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April 2013 archive

LBS Beauty: Motions Straight Finish Collection Review + GIVEAWAY

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For those of you like me who enjoy the versatility of natural hair, and exploring all the options your hair has to offer, whether its wearing a curly fro or rocking it sleek & straight, Motions® Haircare has a new product line catered specifically for you. Their Straight Finish™ Collection is a line of three products geared towards taking natural hair from curly to straight, and they sent me a sneak peek at the full range collection. Here’s what I thought:

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So the collection consists of a Cleanser, Leave-In Conditioner and a Sealer. Using the products together is supposed to produce smooth and sleek strands for curly girls like myself, who want to go from curly to straight.

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Even though I’m currently wearing Indique extensions, I wanted to test the product out, so I decided to straighten the natural curls that I have left out of my extensions and blend them in after straightening. I started with just three-day old twistout hair.

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The Straight Finish™ Cleanser includes a blend of Shea Butter, Soy Bean oil and Keratin protein as part of the ingredients list. Although it does have SLS in it (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) which I normally try to avoid, it has a milky consistency that was not stripping to my hair at all.

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I was pleasantly surprised by how moisturizing the formula is. Milky shampoos tend to do well with my hair as they help preserve moisture and they provide the slip needed for detangling.

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The Straight Finish™Leave-In Conditioner had more of a cream consistency. It was really thick in texture but went onto the hair really light, melting right in. It made my curls feel soft and moisturized. It was super easy for me to detangle and twist the hair in sections after using the leave-in.

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These are the tools I was working with for my attempt at straightening. (Left to right: Instyler, Conair Curling Iron, Wide Tooth Comb, Ionic Blow Dryer w/ Comb Attachment)

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I tend to use serums as a prep for my hair before I apply any heat. I never use heat on my hair without protection as I want to maintain my curls and not sustain any permanent heat damage. So I lightly blew out my my curls from root to tip on low heat and promptly applied the Straight Finish™ Sealer to my strands before straightening.

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After that, instead of flat-ironing, I used my Instyler on Medium heat to lightly straighten the strands.

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Already, they look glossy and shiny without being too oily.

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Next I used the curling iron similar to a curling wand by taking chunks of my own hair with the extensions and twirling it around the base of the curling iron for big, fluffy curls.

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I’m so pleased with the results! My natural hair is bouncy, has a light natural shine and blends really well with my extensions after trying the Motions® Straight Finish™ collection.

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It smells amazing, the sealer gave my hair superb luster and shine (without it feeling too heavily weighed down) and using the cleanser and leave-in in tandem left my curls feeling really moisturized. Highly recommend this line!

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I’m also running a fun giveaway for ONE of you lovelies to try out the complete collection and win a FREE Proliss Flat Iron to complete your #curly2straight look. Rules below:

1. You must be following @LoveBrownSugar on Instagram and/or Twitter
2. Submit a picture of your favorite straight-haired look. Highlight in the caption (or 140 characters) how you would use the Motions Straight Finish™ product to achieve the look on yourself, and make sure to tag me @LoveBrownSugar w/ hashtag #curly2straight
3. For bonus entry, tweet your submission tagging @MotionsHair on Twitter and using hashtag #curly2straight

This weekend I will be attending a fun night on the town with Motions® and their celeb stylist and Global Ambassador Ursula Stephen. We’ll be getting a sneak preview of her new salon in Brooklyn, as well as hitting the town for a fun concert.

The winner of this contest will be announced in my recap post on Monday, May 6th – good luck!

LBS Beauty News: RiRi Woo Launches May 2nd

You guys know how obsessed I am with MAC Ruby Woo lipstick, right? Well, obviously I’m not the only one. Pop star and island gyal Rihanna is obsessed with the shade herself. So much so that she remixed her own special limited edition version of the shade, appropriately called RiRi Woo and it will debut on MACCosmetics.com this Thursday, May 2nd!
The MAC RiRi Woo shade will be available exclusively online, as well as at the Barclay’s Center M·A·C Pop-Up Store in Brooklyn, exclusively open for concert ticket holders only. The RiRi Woo matte cool red (retro matte) will retail for $15.00 US.
Who else is is obsessed with RiRi Woo? Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

