As we’re embracing a new year, I’m in deep reflection about all the things I’ve left in 2017 and what I’m bringing with me into 2018. I’ve decided that I’m only bringing the things I enjoy most in life with me in 2018 – from career and relationships down to my skincare and makeup regimen.
2017 brought with it a lot of great changes for me. I reached new heights in my career being one of the first influencers to be featured in a national campaign with Dove, Cadence became a three-nager (proununced like teenager), my baby boy Colton was born, and I learned to truly appreciate the simple things in life. The older I get, the more minimalist I become with my beauty routine. I’ve given up the idea that the most expensive, most trendy or most complicated is what will work best. Also now, as a mom of two, my time is super limited. So I’ve perfected my classic beauty look down to a science with these three must-haves:
1. Clean Skin
The way to perfect your beauty look is to start with skin. Makeup looks infinitely better painted on a beautiful canvas. Drink lots of water, never sleep in your makeup overnight and make sure you have a moisturizing cleanser. Dove Beauty Bar (as you all know) is one of my go-to’s. I can use it on face and body, it doesn’t dry out my skin like other soaps do, and it’s the #1 dermatologist recommended bar.
I follow up my cleanser with a good toner, then a moisturizer and sometimes a serum at night.
2. The Perfect Foundation
The age-old question is how to find the best foundation for you. If I’m going to be honest there’s no dream product out there that works for everyone. It takes a bit of trial and error. Make sure you get foundation-matched at your local beauty counter. Have an understanding of your skin type as well. I have dry/combination skin that loves light to medium coverage liquid foundation and tinted moisturizers. Texture and coverage level will really depend on your skin type and preference. Try a few different brands until something works. My current fave is Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filter Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. I also love Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra Wear.
3. A Classic Red Lip
It’s amazing what some red lipstick will do for your confidence. I think red is just such a quintessential ladylike color to sport. It puts the exclamation point on your beauty look and there are reds that compliment every shade beautifully. The trick is to find a shade that works well with your skin’s undertones. I have yellow/warm undertones, so I opt for reds that have more of an orange base. If you have a cool undertone, you should aim for a red with a blue base. Two of my current faves are Bawse Lady by The Lip Bar and Stunna Lip Paint by Fenty Beauty.
I can’t believe it, but this year marks my 9th year as a blogger. It’s hard to believe I’ve been going at this for almost a decade.
I am so honored to have partnered with Dove over the past year as one of their beauty ambassadors, and I look forward to an amazing 2018. Happy New Year, loves! Feel free to share your classic beauty must-haves in the comments below.
This post is sponsored by Dove. All opinions expressed above are my own and not those of the company.
Happy holiday season y’all! It’s officially time for egg nog, sparkly dresses, high heels and bold after-work makeup now that the season is in full swing. I love an excuse to get dressed up, so holiday time is one of my favorite times of the year. The gift that keeps on giving this year is the new IMAN Cosmetics “Proud Mary” inspired collection featuring their new IMAN Luxury Highlighter and Luxury Matte Lipstick shades. You guys know I’m a huge fan of Taraji P. Henson, and her latest movie releasing in theaters early January is all about a bold, unapologetic character who lives life on her own terms and is willing to take risks.
So when IMAN Cosmetics agreed to sponsor our Shop LoveBrownSugar holiday pop-up shop this season, I was ECSTATIC. Not only do I love the products, but their partnership with “Proud Mary” is right on time for what we’re trying to promote. Fierce, bold and unapologetic beauty.
To highlight the collection, I partnered up with my girl Sisi Nike to pull together a beauty look that is equally as bold, but still beautiful enough to rock to your favorite holiday soiree. Here’s what she used to get this look:
The Luxury Contour Trio is a great option if you really don’t have the time to work with 3 different foundation shades for bronzer, highlight and contour. It basically has everything you need in one convenient compact that you can take on the go.
Step 2: Set
She set my foundation with a combination of IMAN Cosmetics powders and highlighters. First, she used the Second to None Semi Loose Powder in Clay Medium to set the look. She used the Second To None Luminous Foundation Pressed Powder in Clay 5 to give me that overall glow. She highlighted my cheekbones using the NEW IMAN Cosmetics Luxury Highlighter in Glamour Girl. And finally she gave my cheeks a little color with the Sable Blushing Powder.
To finalize the look, she used their Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick in Flirtatious. This is such a bold and beautiful hot pink and it looks great on different skin tones.
