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June 2012 archive

Road to BET Awards: Day 4

Road to BET AwardsI’m in LA yall! It’s officially the day before the BET Awards and I’ve finally landed in the Sunshine State. Right now I’m getting ready to head over to the Shrine Auditorium but not without a quick update about my crazy day yesterday. So, despite being incredibly annoyed with ASOS for not shipping my other dress options (major fail), I focused on getting my hair and nails done in preparation for the big day. Here’s a brief recap:

So yesterday I finally went to the Dana’s Loft salon in the Lower East Side and got my hair “laid” by celebrity stylist and salon owner Dana Gibbs. I showed her my inspiration pictures from this post and told her that I wanted big beautiful curls with ombre hair.

danasloft-hair

She started out by washing and blow-drying my hair. She blew out my hair in twists then started to braid it up for the extensions install. To achieve the color, Dana lifted the hair with bleach and kept it just light enough for my liking.

roadtobet_hair

 Here’s me with Dana after she was complete.
 Stay tuned for a full video of the whole process – coming soon!
minx-lisa-logan
Next I went uptown to celebrity manicurist Lisa Logan‘s salon for a minx session. Yes, guys. The same manicurist who does Beyonce’s nails! And who put Minx nails on the map. I was BEYOND excited, and she did an amazing job. We picked a tribal print pattern from her newest exclusive collection with Minx. More details on that coming in a follow up post!
I know this post is short & sweet but I promise to post a follow up with more detail, pics, etc! Running short on time so keep up with my 2012 BET Awards x Ford Hotspot shenanigans on Twitter @LoveBrownSugar and on Instagram!
I’ll be tweeting live from the #FordHotSpot – feel free to send me questions for your fave celebs if you see me snap pics of them!

Road to BET Awards: Day 3

So yesterday it really hit me, like for real for real. I was running around town like a chicken with its head cut off. Here’s what I got into:

The Makeup

So remember yesterday when I said I was heading to new cosmetics store Lisi Cosmetics for a consultation? Well I did and they hooked me up with an amazing look that I may be able to replicate in LA. It’s neutral enough to wear with different dresses but dramatic enough for red carpet. Take a look at the process:

So the arsenal included a combination of Foundation, Illuminator, Blush, Lipstick, Lip gloss, Eyeliner and Eye Shadow.

Here’s my face before – no makeup, blank canvas.

The makeup artist Erica Nicole used a flat Foundation Brush to apply the foundation in my shade.

Then used a loose powder to set the look.

Above is my face after foundation applied.

Then she used the Illuminator to warm up my face and applied smoky eyeshadow to my eyes.

Above is the complete look! She topped off my lips with “Fierce” – their intense burgundy red lip color. Thoughts?
The Dress

Next up, I hopped over to the Monif C. showroom in midtown to see what options they had for my red carpet look. 

The first look they pulled for my was the Zoe Charmeuse Dress in Blue. I love the asymmetrical style and the vibrant color.

Next I tried out the Marilyn Convertible Ruched Dress which was really sexy but I was a bit self-conscious about my midsection.

It’s super convertible. There are like 40 ways to wear this dress. Love it!

I tried on the Zoe Printed Dress as well, which I thought was awesome but in the end, I ended up loving the blue one best! This is going to be in my top three arsenal for the big day.

Big Thanks to Monif C for allowing me to stop in! They have some AMAZING piece, and you can check them all out on the Monif C Website. Stay tuned to see if this dress makes the final cut. 
Thoughts? Should I go with the “Zoe” Dress in Blue?

Road to BET Awards: Day 2

It’s Day 2 and my head is already spinning! Today I’m solidifying a few details for my weekend in LA. I still need to find the perfect red carpet look and I’m all about having multiple options. Take a peek at what I got into yesterday:

The Shoes

So if you follow me on Instagram (I’m @LoveBrownSugar), you might have seen me shoe shopping last night. I needed to grab a few options quickly so I went over to ALDO and started browsing for killer yet comfortable styles.

By popular demand (and by my own), I went with these ALDO Bloise shoes on the top right. They were on sale too! (here’s a similar style online for $67). I figured since they’re neutral they would be perfect because I still don’t have a dress picked out. AND they were comfy! Win/win. I may be shelling out for another pair if one strikes my fancy before i head to LA but we’ll see.

The Makeup Look

So I’m heading to the Lisi Cosmetics store in downtown Manhattan for a makeup consultation today. I’ve narrowed it down to three main makeup looks. Give me your honest opinion on these:

I could either go with June Ambrose’s smoky eyes, The heavy color eyelids and red lip or a more neutral/understated look like Jennifer Hudson’s. What do you think?

The Dress

So I ordered the above options from ASOS.com yesterday and got them express shipped. I may not be going with either of these dresses for any part of the weekend, but I figured better safe than sorry.

