam” like a bold red lip! These lovely ladies SanTara of TheGorgeousIngredient and stylist Kailee Parker show off their ruby red lips at the Cocktails & Couture event.
Me, Annika H, Misha of TheFabChick.com
All in all, I had an amazing time at the event. The cocktails, the convos, the people – good times. Shouts to LuxeLifeMedia for producing such an outstanding event!

Kickin’ It: Black Style Bloggers NYFW Tweet-Up

Jared Michael Lowe, Keenyah Hill of ANTM season 4, Myself. Photo courtesy CentricTV.com
 Hey loves! This past Tuesday night at CV Lounge in downtown NYC, I had an absolute blast at the first-ever Black Style Blogger’s New York Fashion Week Tweet-Up planned by yours truly and Jared Michael Lowe of Lowefactor.com. To say I’m proud is an understatement. I’m elated! Being the first event of this magnitude that myself and Lowefactor have hosted, I was so overhwhelmed by all the love and positive feedback about the event. Here’s what went down…
Photo courtesy CentricTV.com
Fashion Week is the perfect time to mix ad mingle with industry folks that are all in one central place at one time for one thing – fashion. So what better way to promote unity in the community of AA fashion/style bloggers than with a fab event?

Photo courtesy CentricTV.com
Sponsored by Ciroc Premium Vodka, VIBE Magazine, Softsheen Carson and CentricTV, bloggers, editors, fashionistas and socialites alike met up at CV Lounge in the Hotel on Rivington for cocktails and good conversation. 
Kodak Boi of KiddUNot.com, Chay the Great & Curran J of Kings Rule Together. Photo courtesy Babylon Cartel.
Gianni Lee, Me. Photo courtesy Babylon Cartel
Gianni Lee of Babylon Cartel was in the building. Shoutout to Babylon Cartel for posting this amazing wrap up story on the event.
Lyndsay Luff & friend. Photo courtesy Babylon Cartel
Lyndsay Luff of Ebony Magazine (left) came out for the event as well. Special thanks to Ebony/Jet for sending out a photog and for doing their own event recap of the night. Check it out HERE.
My biggest thanks go out to CentricTV for sending out an event photographer and doing an amazing write up. Check out their event recap HERE courtesy Justin Joseph with more detail about who showed up! 
Interested in joining the event list for Black Style Bloggers? Email us blackstylebloggers@gmail.com for more info!

Kickin’ It: IFB Conference Fall 2011

 Hey folks! Phew, what a whirlwind week and it’s not even over yet! While I’m running around like a madwoman for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, I’ve had absolutely no time to fill you guys in on my whereabouts but I promise the neglect will soon cease! By Thursday, things will have slowed down and I’ll be posting away about all my expeditions this season. In the meantime, here’s a brief recap of my FAB time at the IFB Conference:
 This was my third season attending the Independent Fashion Blogger’s conference and I had a blast. It’s such a great time to meet people in the blogosphere that you communicate with regularly online but never get to see face to face! 
Karen of WhereDidUGetThat & I
I had the opportunity of bumping into Karen of WhereDidUGetThat while at the conference. She’s such a sweetheart, and I absolutely adore her street style! Check out her blog, it does NOT disappoint.
I also had the chance to catch up with the lovely Gabi Gregg of Young, Fat & Fabulous. We had a ball at the conference. Gabi is also MTV’s first-ever Twitter Jockey and she tweets for them over at @MTVTJ so make sure to keep up with her celebrity sightings and pop culture gab on Twitter. I also have the pleasure of FINALLY meeting Vahni of Grit & Glamour. Love her posts but we’d never met! And I also bumped into my namesake Christina, of Profreshstyle. As soon as I find a pic of her outfit, I will post. She looked amazing.
Pic snapped for Shopbop’s Best Dressed Blogger contest.
 This year’s conference, held at Milk Studios NY was extremely informative for new, and even established bloggers who wanted to learn and get feedback about how to make their blogs better. Sponsors included Shopbop, who hosted a really cool “Best Dressed Blogger” contest at their booth. TheFind, who provided the amazing goodie bags, and so many more! Special thanks to Jennine of The Coveted and Jess of Bits of Banter over at IFB for allowing me the opportunity to work behind the scenes during the conference. I got a chance to take video interviews of amazing bloggers for a video recap that the folks at IFB are working on. Can’t wait to see what it looks like!
If you’re a fashion blogger and you haven’t signed up yet, head over to the IFB Website and register to join the community. It has helped me IMMENSELY not just with information, but also with networking opportunities. Anyone looking to grow their blog and make it better should be part of the community.

Catch up with you guys later! Follow LoveBrownSugar on Twitter for hour-by-hour updates of my fashion week experience.