To celebrate the holiday season and their partnership with the “Proud Mary” film, IMAN Cosmetics is giving away their full collection of products from the Proud Mary collaboration. Yep, you read correctly. YOU can win all the products mentioned for FREE. Here’s how to enter:
Leave a comment below with why you’d like to win the collection
So even though I can’t profess to being a makeup junkie (I’m more of a skincare aficionado), I do enjoy trying out new lines that make sense for my beauty arsenal. If you’re anything like me, the “no makeup” makeup look is a go-to. I love enhancing my natural beauty so I’m always looking for products that give me the ultimate glow-up and enhance my best and most beautiful features.
Though I’m typically a red lipstick kinda girl, every once in a while I opt for a neutral lip. For brown girls like myself, finding the perfect nude lip has always been the ultimate STRUGGLE. Most mass-produced brands have nudes that are perfect for lighter skin tones, but for a deeper shade like mine it’s hard to find the perfect color that matches your lip color. Also, I suffer from hyper pigmentation on my lips so they can be really blotchy making it even harder to find a color that fits.
Enter Mented Cosmetics. Created specifically with multicultural girls in mind, this line of lipstick has a dynamic range of nudes to fit every brown skin tone from caramel to dark chocolate. I tried out the Capsule Collection ($89 for 5 shades) and LOVE IT. Here are my thoughts:
Wearing Mented Cosmetics Lipstick in “Dark Night”
If you’re a brown girl, they have a shade for you. They’ve obviously done a lot of testing and taken their time when formulating these colors because the nude range is spot-on. Their Mented #5 matched my lip color to a TEE. It was mind-blowing.
Wearing Mented Cosmetics Lipstick in “Pretty in Pink”
The texture is creamy, not sticky or oily. It was a dream to wear all day. The reason I typically opt for matte lip shades is because I hate that sticky/oily feeling you can sometimes get when wearing cream lipstick. I also hate that the color doesn’t stay. Their formula has a nice consistency that makes you forget you’re wearing the color.
Wearing Mented Cosmetics Lipstick in “Nude-La-La”
VEGAN. Duh. Love that these shades are made in the USA, the company is black-owned, all their lipsticks are vegan, paraben-free, non-toxic, and cruelty free. No ickies.
Wearing Mented Cosmetics Lipstick in (my perfect nude!) “Mented #5”
Overall thoughts on the collection? Perfect for us multicultural girls, worth the investment and I’m looking forward to trying their other products. They apparently have a range of lip glosses, nail polishes and more. Big congrats to these two young women (Harvard grads, by the way!) revolutionizing the beauty industry with this line of products.
Life comes at you fast. As someone who invests so much time and energy into giving, whether it’s with my blog or as a mommy, it often becomes a necessity for me to give back to myself. The way I do that is designating special self-care time over the weekend to literally indulge and pamper myself. If you’re feeling burnt out, or not quite like yourself, it may be time for a little self-care. Here are 3 quick and easy tips for developing your own self-care routine:
1. Pick An Indulgence You Love
Everyone has a “thing” that they simply can’t live without. It helps them unwind, brings them unbridled peace and restores their energy. You might be into massages or indulgent days at the hair salon. Whatever your “thing” is – do it unapologetically. This is probably going to sound so simple, but my favorite indulgence is a warm, steamy shower. And not those “get-in-and-out in 5 minutes before your kid kicks down the door” type weekday showers.
I’m talking about a long, luxurious weekend showers with my favorite products like Dove Body Wash. If my skin needs an extra polish, I’ll opt for the Gentle Exfoliating formula. In the winter, I typically use the Deep Moisture version as my skin gets extremely dry during the cold winter months. 3 in 4 dermatologists say that women often damage their skin in the shower, thinking they are caring for it, so I’m hyper focused on only using cleansers that moisturize and don’t strip my skin. You really can’t go wrong with Dove Body Wash, it’s made with 100% gentle cleansers, it’s sulfate-free and is the #1 dermatologist recommended body wash. Whatever your indulgence, be sure to do it with products that make you look good and feel good.
2. Pick A Weekly Time & Stick To It
This is the KEY to developing a routine. Because is it really a routine if you don’t stick to it? The best way to keep yourself on track and focusing on self-care is to schedule it into your calendar just like you schedule your business appointments. Make a date with yourself that you simply can’t cancel. Self-care is important – you’ve gotta make time for it!
3. Cut Off All Distractions
When it’s time for my self-care routine, I make sure everything is taken care of. Cadence is hanging with Daddy or Grandma or someone who can keep her company while I take my mommy time. I turn off my phone and all notifications that make noise. I turn on my favorite soft music and just get lost in the warm water and soft lather. I’ll usually do a face mask simultaneously, and if I’m feeling REALLY adventurous I’ll deep condition my hair as well.