I’m also headed to plus size designer Monif C‘s showroom to try on a few cool pieces. I’m gagging over this neon dress:

So perhaps I’ll end up rocking that one? Still in limbo. In the mean time, weigh in! 
Tell me your preference for my makeup and dress in the comments section! 
Follow me on Instagram (LoveBrownSugar) and on Twitter @LoveBrownSugar for up to the minute updates on my Road to BET Awards!

Home Improvement: The Bathroom

It’s round two of my home decor series! So the first project, The Fireplace, is officially complete. As you guys saw last week, I made that area of my room into a nice storage haven for my accessories and a few beauty products. Now I’m on to the bathroom, which is a great sunlit-filled space but needs to be optimized for storage purposes (too many beauty products!). Here’s a look at what I’ve done so far:
So I maximized this window sill area with my favorite bath products from Carol’s Daughter to give it a personal touch…

Addicted to their Ocean Collection and their after-bath body oils.

I picked up the bowl below while on vacay in Ecuador. 

Remember my Ten Days in Ecuador series? I got it from an amazing street artisan while I was there.

My shower curtains were the absolute last remnants of the Missoni for Target collection that I salvaged the day after the collection was released. I figured at least, if I couldn’t wear Missoni, I could have it hanging in my bathroom!

So I still have to find cool ways to optimize storage space in here. The weaved basket below is from Marshall’s and I use it for extra washcloths, toilet tissue and other miscellaneous items.

I have TONS of wall space, as evidenced below but I haven’t yet figured out how to optimize it. Anyone know of cool storage solutions for wall space? I don’t necessarily want another cabinet but might be able to use a cool removable shelving unit.

That’s all for now! I’ll keep you guys updated on the progress with this room. In the mean time, feel free to leave me design/storage suggestions in the comments section.

Are you on Pinterest? Follow my “A House Is Not A Home” inspiration board:

Road to BET Awards: Day 1

It’s official guys! I’ve been granted the opportunity to fly out to LA and cover the 2012 BET Awards!! I am BEYOND excited. One, because this will be my first time in LA and two, because my very first post EVER on LoveBrownSugar.com was about the BET Awards! That was end of June 2009. Now, on the eve of my site’s 3 Year Anniversary, I’ll be soaking up the action in real time. Crazy how in 3 years time things have come full circle! Instead of yapping about the red carpet fashions from my computer screen, I’ll be tweeting them live from LA!

I’m partnering up with motor company Ford  to live-tweet straight from their Ford Hot Spot at the BET Awards. Make sure you follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #FordHotSpot as myself and other  folks will be snapping red carpet pics, doing interviews with the stars, and soacking up all the action from the Ford suite. In addition to all that amazingness, Ford is giving one BET viewer the opportunity to win a brand new 2013 Ford Escape and $1,000 in cash. Yes, y’all. Someone is winning a car!

Ok now for the dilemma…what am I going to wear???!
So I’ve narrowed down a few options for hair, nails and for red carpet looks. Here’s what I’m planning…
The Hair: Big Honey-Dipped Curls
 
 
Ok so don’t freak out! I’m not dying my hair blond or anything, but I am FINALLY experimenting with color. I’ve been yearning to play around with the ombre hair trend, so I figured my “trip to Hollywood” would be the best time to try it. Instead of dying my own strands (I’m terrified of color damage!), Dana Gibbs of the Dana’s Loft Salon is installing extensions for me that will allow me to play around with color and texture. I’m getting my hair “laid” on Friday – can’t wait! I’ll be using the Kinky-Curly textured hair from True Indian Hair. Remember when I did the Milkmaid Braid tutorial? It’s the same hair – super luxe. This time I may get a bang in the front. We’ll see!
The Nails: Glitter, Tribal or Animal?
Pics courtesy Pinterest
So I’m still undecided about which nail look I’m going for. I’m leaning more towards the “graphic glitter” look on the left but I’m open. Thoughts? Suggestions? Hit me in the comments.
The Shoe: Neutral-Neon Combo

 

I’m still undecided about what shoe I’d like, but I know I want it to be a neutral, platform with some amazing pop of color or intricate design. Nothing like a statement shoe! Which of these is your fave?

The Dress: Floral, Neon or Little Black Dress?
So I’m still completely undecided about the type of dress I want to rock. For me, it’s between a bold tribal or floral print, a bright neon A-line look, or a little black dress. What’s a girl to do? All the above dresses are from ASOS.
I need your help! Give me some suggestions in the comments section. I only have 3 days to decide! Feel free to tweet me @LoveBrownSugar with your suggestions too!

