February 2013 archive
It’s my second day rocking Silver Jeans as part of the Style Wars challenge, and I could really get used to this! Seriously, these jeans are so comfortable. For my second post I decided to style their Sam Boyfriend Jeans ($85.00) with a few new pieces in my wardrobe.
I had been looking for a mixed leather/cargo jacket since last season but couldn’t find one just perfect for me, until I stumbled on this one at H&M a few week ago. I blogged about it here in my LBS in LA post as well. It’s my new favorite piece of outerwear.
It goes really well with pretty much anything. I love how it looks with cropped boyfriend jeans and heels.
I scored these heels on sale at Zara about a month ago. Couldn’t wait to put them on!
Can’t wait to rock these in the spring with a super cute tailored dress. I love that they’re neutrals with a pop of color.
For my handbag, I pulled out an oldie but a goodie. My vintage Coach Willis Bag ($298). I wore my street vendor bangles, my Michael Kors watch and Crown Midi Rings by TNEMNRODA ($30)
Ok guys, you know what to do! Head over to the Silver Jeans Facebook Page
and vote for Team East Coast (including me!) Just ‘like’ our photos on the Facebook page to cast your vote. Also, stay tuned! Tomorrow I’m giving away a pair of Silver Jeans to one of you lovelies. Can’t wait!
One of the biggest life lessons I’m learning is how to be my biggest fan. LoveBrownSugar is all about celebrating our lifestyles, embracing what society has typically told us was not beautiful and proving to the world (and to ourselves) that we’re beautiful beings. Of course, all this is easier said than done. Even someone with the highest level of confidence has those small moments when they absolutely despise the little quirks that make them different from the masses. As someone who highly relies on daily reminders, I thought I would share with you guys three ways I celebrate my uniqueness, daily:
1. Don’t Follow Trends (Make Them)
As much as I write and research trends and the latest runway fashions, I’m far from trend-obsessed. I celebrate personal style and not everyone who follows runway trends is actually stylish from my perspective. Just because a designer sends something down the runway, doesn’t mean I’m going to love it or it will look good on me. I wear things that make me happy! The dress I’m wearing above is 5 years old! And I paid less than $25 for it. I still wear it because I love it. When you live life according to your own rules and not everyone else’s, it’s freeing. I celebrate my unique tastes daily by expressing myself through fashion. I wear what I like, not what the world tells me to like.
2. Embrace Your Body (Don’t Cover It Up)
Whether you have curves for days or you have a petite boyish frame, you should embrace what you were blessed with daily! Want to know a secret? As much as you loathe your body type, somebody out there in the world wishes they had what you have! Believe it or not, the same things we were blessed with and we take for granted, somebody else covets. So instead of drowning yourself in all-black everything to disguise those things you view as imperfections, embrace them. Celebrate what makes you different. Because someone out there who sees you on the street, at the market, or on the train is secretly celebrating for you.
3. Do Something Silly (Crack Yourself Up)
Laughter is therapeutic. Not only does it burn calories (woot!) but being in a happier mood can improve your overall health. So you tripped up the stairs on the way to work? Laugh about it! Feeling like a morning music party in your PJ’s? Go for it! Life is way too short to let those little moments of bliss pass by.
The folks over at BlogHer introduced me to this super cute Facebook app/game called Facestruments. You can pretty much do this from anywhere where there’s a computer with a webcam installed. The app turns your face into a musical instrument allowing you to wink, blink, nod, and smile to the beat of your favorite song. So hilarious. It works great as a midday pick-me-up at the office – just make sure your boss isn’t watching!
When all is said and done, you guys were fearfully and wonderfully made so embrace what makes you unique and different because there’s only one you! And that’s definitely something to smile about.
Do you guys remember when I participated in the Silver Jeans Style Wars last year? Well they’re back yet again! I have the honor of participating with a group of East Coast fashion bloggers as this year’s theme is East vs. West! East-siiiideee *throws up the three-fingered E*
For this first post, I’m rocking a pair of their Suki Jeans in Rose. I’ve never rocked pink jeans before so this was different for me – and fun!