LoveBrownSugar Chic: Polka Player

The weather is warming up – time to show a little leg! 
My personal style rule is only to flaunt one asset at a time. So when the limbs are on display, the arms and cleavage are tucked away.
I’ve really grown to appreciate my legs. I used to hate them. In this outfit post “Long Walk”, I talked a little about how self-conscious I used to be about wearing shorts.
Now that I’ve grown more confident in my body type, you can’t tell me anything. *flips hair*
I mixed prints for this look rocking a polka dotted pair of shorts and an ankara fabric clutch.
This is the same Della x Urban Outfitters clutch/wallet that was gifted to me in celebration of the collection launch. You can read more about the collection HERE.
The fitted cap and army fatigue jacket make this look a little less girly.
Always sporting a colorful arm party.
Jacket: Vintage | Top: H&M | Shorts: Forever 21 Plus | Shoes: Zara | Clutch c/o Urban Outfitters | Cap: Buffalo Exchange | Cuff c/o Stella & Dot | Bangles: Street Vendor | Necklace: Forever 21 | Watch c/o Caravelle by Bulova
Get The Look:

Exclusive: Della x Urban Outfitters Collaboration

For their latest collaboration beginning May 1st, Urban Outfitters has teamed up with socially conscious, LA-based fashion line Della. Della works with a community in Hohoe, Ghana to create handcrafted products while providing jobs, education and skills training to women in Ghana. I’ve come to adore companies that not only put out unique and original pieces but also add social responsibility into the fold. Proceeds from the collection will go toward providing employment, education and financial stability for poverty-stricken women and men in Ghana.

The folks at Urban Outfitters were nice enough to send over a sample of one of the pieces they will be debuting for the collection – this super cute wallet/mini-clutch.

I’m in love with the print and the fact that it’s versatile enough to be a wallet or a small clutch for a night on the town

Operating under the motto “Carry Change”, all of Della’s products are made by hand from completely vegan and sustainable materials by seamstresses in the village of Hohoe.

“The purchase of each Della product supports dozens of women in the Volta Region of Ghana who are working for a positive change in their life,” says Founder and former fashion stylist Tina Tangalakis, who turned a volunteer trip to Ghana into a lifelong mission to better the livelihood of the local women.

The exclusive diffusion line features eight styles crafted from traditional Ghanaian textiles including a printed bralette top, $44, printed shorts, $44, a printed romper, $54, printed bomber jackets, $69 and accessories including a woven headwrap, $24, a 5-panel hat, $29, a backpack, $49 and an iPad case, $42.

Will you be purchasing a piece from the Della x Urban Outfitters collaboration?

LBS Beauty: Celebrity Stylist Q&A with Oscar James + CLEAR Giveaway

Now that the weather is warmer, it’s transition time! Your hair regimen in the winter should be slightly different come spring & summertime. To help us clarify what changes need to be made with the new season, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy™ Celebrity Stylist Oscar James is giving us the 411 on everything from hair regimen to Spring 2013 trends. Oscar has coiffed an impressive roster of celebs from supermodel Tyra Banks to hip-hop Barbie Nicki Minaj and R&B songstress Elle Varner
Me & Oscar in LA for Grammy’s weekend (via Instagram)
Check out his expert tips & enter below for a chance to win a full set of Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy™Ultra Shea products:

LoveBrownSugar: What are the best products to help with transitioning your hair from winter to spring?
Oscar James: Winter’s cold harsh weather can dry out the hair, scalp and skin. The best way to help transition your hair from winter to spring is by giving your scalp and hair some serious TLC. I recommend using a mask like the Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy™ Ultra Shea Deep Nourishing Treatment Mask, to nourish the scalp deeply, to help quench dryness and lock in moisture to dry hair. With this mask results, will be visible in just three minutes. Women should use it bi-weekly or more often, especially during the winter months. And make sure to comb it through the hair from root to tip so all of your stands are coated with the nourishing ingredients.

What are some spring 2013 hair trends that will be popular this season?
For spring, I am really liking hair with lots of volume and curls or an easy-going fishtail braid. Both styles look chic and easy to wear. However, be careful of over-styling. Many of the trendy styles you see women wearing can damage the scalp and hair leaving it dry and weak. I always say the foundation for great style begins with strong, beautiful hair. Always care for your scalp and hair to make sure it stays in great condition.

 1. Ultra Shea Nourishing Shampoo | 2. Ultra Shea Nourishing Condition | 3. Ultra Shea Deep Nourishing Treatment Mask | 4. Ultra Shea Nourishing Oil | 5. Ultra Shea Balm
Natural girls tend to wear their hair out more and do wash & go’s when the weather warms up. Any tips on maintaining healthy hair without breakage with this type of style?

