January 2012 archive

Ask LBS: How Do I Start A Blog? 5 Easy Steps

It’s the last day of January everyone! Yes, we’re officially one month into 2012. Raise your hand if you haven’t given up on your New Year’s Resolutions yet! Mmhmm…thought so.

So at the beginning of the year, I received quite a few emails from readers who were empowered this new year to start blogs. First of all, I’m so incredibly excited to hear that many of you are embarking on the blog journey in 2012. It’s an awesome one. Not easy and not for everyone, but if you do it right, you’ll love it. So here are my top 5 tips for starting a blog…

1. Start with a passion.

Finding your niche and sticking to it is one of the absolute best things you can do when starting a blog. I mentioned this one in my Ask LBS: How Do I Get My Blog Noticed post. Considering how congested it is on the internet these days, the only way to attract new followers is to somehow be different. Express your true passions and not only will you love it, but the people who read your site will come to love it as well.

2. Find others + connect.

Me & blogger friends at FNO 2011 (read post here)

The amazing thing about blogging is that you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, making friends and connecting with people who have similar interests can help put your blog over the edge. Poll any successful blogger, and you’ll undoubtedly find that a large source of their incoming traffic comes from…gasp…other websites! Digital friends are some of the greatest assets you can have. They’ll promote your site for you, attend events with you, and even snap pics for you. So don’t be shy, get social. Literally. Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and more to meet new people who share interests similar to yours. You might have a broad interest like fashion, for example. But is there something specific you can drill down to? If you’re true love is indie fashion under $50, that’s much more specific and there are groups and communities dedicated to finding others just like you.

3. Choose the right host.

So this is the big question plaguing the blogosphere. Which blog host is best? Honestly, there are blogs hosted on Blogger that do equally as well as ones hosted on WordPress, that do equally as well as ones hosted on Tumblr…and I can go on and on. Use whichever host suits your needs! If your primary concern is monetization of your site, you might consider WordPress and Blogger hosting better for you. If you just want to express yourself creatively, Tumblr might work best for you. If you’re better in front of the camera, consider a YouTube channel. Evaluate the pros & cons of each, then go with the flow!

4. Get the right tools.

Source: MyDamnBlog

If you’re a foodie and you’re creating a blog about your adventures sipping cappuccinos and trying the latest prime rib in your city, you might want to invest in an amazing camera to document your food journey. If your blog focuses on interviewing really cool people, you might need to have a tape recorder in your arsenal. Think long and hard about the type of content you plan to post, and what tools you’ll need to make that content as engaging as possible.

5. Just Do It!

Source: I Have A Degree In This

Don’t delay or wait for “just the right timing”. Unless your blog is based around a product launch or a huge event, do it now! There are people out there waiting to hear what you have to say. Live, blog and be merry.

So there you have it! My top five recommendations for starting a new blog. Anything to add? Share with the group in the comments section!

LoveBrownSugar Chic: Spikes & Stripes

I’m at it again with another statement cape. What can I say? The post-Xmas sales had me at hello…
I scored both this Pendleton cape and these Deena & Ozzy spiked booties at Urban Outfitters. I love the subtle pops of color the cape adds to any ensemble. And a statement platform is always a plus in my book. Height, style & comfort = win.
Cape: Pendleton via Urban Outfitters (Buy HERE). Shirt: H&M. Tights: Old Navy. Platforms: Deena & Ozzy via Urban Outfitters (Buy HERE). Bag: H&M. Snake Cuff: H&M. Ring: Street Vendor. 
Photography by Ugonna Igweatu

Kickin’ It: Tiffany & Co Launch Party

Last night I had the pleasure of attending Tiffany & Co’s launch party for their new gallery True Love in Pictures launching on WhatMakesLoveTrue.com. Curated by lovers & street style photographers Garance Dore and Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist, the gallery focuses on capturing true love and celebrating it (so cute).

Source: WhatMakesLoveTrue.com

I’m not gonna lie, I was most hyped about seeing Solange DJ (as I always am – check out this post from Fashion’s Night Out, love her!) and taking pics at the photo booth. Solange wore an absolutely stunning Christopher Kane neon dress. She looked amazing, per usual.

I went with one of my blogger besties Jessica of Glamazons Blog

We had a blast taking pics at the photobooth, and of course being surrounded by jewelry worth more than our own homes…

I rocked my fave new Zara cape, a turban and my new hair! If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know since I tweeted about this on Sunday. The birthday is coming up so I had to turn up the drama. More updates on the new ‘do to come! 

Be sure to check out the WhatMakesLoveTrue website as well as the Tiffany & Co Facebook page for pics from the event and from the new gallery!

LoveBrownSugar Chic: Harlem Daze

The other night at a friend’s house, I sat and watched Eddie Murphy’s 1989 film “Harlem Nights”. I found myself paying absolutely no attention to the dialogue and being engrossed in the amazing costume design. Sometimes I think in my former life, I was a speakeasy regular during the late 20’s. Diamond headpiece and feather boa included.

Living in such a historic neighborhood for black culture like Harlem, I find myself wandering the streets of Striver’s Row to marvel at the century-old brownstones and picturing myself at a cocktail with the likes of Zora Neale Hurston or Langston Hughes.