I don’t know about you but my self-care routine has truly saved me during those weeks when I just don’t think I can handle life’s craziness anymore. Taking a minute to focus on yourself, be with your thoughts and indulge in an activity you love – guilt free – is something each one of us deserves.
What’s your self-care routine? Share below.
This post is created in partnership with Dove. All opinions expressed above are my own and not those of the company.
With Labor Day just around the corner, I’m sure many of us are planning our final summer excursions, staycations and overnight trips. When it comes to convenience while overnight traveling, I usually opt for very compact luggage and small overnight bags to save space and time. That typically means I can only bring the essentials with me, so I get super selective about which items I pack. I always opt for items that serve double duty – whether clothing or beauty. Below are my top 5 travel essentials for overnight trips. These will save you time and space when packing:
1. Overnight Backpack
There are a plethora of options for carrying your overnight must-haves. I’ve traveled with everything from duffel bags to rolling mini suitcases. My favorite of overnight travel options is a great sized and stylish backpack. If I’m traveling by air, it keeps me hands free to carry other items or to hold my little one’s hand. It’s usually spacious enough to fit all of my essentials and it has tons of side pockets for little things like chargers, wallets and hand sanitizer that I need to grab quickly on-the-go without digging deep to find them. The one pictured here is from Mina Kay Bags.
2. Dove Beauty Bar
This one is a no-brainer for me. I have to confess – I don’t trust hotel soaps & cleansers. I don’t always know the brands carried by the hotel, or have a full breakdown of the ingredients in those products, or how my skin will react to them. When it comes to cleansers, I have to go with a brand I trust so there are no surprises. Who wants to worry about allergic reactions or dry skin on vacay? So I always bring a Dove Beauty Bar along with me on my travels.
Because I can use it on both face and body, it’s an easy choice for overnight trips as it cuts down on the number of toiletries I have to fit in my bag. When I simply don’t have the space to pack a face AND body cleanser, the Dove Beauty Bar works double duty perfectly in one small bar. Formulated with ¼ moisturizing cream, it provides superior care that other premium cleansing soap bars do not. I often find hotel soaps strip my skin and leave them feeling dry and tight. I don’t have to worry about that with my Dove Beauty Bar. I found that out during my 7 Day Challenge where I used the beauty bar as my facial cleanser for a week. This one always goes into my overnight travel bag.
3. Red Lipstick
I come from the school of “Red Lipstick Fixes Everything”. When I can only bring a pared down makeup collection on my travels, red lipstick is the first thing I pack. Even if I only have tinted moisturizer and mascara, I can throw on a red lip and be ready for anything. It’s my number one makeup must-have for travel. My favorites include The Lip Bar “Bawse Lady”, MAC Lipstick in “Ruby Woo” and Lip A.R.T “SLAYbelles”.
4. Jeweled Flats
If I can only bring one pair of shoes with me on an overnight summer trip, I always aim for metallic or jewels flats. They add an extra “wow” factor to any outfit and you can easily take them from day to night, beach to bar-hopping, and everywhere in between. They can work with denim, linen or fancy dresses My favorite places to get jeweled, inexpensive flats are ASOS, Zara and Nasty Gal. It’s always best to buy inexpensive ones in case they get lost or you accidentally leave them. I leave my super expensive shoes at home when I’m traveling.
5. Day to Night Dress
Typically when I’m picking outfits for an overnight trip, I stick to pieces that can serve multiple purposes. The perfect little black romper or a printed kimono I can wear as a beach coverup and as a statement piece at dinner. My top pick among outfit choices for an overnight trip is a great day-to-night dress. I typically choose something solid colored, with breathable wrinkle-free fabric and a really beautiful silhouette that can be taken from day to night. A-line and maxi dresses are typically good for this. You want something simple enough to be worn with flats for day and dressed up with heels easily at night. Two outfits in one.
What do you all pack for your overnight trips and staycations? Leave a comment & share your must-haves.
I partnered with Dove to present this post. All opinions expressed above are my own and not those of the company.
So I’ll admit it. I used to be somewhat of a bar snob. There are certain areas of my beauty regimen where I just refuse to settle for less than the best. When it comes to what goes on my face – it has to be good. Period. My skincare regimen has always been fairly simple (cleanser, toner, moisturizer) but since launching LoveBrownSugar.com I’ve started to add other elements like primers, serums, eye creams, and more. I’ll even get fancy and do a mask every now and again.