I didn’t want to go with straight neutrals on top so I paired it with this fun Prabal for Target blouse, and my favorite vintage leather jacket.
I’m into hats this season. Especially the baseball caps with random words on them. I found this one at Buffalo Exchange and fell in love with it.
I finished off the look with my sneaker wedges and a powder blue satchel. I love mixing colors. Can you tell I’m feigning for spring to get here already?
Like what you see? Make sure to head over to the Silver Jeans Co Facebook page and vote for the East Coast team! This Friday I’ll be giving one of you lucky readers a pair of your own Silver Jeans to rock around town in. Stay tuned for more deets!
Similar to the 2013 Grammy’s, we live-blogged our favorite looks from the 2013 Oscars red carpet as they came out. We had a blast chatting celeb red carpet looks with you guys last night on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a recap of some of our favorite looks. Let us know if you agree!
Kelly Rowland looks stunning in a Donna Karan Atelier black & white gown. Following the thigh-high split trend, she’s rocking a gown that shows off her amazing legs and her toned arms. This look is a win in my book!
Can I say how happy I am to see Robin Roberts back on the red carpet? She’s a Cancer survivor, she’s back and she looks better than ever. Kudos to her. How awesome does she look in this blue velvet gown?
I love how Jessica Chastain exudes Old Hollywood glamour in this Armani Prive gown. It would seem like the color would wash out her pale skin but her vibrant hair color and the red lip makes it all come together for me.
Overall I’m a fan of this dress silhouette for Zoe Saldana. I think it really accentuates her figure. My only qualm with this look is that there’s quite alot going on. From the embellishment up top, to the belt to the colored tiers down below. I think she should’ve chose one embellishment and stuck with it.
Octavia Spencer looked absolutely elegant in a Tadashi Shoji dress. I love how loyal she is to the brand. And she always looks phenomenal! You guys already know I love Tadashi Shoji. I rocked one of his looks for the Essence Black Women in Music event.
Jennifer Lawrence rocked a Dior Haute Couture dress for the big night. I do think this look is a little…bridal. I think the silhouette is beautiful but she might have benefited from a different color. Congrats to Jennifer on winning an Oscar for Best Actress!
Another gorgeous Dior gown on the red carpet. In my eyes Charlize Theron can do no wrong. She always looks absolutely flawless. She wore a strapless peplum gown in white, and her brand new pixie cut which flatters her beautiful features so well. Absolutely my favorite look of the night!
This assymetrical look on Naomi Watts was really breathtaking. Gunmetal sequins is not something you see often on the red carpet. This dress is by Armani and it fits her to a tee.
See-through and mesh looks were another big trend this red carpet season. I think Sandra looks so sophisticated in this Elie Saab scalloped gown. I wish she had sprung for a bright-colored lip to compliment the look.
“Halle Berrrryyyyy, Halle Berry!” Everybody sing along now. My jaw dropped to the ground when I saw Miss Halle in this gorgeous look. She’s 40+??? I can’t take. Somebody find out what she’s doing. Because I need to know. This Versace gown is everything!
Following the thigh-high slit trend, JHud rocked a Roberto Cavalli brocade gown. I really love this dress I just think it’s a little too snug around the waist. Either she needed a good pair of spanx or she needed a dress that had a little more room in the midsection. Other than that, she looks great!
Everyone’s favorite Scandal girl, Olivia Po….I mean Kerry Washington…wore a super chic Miu Miu embellished gown. I love the bright color against her skin and the subtle detailing at the top.
I’m normally not a huge fan of velvet but Salma has me with a new frame of mind. She looks simply stunning in an embellished Alexander McQueen halter dress in black velvet. Beautiful.
Who were your favorites from the red carpet? Did we miss anyone? Soundoff below!