Leather Dress: H&M. Wool Cape: Zara (On sale $39.99, Zara.com). Bag: Elliot Luca (similar look here for $128). Watch: Michael Kors. Shoes: Steve Madden (buy here – only $41.98). Necklace: Street Vendor (similar Modcloth version, $14.98). Ring: Versace for H&M (similar).

Photography by Ugonna Igweatu

Flavor of Friday: Rachel Roy Supports OrphanAid + Keys To Success

Happy Friday loves! This week has been filled with ups & downs but this morning I was inspired by one of my favorite designers Rachel Roy. Not only is she a designer, entrepreneur and super-mom, she’s also a celebrated philanthropist. Read on for inspiration:

New Year + More Risks = New You

For those of you who need that extra boost of confidence before taking risks this year, I highly suggest you read Rachel’s recent post for Stylelist. In it, she talks about some of the challenges she faced when starting her line and how empowering it can be to take a risk, even when you’re scared you will fail. As someone who struggles with taking risks and leaving my comfort zone, I found this so inspirational.

Rachel Roy Supports OrphanAID

In honor of Rachel’s birthday on Jan. 15th, she kicked off this awesome campaign in which she donates $1 to OrphanAid Africa for every new email subscriber on her Facebook page. OrphanAid Africa is a non profit organization dedicated to helping children to grow up in safe, permanent family settings. On top of that, 15 lucky subscribers will receive one of these luxe “Kindness Is Always Fashionable” Ghana clutches, of which 100% proceeds go back to the charity.

Click here to signup: Rachel Roy Facebook

That’s the tea on this fine Friday. What motivated you this week? Soundoff below!

A Tale of Two Must-Haves: Hair & Beauty

So a few of you lovelies have been asking which lip color I rocked in my last outfit post “Cosby Steaze“. Then it dawned on me that I haven’t done a review of it although I’ve been rocking it faithfully for about a month now. I’ve also been getting tons of questions about the hair products I used to do my natural up-do. Alas, a tale of two must-haves…

So my new red lip, ladies, is none other than Covergirl Lip Perfection in Hot Passion. It was gifted to me by Robert Verdi at his annual Holiday Twitter Party and I’ve been hooked ever since!

With my complexion, it gives off an orangey-red that I’m not really used to but I love. It’s a bright, look-at-me red that works really well for weekends and special occasions when you want to be the center of attention. And it works for multiple complexions – Shyema of Beauty and the Feast reviewed it also and it looks great on her. 

As for the hair, I’m head over heels for Beija Flor Naturals Creme Brulee for Kinks, Coils & Curls. Beija Flor was nice enough to send over a jar for my review, and it is the first styler I’ve found that actually hydrates my hair while shaping it! 

It’s 100% all-natural, it doesn’t leave an oily residue, and I can use it for twist-outs, braid-outs, smoothing down my edges, and everything in between. 
Huge shoutout to Natural Chica for recommending this product – I’m officially a stan. You can buy it HERE, for only $12.95 a jar. Look out for a full video review of the product coming soon to LoveBrownSugarTV.

 UPDATE (Feb 23, 2012) 
Below find my video review of the product, uploaded from LoveBrownSugarTV!

Ladies, what are two of your latest hair & beauty must-haves? Do tell!

LBS Beauty Review: Incoco Nail Appliques

My life changed forever after discovering nail appliqués. If you’re like me, and you consider nails an accessory, you can’t live your life without them. My first nail appliqué experience took place while I was an editor at Honey Magazine and Incoco was actually the brand I used. Yes, Incoco broke my nail appliqué virginity and ever since, I’ve been hooked. Although I love many of the other brands out there, including Sally Hansen – blogged about them here – and Sephora, I think Incoco offers an awesome array for prints and colors. Here’s are the 5 simple steps I take to put them on:

1. Start out with a clean slate. The cleaner and less oily your nails, the better these will adhere to your nail and the longer they will stay on.

2. Unwrap your strips. I used Incoco’s Design Manicure in Rush for my mani. Love it!

At this point, you should examine the size of each strip and match them up to your finger size. 

(Tip: Save the extras! You can use them as accent nails when you do a regular mani, or for touch ups in case one falls off)

3. Peel outer layer. Gently lift off the plastic protective barrier to unveil the nail strip.

4. Smooth the strip on. So, this can get tricky. You want to make sure to smooth it on in a downward motion, making sure to get the strip centered and pushing down into the corners from the cuticle down.

5. Smooth & Go. After smoothing on each strip, file off the excess and keep smoothing until all air bubbles are gone. If you follow these steps you should have a perfect 10! No drying time – holler.

Have you guys tried Incoco? Would you?

SHOP Incoco HERE | Facebook | Twitter

Solange Knowles Lands Modeling Contract


Congrats to my girl (bff in my head) Solange Knowles! According to Vogue UK, the natural diva just landed a modeling contract with Next Model Management. How major is that? This means we may see her beautiful face attached to national fashion & beauty campaigns soon. Who knows? She might be strutting the runways at fashion week. She betta WORK!

Here’s what she had to say about her new gig:

“Artistic expression is invaluable to me in all walks of my career and I am so excited to continue to develop this path along with such an amazing team at Next Model Management. I feel right at home working with people who have worked beside such creative forces in the world.”

Between the new gig and becoming an Aunt this week, I’d say Solo is on a roll. 
What do you think?

Source: HuffPost BV