I love the natural hair trend! It can take a little more work to style natural hair but the benefits are beautiful. Get into a routine treating your scalp and hair to ensure that it stays healthy- moisturizing is key! Wash your hair using Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy™ Ultra Shea Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner to lock in moisture. Hair is most fragile when it’s wet, so be especially gentle in the shower. Use the Clear Ultra Shea Balm on the scalp to alleviate any dryness and lock in additional moisture.

What are some tips for combatting humidity when trying to maintain your style in the warmer months?
To combat humidity try and choose styles that play up your natural texture. Or, if your hair is relaxed, stick to textured styles like loose waves, a rod set or curly mane. Be sure to use just a tad more of a nourishing oil, like the Clear Ultra Shea nourishing oil, to coat strands after styling and to make your style more humidity-friendly.

Which one CLEAR hair product in your prep bag can you not live without?
The Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Ultra Shea nourishing oil has found a permanent place in my styling kit. The oil instantly smoothes and nourishes the scalp for quick relief from dryness. The texture is light and non-greasy, making it ideal for taming flyways and adding shine to any style.

Wanna try the products? You’re in luck! This week we’re giving away 5 sets of product to 5 of you lovelies. 

Rules
1. You must be following LoveBrownSugar on Facebook and/or Twitter to be eligible.
2. You must be a fan of Clear Ultra Shea on Facebook to be eligible.
3. For bonus entry, tweet @LoveBrownSugar @clearhair with a link to this post OR Leave a comment in the section below.

LBS at Coachella: The Recap (Part 2)

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So I’ve already given you a run-through of my crazy first day in The Recap – Part 1. By day two, I had music festival fashion literally down to a science after seeing all the creative outfits and trends re-emerge in similar fashion. I also now officially knew my way around the festival grounds (and where to get a Wifi signal – c’mon 4G, don’t fail me now!) Days 2 and 3 had more of the music acts I wanted to see so it was a ton of fun stage-hopping and dancing with strangers. Good times.

coachellapoleHere’s what I got into on Days 2 & 3:

Day 2: Performance-Hopping

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For Day 2, I knew there’d be a ton of running around. Plus, it was a scorcher at 97 degrees so I sprung for a “Florence & The Machines” graphic tee from H&M, jean cutoff shorts from Forever 21 and a pair of Sam Edelman gladiator flats.

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There were so many great acts on Saturday. Everyone from 2 Chainz to Janelle Monae. I split my time between music performances, heading back to the H&M tent (I was addicted to shimmying down in that photo booth!) and taking street style pics.

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I even bumped into some old friends! Remember Nikita from our Drop The Dryer series? Yep, she was there in an amazing pair of printed shorts.

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In between shows and street style-snapping, I headed back to the H&M tent for another jam session in the video booth with Nikita and her friends…

After eating and going to a few more sets, I headed over to see my favorite – Janelle Monae.

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Janelle played an amazing set. And proceeded to crowd-surf to close out her performance. Amazingness.

Day 3: Poolside Coachillin’

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On the final day of Coachella, they rested. Well, not exactly but something close to that. Instead of slaving out in the hot desert festival grounds for the first half of the day, we partied it up at the Adidas Originals Do Over #Dochella Party.

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Finally time to whip out the swimwear!

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The pool party took place at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs. Such a chic venue.

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Guest DJ Questlove was on the 1’s and 2’s spinning everything from old school classics to original beats. That’s me photo-bombing him while he DJs.

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Loved all the swimwear on display at the party. Such great colors and patterns.

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This two-piece from H&M was such a huge hit, me and Kamaria both showed up wearing it. Such a great style for curvy girls. The high-waisted bottom hides imperfections and the top gives vintage pin-up glamour.

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That’s all folks! Thanks for tuning into my LBS at Coachella adventures and for those of you who helped me decide what to wear, you’re life-savers! ‘Til next music festival…

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What festivals are YOU guys looking forward to this summer?

For more of my Coachella Street Style pics, check out VIBE Vixen HERE.

[VIDEO] Beyonce for H&M Behind The Scenes

If the campaign photos just weren’t enough, H&M is hitting you with another injection of Beyonce as Mrs. Carter for their Summer 2013 Collection but this time in the form of a behind-the-scenes video. Only instead of it being documentary-style, it’s actually a mini music video of Queen Bey belting out her newest single “Standing on the Sun” while donning H&M swimwear.