I never thought this day would come but it’s officially here, guys. Your girl is officially a self-employed entrepreneur! After some months going back and forth over whether or not I could do this and make this my full time job, I finally decided to take a leap of faith and pursue entrepreneurship without restraint. *breathes out sigh of relief*
Guys, I’m not going to lie, this is scary! Since the day LoveBrownSugar was created, it has been a huge part of my life. I’ve seen it grow from just a handful of followers to now a sizable and loyal group of fans (whom are irreplaceable really, I love you guys). It’s like my first child. And after a few years working in the media industry, I’m now officially ready to take this site to the next level by devoting 100% of my time and energy to it. It’s scary just typing it, let alone thinking about it! But to actually be living it, is beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve always kept it one hundred with you guys from the day I started LBS. You’re on this journey with me like my cyber besties and so in the interest of sharing my life’s goals and aspirations as well as the tough lessons that have gotten me where I am now, I want to share 4 important intangibles I had before taking this big leap and pursuing my dreams full time.
I’m hoping these tips help inspire someone out there who is on the fence about their career or any important decision in their life:
|Graduating from UPENN in 2009
Whether you’re 9 or 59, pursuing your dreams is about becoming knowledgeable on the industry of your choice. Education is so very important! I can’t stress enough to you how my education has prepared me for what I’ve been able to accomplish. The amazing thing about the world we live in is that the quest for education never really ceases. There is no way you can ever know everything. So there are lifelong opportunities to learn. Whatever your passions, hopes and dreams are, education can help get you one step closer to accomplishing them. Just to give you guys some background, I started out in undergrad as a business school major. Most of my classmates went on to pursue careers in Finance, Accounting and Consulting among other things. What did I do after graduation? I started working at BET Networks and then went on to be an editor at Honey Magazine and UPTOWN Magazine. Complete disconnect right?? Wrong.
Each position I took gave me opportunities to use my educational background in business, even though there were no direct parallels. My concentration in Marketing at business school really helped give me perspective on the consumer’s mind and how brands operate. This then gave me an understanding of how to position products and entities I represented (even myself and my own brand LoveBrownSugar!) in the digital landscape. I also learned to do alot of analytical work in business school. Researching trends, sifting through data, drawing conclusions. All of that helps me now as I’m figuring out what direction to take my brand and the ones I consult for. It all makes sense now, but if I had taken my education for granted, I would never know how much it could benefit me when pursuing my passion. No matter what stage in life you’re at, whether you’re a working Mom, fresh-out-of-college or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, there are always new opportunities to learn. Don’t ever think new knowledge will go to waste.
I’ve been out of college now for 4 years and within those 4 years I’ve amassed some substantial years of work experience. Each position I’ve had and project I’ve worked on has prepared me for this step. Yep, that’s me in the picture sweeping up confetti after a cover shoot for Honey Magazine. Back then I was an intern and I did what I needed to do to progress in my career. If I didn’t have the background, if I hadn’t been able to learn from the brilliant people I have, I wouldn’t be prepared to branch out on my own. Be courageous, but don’t jump the gun! Make sure you have enough experience and skills to pursue your next step.
When the money isn’t flowing the way you think it should, when the hard work seems daunting, the only thing that will truly keep you motivated is your passion for the field you’re in. This is why, for me, it makes no sense to spend years and years working a job or a position that makes you miserable. Now understand sometimes you have to do what you “have” to do so you can eventually do what you “want” to do. But having a passion and vigor for your work makes life so much better. You do something you’re passionate about, and you’ll never “work” a day in your life.
No risk, no reward. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have had to make decisions that, to others, made them look crazy! When it comes time to take the big leap, faith has to be at the forefront of your decision. You have to know undoubtedly that you’re making the right decision and that despite what might go wrong, things will work out for your good.
What are you passionate about? Has your passion been manifested in your education and career?
Leave a comment below and be entered to win a $100 VISA gift card on behalf of LoveBrownSugar!
Last night in NYC, natural hair blogger and enthusiast Curly Nikki and songwriter/songstress Marsha Ambrosius co-hosted the official launch event for Dark & Lovely’s newest innovation – the Au Naturale styling and maintenance product line for curls.