LoveBrownSugarTV: Summer Trends 2012

Last night I had the opportunity to host a live chat with Wave45 TV all about Summer Trends of 2012. It was my very first time doing a livestream so I was a little nervous (and slightly awkward) but I had a great time overall! If you’d like to see what I discussed, you can watch it below. I’ll be doing a chat like this with Wave45 on a biweekly basis so stay tuned for upcoming topics. Also, if there’s anything you guys would like to see me talk about in future livestream shows, let me know in the comments section:

Video streaming by Ustream

Drop The Dryer: Mini Twists Tutorial

This week Nikita of My 12 Month Natural Hair Challenge is breaking down “The Process” and “The Product” of doing mini twists on her natural curls. Mini twists are no small feat. Check out how she breaks hers down: [CONTINUE]

I decided I wanted to try mini-twists out because I figured that they would last longer than regular twists. I was not only right about that, but I was also really happy with the fact that they seemed to have more movement and allowed for cooler styling.

Mini-Twists take a long friggin’ time. Like I’ve said before, I don’t have thick hair, but it sure is dense and it took me at least 3 hours to do my hair. I know I watched a lot of episodes of something. If you’re going to do these, I suggest you catch up on Scandal or Girls at the same time. Hit two awesome birds with one stone.


The Process

I washed my hair and combed it out (with conditioner in it) while in the shower. I went through my usual moisturizing routine (Tea Tree Leave-In conditioner from Pro-Claim, Coconut Oil, Mizani Textures Moisture Stretch, Shea Butter) and then sectioned my hair into 8 sections. 

What I added to my arsenal of hair products this time was Organic Root Stimulator Twist and Lock Gel. I LOVE it! My mom had it at home, I tried/stole it, and then bought one of my own. I just put a little on my fingers and ran them over the piece I was going to twist. Then as I neared the end of the twisting process, I would add a little more on the ends for hold.

After everything was twisted, I did bantu knots to protect and curl the ends as some of you suggested.

The Product

Tight curls that look great on their own, with a headband or a hat. 
You’re ready for the day!
Have you ever tried mini twists? How did your results turn out?

Have a cool heat-free style to share? Hit us up at DropTheDryer@gmail.com with your photos.

LBS Feature: The New York Times

I’m elated! I’ve been quoted by The New York Times within an article about the natural hair community. The lovely Jessica Andrews of Glamazons Blog contributed a beauty piece to the New York Times around the idea of natural-haired women and whether the obsession with “stretched” curls is the newest definition of “good hair”. Remember when I did a post about the idea of a”curlism”? It’s an interesting debate. [CONTINUE]

Myself and a few other amazing bloggers like Patrice of Afrobella, Nikki of CurlyNikki and Nicole M. Melton of Essence.com shed some light on our experiences with this phenomenon.

Please show your support and Check Out the Full Article: “How Natural is Too Natural?” over at NY Times.When you’re done reading, come back over and discuss.
 
Do you think natural women are obsessed with achieving the “perfect curl”?

Get Like Me: Mali Romeo

Aspiring to break into the fashion industry or simply intrigued by it? Well LoveBrownSugar has something for ya! Our “Get Like Me” series highlights exclusive interviews with industry insiders from celebrity stylists to fashion designers, editors, fashion PR heads & more!
MaliRo
Aspiring fashion designers, you’re in for a treat! Making the cut as our first-ever Get Like Me fashion designer is chic and edgy sweetheart Mali Romeo. As a young entrepreneur and technically trained designer, she’s racked up experience studying at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and working as a designer for companies like Bongo and Aeropostale. Now the Head Designer and Creative Director for her own eponymous lines Mali Romeo and MÚS by Mali Ro, she’s shedding light on what it takes to make it as a young fashion designer. Check it out:

Name: Mali Romeo
Age: 22
Favorite Designer(s): Rachel Roy, Rachel Zoe, Whitney Eve
Personal Style in 3 Words: Hipster, Chic and Classic
Must-Have Accessory: Any cool bag.

How did you get your start as a designer?
I didn’t plan to be a designer, it wash’t always my dream. When I was in High School they offered a fashion illustration course and I did it just to do something different. My teacher saw how good my drawings were and she suggested that I take summer courses at FIT, so I did. I really started to like it and so I went to college for it. From there, I got internships and jobs and then I just decided to do my own thing. When I was in school I won the student Designer of the Year Award. It didn’t really hit me until then and so I just thought “I guess I’m supposed to do this.” So I did.

After graduation what did you do? I interned. I got a paid internship working at Bongo and then from there I did a lot of contemporary work. I worked at contemporary denim line Charley 5.0 and then Aeropostale. I went from internships to jobs. And everything I learned I tied it back in to my line plus added my own touch.

mali-ro-trinidad

I saw on Instagram that you vacationed in Tobago. Is that where you’re from?My Dad is from Tobago and my Mom is from Guyana. I hadn’t been to Tobago since 2003 and I really needed a vacation. Since I graduated I’ve been working and I haven’t really taken a vacation, so I spent two weeks in Tobago.