If this isn’t the coolest brand partnership this YEAR. Not only is Ms. Carter giving life in a high-waisted patterned bikini, beachside. She’s also leaking new music. Win-win!

Check it out below:

LBS at Coachella Style Contest Winners + Festival Survival Kit

I’m finally here guys! I’m in sunny Indio, California for Weekend 2 of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and I am so ready to get my life. Aside from being ecstatic about day 1 of the festival, I’m overjoyed to announce the three winners of my LBS at Coachella Style Contest! I asked you guys to send me fashion inspiration for my trip to Coachella and I received quite a few amazing entries on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. But unfortunately, there can only be three winners. Drumroll please…

Day 1: Boho Chic

Congratulations to Jessica Andrews! She submitted this collage of a super chic bohemian look via her Pinterest page (MsAndrews) and I’m in love with it. From the crochet bag to the navajo/tribal dress, cat eye sunnies and the bold lip. I will be recreating this look – thanks Jessica for inspiring me!

Day 2: Casual Cool

Congratulations to Ashley Williams! She submitted this super cute pic on the LoveBrownSugar Facebook page HERE. I love the simplicity of this look featuring just a pair of cutoff shorts, a graphic tee and a massive arm party. Can’t wait to replicate this one at Coachella.

Day 3: Poolside Party

Congratulations to Shelyn Mouton (@standingbystars) who submitted the above inspiration via Instagram. This look is SO me! From the sexy bathing suit to the gladiator flats and printed shorts. I will be doing an exact replica of this look for my pool party on Day 3.

And now for the Summer Festival Survival Kit:

Each winner will receive a special gift package featuring one each of some of my festival faves including: A pair of t-strap Lacoste jellies in a fun bright color (comfy and bright enough to make a statement!), a set of Color by Amber bangles (can’t go wrong with mix & match arm party), nail appliques by Jamberry Nails (my new fave!), Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream (light coverage for hot & sweaty occasions when foundation is too much), Archipelago Botanicals travel sized toiletries (they smell amazing and they’re perfect for on-the-go), and Pond’s Luminous Clean Towelettes and Moisture Day Lotion with SPF 15 (both products I can’t stop using – the towelettes are great for keeping my skin fresh on-the-go and the moisturizer is light with SPF protection – win!).

Thank you to everyone who submitted looks! Follow along with me @LoveBrownSugar and @iloveindique for street style shots, instagrams, tweets and more straight from the festival!

LBS Beauty: 5 Beauty Must-Haves for the Jetsetter

Tis the season to travel! Christina’s headed to Cali for Coachella and many of us will be planning our spring and summertime destination vacays in the coming months. Seasoned travelers know that easy adjustments can make any trip feel like a first class affair. When I’m away from home I always make sure these five essentials are in tow: 

1. A Moisturizing Mask


Whatever your preference: plane, train, or automobile; the recycled air in compact spaces dries skin at an unflattering rate. A refreshing mask upon arrival will is like a drink of water for your skin. When’s Essence Gel Masks are packaged individually and hydrate and soothe fatigued faces.

2. Makeup Removal Wipes

You don’t need to watch an investigative report to know that commonly shared areas–like airplane armrests, hotel remotes, and gas pumps are hotbeds of lingering dirt and bacteria. Use your makeup removal wipes (like the Yes to Cucumber ones above) to clean them up, and save the rest for your face. 
3. Candles
Nothing will keep homesickness at bay and usher familiarity in faster than comforting scents. Store a few of your favorite candles (or try a new fragrance) in travel sizes in your bag. My favorite luxury travel candles are by Trish McEvoy and Tocca. 
4. Tools

Brushes are expensive, so treat them with a little respect in your suitcase. Store them in an easily cleaned, compartmentalized makeup bag. You can also opt for a special Travel Brush Set to throw in your carry-on.

5. Bite Size Beauty

Preparing for a getaway where you can let your hair down a bit? Vacations are excellent opportunities to try new products. Round up some travel samples from your local beauty store and discover a new favorite.
Shop The Products: 
– Ashley Weatherford of August Skin, @sincerelyash on Twitter

Wearing your natural hair on vacay this year? Be sure to check our our Top 5 Natural Hair Tips for Travel too!