Yes, it seems like every company under the sun is launching a new natural haircare line these days, but what I found so awesome about this launch was how adamantly natural hair icon Marsha Ambrosius felt about the line. That evening she was sporting her fierce mane in what looked like a textured bantu knot-out on blowout hair. She looked phenomenal. And she was as sweet as pie! She even remembered meeting me last June during the BET Awards (glad I have a memorable face!).
I chatted a bit with her about the new product line, her favorite beauty products, hair maintenance tips and what it means to be dark & lovely:
LoveBrownSugar: So I wanted to ask you about your natural hair! You’re most definitely one of my natural hair icons. What do you do to maintain your style?
Marsha Ambrosius: What I must do, and it’s imperative I do so, is brush it overnight, section it and bantu knot it. If I don’t, when I wake up in the morning I’m not going to be able to comb through that thing! Even if I’m in the studio late, it’s something I must do. The [Au Naturale] product line is great because it really infuses all the natural products that I use anyway into one thing. I have the mango oil, I have the bamboo milk, I put it in and it stays! I’m living proof that it works. My curls are absolutely temperamental. Sometimes they hate me, other times I think they’re having a fight. So this product line – I really love it.
Is there one product out of the entire line that you can’t live without?
The Au Naturale 10-ln-1 Styles Gelee. When I take the bantu-knots out, they’ll be in my natural curl pattern anyway and I just take a dab of the Gelee and once I run that product through my hair, it stays. It’s like a hair gel and an edge protector in one. Do you see these edges?! They never lay down like this!
Aside from natural hair, I really look at you as a beauty icon overall. Are there any beauty products that you swear by?
Drink lots of water! The simplest beauty products are the ones that God gave us. We overlook them sometimes. Like I exfoliate with honey sometimes, a little bit of natural oil, little things like that.
What do you think it means to be Dark & Lovely?
Dark & Lovely is empowering, it’s invigorating, it’s royal. I’m glad to be here to represent this brand.
After chatting it up with Marsha, I ran into co-host Curly Nikki and the fabulous Julee Wilson of Huffington Post Black Voices (remember her spotlight on LoveBrownSugar’s Get Like Me series?). Two beautiful ladies indeed, with fierce natural curls.
|Photo courtesy Dark & Lovely
The event was a blast. There were live hair demonstrations and tutorials. A super cute photo booth, where I took this goofy pic…
And of course there were amazing heads of natural hair at every turn! Kudos to Dark & Lovely for a successful launch event!
Pop songstress and style icon Rihanna was arguably one of the best-dressed on the red carpet at this year’s Grammy Awards. She showed up rocking a long goddess-like red gown, and a complimentary beauty look that made heads turn. Instead of her edgy rocker cut, she sported long, wavy locks, paired with a bold red lip, red nails, and a sultry cat eye.
There were so many beautiful elements to her look. With a little effort and the proper technique, you can pull this look off at home using the following tips:
The Flawless Face
The key to achieving a flawless, blemish-free face like Rihanna’s is to take time correcting for any redness, covering up blotchiness, and evening out the complexion. Start with a great concealer that’s just a shade or two lighter than your complexion. Work the concealer in the under-eye area to get rid of dark circles and to even out fine lines, and use it to spot-correct blemishes. Next, apply a primer to the face. Primer helps not only keep your makeup in place, but negates shine so you have a matte finish. Finally, smooth on the foundation of your choice, making sure it’s evenly spread across the face. For a little highlight and a sun-kissed look, dust a golden bronzer on the cheeks. Finish with a powder to set!
The Cat Eye
There are quite a few ways to achieve the cat’s eye look. Advanced makeup users may spring for a liquid liner to get the look. If you’re a novice like myself, spring for either a cream shadow in black that you can apply with an eye brush, or an eye pencil in black. Using a cream shadow with a brush allows you more control (and less mistakes!) because you can smooth it on gradually, as opposed to using liquid, which only gives you one swoop to get it right. Start at the inner corner of the eye, bring the liner all the way across the lid, then bring it up into a wing at the crease of the eye. Do this for both the top and the bottom for a sultry, picture-perfect cat’s eye look. Finish the eye look with a neutral shadow with a little shimmer on the lids.