How was it?It was amazing. It was so good. I was at the beach everyday. I got to see family. I got to eat so much food. It was really relaxing. I feel like I got cleansed from all my work and that’s what I needed. When I came back I launched the website because I was just ready to get back in to it.

What would you consider your top three travel essentials? I need my phone, my flat iron and I need my makeup. You never know where you’re going to go!

What inspired you to create Mali Ro? Well I didn’t have a name for the line and one of my really good friends and I decided to go to Bryant Park one day and I told her that I needed to come up with a name for my line. People called me Mali for short but she called me Mali Ro. I liked the name “muse”, but so many people used it. You know a muse inspires. When people saw my photo shoots,  I wanted them to be inspired by the whole line. She suggested MÚS by Mali Ro and we agreed on that.

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Mali Romeo Stars & Stripes Spring 2012

So you have two lines right? Mali Ro and MÚS by Mali Ro?
MÚS by Mali Ro and Mali Romeo. MÚS by Mali Ro – that would be the funky line. It’s kind of like having a split personality. MÚS by Mali Ro is like Mali Romeo’s alter ego. If you look at the shoots for MÚS by Mali Ro, the girls are really funky, they’re doing a lot of random stuff, they’re just showing a lot of personality.

mali-ro-spring-2012-lookbookMÚS by Mali Ro Summer 2011

Mali Romeo, however, is like the Spring Blossom collection and that was really clean and simple –  that’s how I am. When I made that collection I was thinking “I’m gonna make everything that I like”. Because in the last collection, I liked everything, but I don’t really wear everything because I made it for a certain customer. With Mali Romeo I’m going to develop that as things go along. The Spring Blossom collection was an introduction to that.

mali-ro-spring-2012

What would you say has been the most difficult challenge you’ve had to face?
The only large challenge that used to bother me was other designers copying my designs. But I have really great friends who are successful and they put it in my head that it doesn’t matter. People are going to pay for the label. If other designers copy me, fine. I just know that I’m creative and I can always come up with something else. My advice if you have to deal with something like that is to stay relaxed and calm because it’s your creative mind. And while you’re calm and creating your designs, others are going to be sweating trying to keep up but you’re always going to be steps ahead. If you keep worrying that means you see them as a threat, but personally I just keep creating because that’s what I’m good at.

Three pieces of advice you would give to new designers? A lot of people want to be designers but they don’t realize how much work you have to put in to it. Interning really helped because I already knew how to sew, but I learned how to do line sheets, tech packs, and you need to know how to do that especially if you’re going to run your own business. You need to know how to do everything those people know how to do. And you should also try to teach yourself. I’m very self taught. From the things you see in my photoshoots to my website. It’s good for you to be hands on and learn as much as you can so that you can apply it. You have to stay focus and you have to be determined. This has to be something that you really want to do. I try to not think about how much work I do because that would be stressed out. If I really thought about all stuff that I’ve sewed it would probably drive me nuts. You have to stay organized. And stay humble.

Who is your biggest inspirations and why? It’s actually my friend. She’s a friend and she’s a mentor. She the designer of Ekineyo, her name is Nike Oyelami. She is such a big inspiration to me because before I met her I never thought I could be friends with a designer. I thought they would copy me or something, but she has really given me so much advice. She has just genuinely helped me and has always looked out. And we have always helped each other too. I really look up to her.

mali-romeo

 Where do you see Mali Ro in 5 years? The company has already started to grow. I’m now looking for a design assistant. I should have a few employees.. I really want to run a smooth ecommerce site so that I can build a great customer base and great clientele, so that one day when I open a boutique or showroom I’ll have great success from people who really appreciate my product. And I also want to expand to accessories because I want to create a lifestyle brand.
Check out Mali’s designs at http://www.MaliRomeo.com | Follow on Twitter @MaliRomeo

My Insta-Week: 6.18.12

Last week was fun. Putting this recap together makes me excited about the cool things to come this week. Here’s a rundown of all I got into this week (clockwise from left):

– My hair is growing! I took my makeup off and my hair down for an au naturale pic on Friday and I’m so surprised at how fast it’s growing out. It’s been about 1.5 years now. Remember my Big Chop?

– I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my new backyard & garden. Had a few business meetings out there this weekend. Look out for a new Home Improvement series post this week.

– I’m crazy for Neon this summer. On Instagram, I hosted a giveaway/contest with this pic asking if my followers thought I opted for Essie Bright Tights or Funky Limelight:

Turns out I opted for Essie’s Bright Tights! Congrats to Kara Johnson for winning the giveaway.

– In beauty product previews, I tried out Ojon’s Rare Blend Oil this weekend and was thoroughly pleased with my results. It left my hair silky soft and moisturized. Full review coming soon!

How was your week? 
Follow me on Instagram @LoveBrownSugar for my daily updates, giveaways & more!