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February 2016 archive

LBS Kickin’ It: 2016 Texture On The Runway Recap

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On Saturday February 13th curly girls of all colors, shapes, and sizes came together to celebrate Texture on the Runway. The lively fashion week event, held at City Winery, was a chance for attendees to gush over each other’s curls, kinks, and coils.

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Texture Media, the company behind top curly girl resource NaturallyCurly.com, has shown consistent commitment to highlighting different types of beauty and that commitment was illustrated once again during this amazing event. Read more about #TextureOnTheRunway below.

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On the Market: Breukelen Polished

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Best friends Ariel Terry and Tauaishu Porter want to bring their fellow brown girls “dopeness in a bottle”. The two Brooklyn natives have infused the beauty and boldness of their borough into Breukelen Polished a nail polish line with a powerful personality.

Learn more about this budding brand below.  

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Classic Man Crush Monday: Alzo Slade

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Alzo Slade isn’t just the stellar photographer behind the Fly Female Entrepreneur series commissioned by In Her Shoes, he’s also a co-founder of the major party force Grits & Biscuits whose popular Dirty South sets are so sick Christina skipped out on other shows to check them out this summer during the Made in America music festival. The pensive comedian who picks up the mic with something to say has no trouble expressing himself through his work whether on the stage or behind the lens. We spoke with Alzo about philanthropy, fulfillment, and providing a way for the kinfolk to kick it.

What is your definition of a classic man?

A classic man is one that is always learning, always a student. A man that is never too proud to learn from anyone or about anything because if you’re not learning you’re not growing and if you’re not growing you’re not living. A classic man is honest and willing to stand toe to toe with himself about the things that he doesn’t like and has the courage to change with indifference to what other people think.

What makes a classic woman?

A classic woman is a woman that understands who she is and is able to maximize her potential. A woman that is able to understand her potential in a way that she can better herself her family and her community is a classic woman.

Learn more about Alzo Slade below.

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NYFW Spring 2016 Trend-Inspired Home Decor

NYFW doesn’t just set the tone for you wardrobe, it’s the jumping off point for getting your entire life. Ideas for hair, make-up, fashion—both to be worn and seen—are hitting the runways first. Here are some NYFW trend-inspired home decor and accessories you’ll want to retreive just in before the blooms blossom.

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Bring out the blooms and bright colors! Spring 2016 trend inspirations are all about mixing it up with texture, prints and a hint of happy hues. From the runway to your doorway, and beyond, here are a few 2016 NYFW  fashion-forward trends to try incorporating into your home for the upcoming season.

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LBS Kickin’ It: Wonder Curl and Wesley Styles NYC’S NYFW Style Event

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It’s been frigidly cold outside this February, but that didn’t stop me from attending a fabulous New York Fashion Week event hosted by the creator of Wonder Curl Scarlett Rocourt and Master Stylist and Barber Tamika Wesley. I witnessed these two super talented #curlybossladies showcase their passion for natural hair. I got a chance to see Tamika showcase the hottest natural hair styles for the spring season on live models!

Find out more about this awesome product line and the styles you can create with it below.

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Classic Man Crush Monday: DJ MPURE

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Michael Purefoy, more commonly known as DJ MPURE, has devoted his time to more than turntables and tracks. The seasoned DJ and budding producer has donated his talents to worthwhile causes like the Annual Toy Drive at Bayonne’s Sneaker room hosted by Victor Cruz of the New York Giants several Christmas seasons in a row. We talked with the New Jersey native about his love of his craft, his need to give back, and what he thinks makes a classic woman.

What is your definition of a classic man?

A man that’s ready for everything at all times, who’s not afraid to get out of his comfort zone to get things done, is comfortable with himself and always striving for greatness.

What makes a classic woman?

A woman that’s comfortable in her skin no matter what the media’s portraying. The media can be saying a size zero or a size six is in but as long as she’s comfortable with her skin it doesn’t matter. A woman with drive and aspirations to always better herself, who wants to make things better for her and her family. A woman who sets examples for little kids that make look up to her or even her husband or boyfriend, somebody who just wants to be great all around.

Read more about Micheal below.

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Join Me at #TextureOnTheRunway

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Happy New York Fashion Week! As you guys know, I’m very committed to supporting and participating in only the shows and events that make me happy and proud to be part of during Fashion Week. Ever since reflecting on The Truth About NYFW I’ve shifted gears and I’m choosing to focus on shows and brands that really cater to women who look like me!

So it gives me great pleasure to be the Social Media Hostess for today’s Texture on the Runway fashion show presented by Naturally Curly with Exclusive Retailer Partner Target. Brands like Cantu, Design Essentials, Garnier, Creme of Nature and Dark and Lovely will be pulling together fierce textured hair looks and debuting them to an exclusive audience of the beauty industry’s top editors, celebs and influencers. It’s going to be a BLAST.

Read more about this amazing event below!

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5 Reasons to Throw a Valentine’s Day Spa Party

Rachelle Richardson was born into a legacy of caring for others. Recently the daughter of a nurse and an entrepreneur combined her roots with her passion to create a business that allows her to help others care for themselves. Offering mini facials, high quality express manicures, and short chair or table massages Lespri Spa Services makes it easy to spoil yourself and your loved ones by bringing the spa straight to you. They also cater to company needs at events like this year’s #ShopLoveBrownSugar!  With Valentine’s Day approaching self care is a major concern so we’ve decided to share five great reason for you to throw a Valentine’s Day spa party below!

LoveBrownSugar.com Presents: The #ShopLoveBrownSugar Holiday Pop-Up Shop - December 6th, 2015 - Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS - 2015

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The Truth About Blogging While Black

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This post is a follow-up to The Truth About NYFW, an opinion piece penned in February 2015. Sentiments below are my own and do not reflect the sentiments of any brands or entities I’m affiliated with. Just keepin’ it 100.