The Matte Red Lip
You guys know I’m all about a red lip! Celebrity makeup artist Mylah Morales, who did Rihanna’s makeup for the red carpet, used a combination of two lipsticks and a liner to achieve this look. Rihanna’s red lip is a matte red with a hint of orange.
The key to getting the perfect red lip? Start with a matching liner! Red is such a bright color on any complexion, and you need to start with a liner if you want the color to stay in place. Next, choose your favorite bright red or a combination of two similar colors, like Rihanna did. You can either use a lipstick that goes on matte, or use one that doesn’t and lightly dust it with powder for a matte effect.
The Glossy Red Nails
Red nails are a classic, and so easy to achieve. The key to getting nails like Rihanna, sans a fancy manicurist, is to choose a lacquer with great color payoff. This means that what you see in the bottle is what you get on your nails. Spring for a color that’s fairly opaque and bright. Don’t forget to start with a base coat and finish with a top coat to seal in the color.
The Romantic Waves
Rihanna’s new ‘do was the talk of the town after the Grammys. Instead of going with her edgy cropped look, she sprung for long romantic waves. To achieve this look start with a center part that’s just slightly off-center. If you have thick or curly hair, you;ll want to make sure your hair is sleek to start, so either blow-dry or flat-iron the hair for optimal sleekness. Prep the hair with a heat protectant product and a holding spray of your choice. In workable sections, curl the hair around a 1 1/2 inch barrel iron or a curling wand. Finish the look with a shine serum and a final blast of hairspray so your curls stay in place.
There you have the steps to Rihanna’s red-carpet ready hair and makeup. Would you try this look at home?
This post is part of BlogHer’s Celebrity Beauty Trends editorial series, made possible by Olay.
For the Libertine Fall 2013 collection, Butter London lead artist Katie Hughes customized a special crystallized golden nail look. The vintage-like gold is new shade from Butter London that will be available this upcoming Summer 2013. Here’s what she had to say about the look:
About the application: “You start off by inserting the toothpick in lip balm, then pre-glue the nail and just paste it right on. No particular pattern for the jewels, we just kept them heavily encrusted by the cuticle and brought it down from there,” said Katie Hughes.
“Every single nail is different and unique, that’s the most important thing. The crystals are actually used in his clothes so he gave us three sheets of these stones to work with. I added a lot of Swarovski [crystals] so I could get that pop of sparkle so it’s really fun.”
About the crystallized nail trend:
“I do think it’s going to be big this season. I always talk about the grown up nail art trend, and when I say grown-up nail art I mean half-moon manicures, graphic strips down the nail, color-blocking tips, etc. I think this is still within that because it’s an embellishment as opposed to smiley faces or crazy little things that a kid would do. I think this is still acceptable for grown-ups. Color-wise, embellishment is going to be heavily within that trend. There’s alot of texture coming out in nail polish and it’s just going to a whole other place. You can really feel the glitter in a nail lacquer now. It’s all about texture.”
About the nail color: “This color we custom created for the Libertine Fall 2013 collection. We already have a gold in the collection so we said ‘Can we make it more vintage-looking?’. More like jewelry you’d find at a market in the middle east or something – really, really gold. So I created it for him, for the show. It’s not out yet, but it should be out in May – during the next collection launch.”
Would you try this nail trend at home?
7:30PM We arrive on the purple carpet at the Essence Black Women in Music event sponsored by Lincoln. Like I mentioned in my Prepping post, I went with the Tadashi Shoji lace peplum dress in Sand. I’m really happy with my choice, I feel comfortable and confident.
8:00PM The celebrities start to arrive. First beauty I spot on the red carpet is Sharon Leal who looks amazing with her short cropped cut and flowing cream gown.
I loved her eye makeup!
Goapele was there, looking stunning in a bright red lip and side-swept bangs.
Jennifer Williams of Basketball Wives was in attendance. She gave me the scoop on her outfit, and it was mostly Zara! Gotta love celebs who shop at the same stores we do.