As a skincare aficionado, I juggle between using cream cleansers, gels and cleansing bars for my face, depending on the season and depending on the condition my skin is currently in. Though I have always been a Dove user, my Dove Beauty Bar was primarily used as a cleanser for my body and not my face. My assumption has always been that my higher priced premium bars were better for face cleansing. I mean, it has to be the best if it’s expensive, right?
Fast forward to the taping of the Dove commercial that you all have likely seen by now. Here I was stacking my favorite (expensive!) bar up against the Dove Beauty Bar and like magic my beliefs about quality compared to price were dwindling faster than the yellow test paper. I was BLOWN.
Shortly after the commercial, the Dove team invited me to embark on a 7 day beauty bar challenge. They asked me to test the Dove Beauty Bar for just 7 days and see for myself just how it would stack up against my other more expensive bar cleansers. So I took them up on their offer. Now listen, when it comes to my face, I do NOT play around. I was reluctant but I knew I had to try it so that I could honestly give you guys a recommendation. Plus I had to know for myself if what I saw on set was really true. So I went to work replacing my normal cleansing bars with the Dove Bar for 7 days.
It was a normal week for me. Crazy, per usual. I went from photoshoots to business travel to chasing Cady around the house, to braving the cold winter of Detroit for a last minute trip. From the first morning wash, I noticed that the Dove Beauty Bar didn’t leave any weird residue, and my skin didn’t feel stripped. That’s always a good sign. There’s nothing worse than washing your face with a bar then feeling that irritating tightness afterwards like someone has pulled your skin without your permission. It didn’t do that. Checkmark for Dove.
I did A LOT in that week, and I watched my skin for any signs of change. Going from one climate to another, traveling by air, working up a sweat chasing the little one, those are all scenarios that can typically create trouble for the skin. But throughout the week, my skin maintained its natural glow and moisture levels.
After using it for those 7 days, I can say with confidence that I didn’t notice any negative changes in my skin. It performed just as well as my premium bar and it’s way more affordable. On top of the 7 day beauty challenge, I’m incredibly proud to be affiliated with a brand like Dove for all of their self-esteem initiatives, for breaking the mold and using real women like me in their ads, and for being a champion of inclusion for all women of all ages, shapes, sizes and colors.
This post is sponsored by Dove. All opinions expressed above are my own and not those of the company.
BrownGirlsLove Power Day is about empowering you with resources and encouragement so that you can kick off your 2017 with power! One of your biggest resources is your influence! We tapped Power Day speaker, model, blogger, and beauty entrepreneur Africa Miranda to share three tips on how she converted her significant social influence into a complete lifestyle brand. Africa just recently launched a beauty elixir and she has more on the way. Here’s what she had to say about building a lifestyle brand:
Harlem’s Fashion Row celebrates designers and influencers of color, promoting their creative direction. We crept backstage for their Spring 2017 show and these are the trends and tips we spotted.
The beauty look for Lois London Spring 2017, which got a standing ovation at the show, was a warm, orange-brown matte smokey eye with full lashes, blended yet striking contour, and peachy-pink lips. The hair was bouncy, maintained with very little product but lots of shine, using all Motions Hair products. The makeup artists used Covergirl makeup to create this look.
Here are five steps to recreate the makeup look:
Step One: Start by lightly applying foundation and concealer, and start to bake using a yellow-toned loose powder under the eyes and on the chin. This creates light around the center of the face, and can stop your concealer from creasing all day.
Step Two: Starting with a neutral matte shadow from lid to brow bone, then move into the orange shadow, blending it all around the lid and concentrating it on the inner corners. Use a larger, fluffier blending brush (I find the older the better!) and keep packing on the pigment until you’re happy with it.
Step Three: Stick with a brown, neutral colored shadow on the lid and define the lashline with a darker shadow. The makeup artists used the last eyeshadow in the Covergirl TruNaked Eyeshadow palette, which is perfect for delicate definition.
Step Four: This eye is more of a halo smokey eye; the orange color is all around the border of the eye. Drag the orange shadow on the lower lashline, smudging from outer to inner corner. The Covergirl TruNaked Goldens palette would be perfect.
This weekend, while Christina was at the LA installment of the #BrownGirlSLoveBrunch, I had the pleasure of attending the annual celebration of confidence, style, and self acceptance that is Curl Fest. Founded by Curly Girl Collective, Curl Fest is an amazing opportunity for the women of the natural hair community to connect with brands, local businesses, and each other at an amazingly over the top picnic in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
Missed out? Check out the curls and street style that were on display below!
I Don’t Do Clubs is working with a variety of retailers to provide you with affordable and accessible ways to support black owned businesses this June. We’re all about supporting black business at LoveBrownSugar so we had to round up some of our favorite selections for you to check out below!