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I often get lauded as a lifestyle blogger of color for having a platform that caters specifically to women of color. I created the LoveBrownSugar brand and its sister brands (BabyBrownSugar and BrownGirlsLove) because of the lack of diversity I saw in the media industry. I wanted to create spaces where women who looked like me and who were proud of their skin tones, their curves, their curly hair and everything in between that made them unique, could come and dish on all things lifestyle. My platform and my brands have always been primarily for women of color, and I’m not the least bit apologetic about that.

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What has surprised me though, about having a quote on quote “niche” audience in the lifestyle space, is that it comes with very interesting labels and subsequent treatment. You’d think, considering platforms for women of color, by women of color, are typically created with positive intentions and also to help encourage diversity, that they would help usher in and open up broader conversations about the importance of black dollars. Sometimes they do, and when that happens it’s awesome. We jump up and down. We twirl in a circle. We stand in formation (thanks Bey). We millie rock on every block. But then. Then, there are the days like Monday. When we scroll through Instagram only to find a fellow influencer of color like Jessica Franklin of HeyGorJess post something like this:

I recently received an email from a clothing company, @shoplondonboutique (they keep changing their Instagram name now), asking to collaborate. When I kindly and professionally declined to work with them, they replied with the above comments. Words can’t even express how angry I feel about this but I do want to make sure that my ENTIRE audience knows how they feel. (www.shoplondon-la.com)

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Appalled? Shocked? Blown? I’m not. It’s sad and incredibly unfortunate but when I saw Jessica’s Instagram post yesterday I was angry but NOT SURPRISED. I said to myself,

“Wow. Somebody finally owned up to not wanting to market to black people.”

It may surprise you but what I’ve grown to accept in my former 6 years as a digital influencer is that many of the companies that we, as consumers of color, support on a regular basis really could care less about marketing directly to us. This response from ShopLondon-LA boutique is proof. Granted, there are quite a few speculations about the background (and mental sanity?) of the owner behind this company but that’s beside the point. The company reached out to Jessica about a partnership with her blog, then when she declined the opportunity, subsequently deemed it a mistake stating that they “are not looking for a black audience”. Her audience is black. And not what they wanted.

This is real life when blogging while black.

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It has become strikingly clear to me that some brands appreciate our money but don’t want to be affiliated with us. And it’s an incredibly sad but true reality that some marketing departments won’t even reach out and offer opportunities to “niche” bloggers because they don’t want to cater their brands to diverse audiences. They don’t want to sit with us. So why should they spend marketing dollars on us?

You become incredibly aware of your blackness when you work in this industry. In my post The Truth About NYFW that I penned exactly one year ago, I expressed my sentiment about this. You start to realize, when there are only one or two fellow black girls in the room at press events, backstage at shows during NYFW, on the runway or on set for photo shoots for national campaigns, how different you really are and how little the fashion industry cares about diversity and representation.

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Approaching my 13th consecutive season here in NYC during NYFW, it’s a sad reality but I am attending and supporting less and less runway shows and doing way less backstage coverage than ever before. “I’m over it” is an understatement. Controversial situations like Jessica’s demonstrate a mentality that is not discussed but that is widespread in this industry.

So, I can hear you asking me – well, what do we do? How can I help? How can we change things? You know I would never come to the table with a problem without a solution.

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The solution is to be the change we want to see. That has always been my solution and it should be yours as well. I hated the fact that women of color have so much spending power but companies don’t care about us. So, I created the Shop LoveBrownSugar holiday pop-up shop to help support black and female-owned businesses annually during the holiday season.

I hated that after years of working in the fashion and beauty industries, it was still a FIGHT to get invited to shows by designers who could care less about reaching my audience. So, this season I’m bypassing all that and instead I am proud to be a Social Media Hostess for Texture on the Runway – NYFW’s premiere textured hair fashion show that caters specifically to celebrating diverse women with curly hair.

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It’s being presented by NaturallyCurly with exclusive retailer sponsor Target and myself and many of my favorite influencers (including HeyGorJess!) will be in the building. The brands represented at the show (like Cantu, Design Essentials, Creme of Nature, Dark & Lovely and Garnier) celebrate diversity and inclusion and I am proud to be part of something during NYFW that makes me feel good and will empower and unite women across the board.

I created LBS because I couldn’t stand reading print magazines and online media that didn’t cater to me. So now, I align only with publications that I feel stress and encourage diversity. That’s why I’m a proud ambassador for magazines like People StyleWatch and their digital property TheOutfit. They’ve placed a great emphasis on making sure women of different sizes, skin tones, and backgrounds are represented in their pages. Something that the rest of the editorial world can take a cue from.

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The sad reality is, brands like ShopLondon-LA will ALWAYS be around and the people behind them will continue to be closed-minded and prejudiced. Be mindful of who you give your support to and know that every dollar counts.

Thoughts? What would YOU do to create change?

Photography by Augusta Sagnelli

LBS Beauty: Valentine’s Day Red Lip + Goddess braids

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The countdown to Valentine’s Day is officially on. Whether you’ll be celebrating with the love of your life or your girlfriends (who are our true soul mates anyway) you’ll want to ensure that you look your best. The possible beauty looks are endless! You can go for flirty, romantic, sexy or even sultry. When it’s all said and one what matters most is that you feel confident and look beautiful! Today, I’m sharing with you a super easy and sexy Valentine’s Day look. Two things that most of us know how to do, a red lip and a easier-than-it-looks goddess braids. Let’s get to it below!

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