Estelle looked beautiful with her cascading curls, deep berry lip and bold lashes. She wore a suit by Eugene Lim suit.
Denise Vasi of VH1’s Single Ladies was in attendance. She’s so gorgeous! Her red pout and green jewels were the perfect compliment to her Peter Hidalgo outfit.
My twin Jill Scott was there! She’s so beautiful, even more so in person.
Jurnee Smollet rocking a Trina Turk dress, with her date. Can’t wait for the newest Tyler Perry film featuring her and Kim Kardashian. Should be quite interesting!
Lisa Rae, also of VH1’s Single Ladies, was in attendance. She was a joy to talk to. She rocked a white Tadashi Shoji dress, and we gushed over wearing the same designer to the event. She has good taste!
Keke Palmer was there sporting new, luxurious locks. Love her curls! She was “big hair don’t care” like me that night. I just had a styling session with her hairstylist Cynthia Alvarez recently. She does a fab job.
Yes y’all, I ran into the one and only Nene Leakes of Real Housewives of Atlanta fame! I told her she’s my favorite. She chatted me up about some of her favorite designers, who include Christian Louboutin and Dolce & Gabbana.
Naturi Naughton posing in front of the 2013 Lincoln MKX. She wore a blue lace dress from an independent designer called Mignon.
I met new R&B artist Sevyn Streeter. I LOVE her single “I Like It” so I couldn’t wait to chat with her. She’s penned songs for top songstresses like Alicia Keys, Brandy, Fantasia, Kelly Rowland, Mary J. Blige and more. She’s so pretty! And her outfit was on point.
9:30PM Right before I head in for the event, I spy Ford Motors’ Shawn Lollie, honoree of the evening Solange, and President of Essence Communications, Michelle Eubanks.
Once inside, it’s time to enjoy the performances. First up is the lovely Lianne La Havas who woos the crowd with songs off of her album “Is Your Love Big Enough”.
I spied Lianne chatting it up with Jill Scott after her performance. Two of my favorites!
Next up was Solange! She sung my favorite “Losing You” and I went wild. Love that song!
Jill and Solange posing for the cameras right after her performance. I felt so blessed to be in presence of women like them. Real musicians.
11:00PM The event is nearly over but I CAN’T leave before grabbing a picture with my favorite Amber Riley! One of my style stars, she always looks flawless. Loving her new short hair.
And that’s the perfect end to my evening with the stars courtesy Lincoln Motors. I had a fantastic time out in LA for the Essence Black Women in Music
event! Special thanks to Lincoln for sending me, to Essence for having me, and to Tadashi Shoji
for helping me look my best!
Happy Valentine’s Day guys! As a special treat for V-day, we have a special edition of Style.Play.Polish guest-edited by Chelsea King of Get Nailed. I’m a huge fan of her nail art blog, so I hope you all show her some love:
Hello everyone, my name is Chelsea and I’m so excited to be guest posting on LoveBrownSugar! I have a nail art blog, Get Nailed, where I post photos and tutorials of all sorts of nail art. Today I’m going to show you how to get a simple but cute Valentine’s Day look for your nails.
What I Used:
First, you’re going to want to paint a base color on all your nails. I used the light pink for my ring finger and used this light brown polish on the rest of my nails.
Once it dries, you’re going to get your pink polish and paint a stripe down the center of your nails. I used the brush directly from the bottle, but if you have a small paintbrush handy that will work as well!
For the ring finger, I used my glitter placement technique to make a heart out of glitter. I also have a video tutorial which you can view here:
I’m using loose glitter, which you can find at many craft stores or online. This particular glitter I got from bornprettystore.com
You first get your toothpick and dip it in top coat to pick up an individual glitter. You then dip the glitter into the top coat and apply it to your nails. For this design I’m placing the glitters in the shape of a heart. Once you apply all of the glitter, put on your favorite top coat and you are finished!
Thank you Christina and I hope you all enjoyed this post!
Like Chelsea’s designs? Find more of her at the links below: