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Kickin’ It: About Last Night Private Screening and Dinner

about-last-night-movie-nyc-screening.jpgOn Monday February 3, 2014 LBS was invited to AMC Movie Theaters for a private screening of new movie About Last Night followed by a special dinner hosted by Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant and producer Will Packer. If you’ve been paying any attention to the TV (or Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) lately there has been heavy promotion for the film which follows two friends who go from spending nights at the bar to steamy nights in the bedroom. The movie is a remake of the 1986 original

more this way

Cover Girls: Alicia Keys for Marie Claire UK


This July, Alicia Keys sets the cover of Marie Claire UK on fire, right in time for the summer. Shot earlier this year on the island of the Bahamas by photographer Yutsai, the photos are really breathtaking. Alicia is featured in sophisticated, sexy looks from Gucci, Versace, Diane von Furstenberg and Just Cavalli. In the issue, she opens up about her first impressions of her husband, evolving and directing.

On her overall first impression of Swizz Beatz:

Swizz will have the fastest car, the biggest jewelery, the loudest jacket; everything with him is really over the top. I used to see him and think, “He is so annoying.”

On writing “That’s When I Knew” for Swizz Beatz:

That’s when I Knew” is definitely an ode to my husband… Honestly, I didn’t really like him that much. I thought he was too ostentatious.

On what she’s learned from her relationship:

I think we’ve taught each other a lot. He’s taught me to live more fully and I think I’ve taught him to live more deeply.

On becoming vocal about her feelings:
You have to speak up. To say, “I don’t like that, it’s not cool, don’t do that to me”, but it’s not easy, especially with people you love. I think getting older has made me evolve in a lot of ways and made me more relaxed about saying how I feel, no matter what.


On maintaining balance:
I realize you have to have a balance – you can live life and have more experiences as well as working.


On becoming a director:
I fell in love with directing. Because first of all I didn’t have to get up early for make-up and, second, I’m a very diplomatic individual.

Check out the behind-the-scenes video here: http://bcove.me/96p2c38e
Thoughts on this cover? Do you love it?

Cover Girls: Serena Williams Covers Essence Magazine

On the topic of healthy living (and perfect motivation given our current LBS Beauty Detox), tennis star and sports mogul Serena Williams covers the July issue of Essence Magazine. The July issue is Essence’s Body Issue themed around loving your shape and Miss Serena is serving curvy athletic realness!

In the issue, Serena talks with Essence about her fight against a devastating pulmonary embolism over two years ago, and how at 31 she’s in the best shape of her life. About her body and age, she says “I feel lighter, I feel healthier, and even though I’m 31—which really isn’t old, but for an athlete, particularly a tennis player, it’s old—I promise you, my body has never felt better. Considering how much I’ve played and how much I’ve done, I feel fine. I’m strong.”

I don’t know about you, but this cover shot is going right up on my inspiration board. Who’s with me?

LBS Fashion [London Edition]: The 90′s Trend

Across the pond in London Town, the 90’s have taken over. There’s an endless sea of denim, bomber jackets, crop tops, tie-dye and shirts tied around waists and beanies.

The 90’s marked the era of Girl Power (does a Mel C kick) - the reign of the ladies. Everyone from The Spice Girls, SWV, Salt n Pepa, Mary J Blige, TLC, Brandy, Monica, Aaliyah and more. I’d definitely call the 90’s the good years – carefree fashion and great music. Here in London, we’re taking it back to the good ol’ days.

Blogger Tori West does the 90’s proud with a denim jacket, graphic tee, beanie and fun multi-coloured hair. 
Brit Blogger Kavita showcases her 90′s style with a beanie, crop top and chic rucksack.
NYC-based UK sweetheart Karen Blanchard gives 90′s grunge in a floral vintage dress and laceup platform boots.

Fellow Brit Rita Ora puts a little spin on the 90’s grunge look with a pair of heels.

The Queen of the 90’s! Now I know Rihanna isn’t from London but she rocks the 90’s trend the best in her Rihanna for River Island collection pays homage to this with denim, crop tops, shirts tied around the waist, dungarees (overalls) and carefree attitude.

The 90’s trend allows you to combine grunge and sexy, boyfriend jeans with crop tops or if you’re feeling ultra-sexy you can throw on a bralet or an oversized plaid shirt with high waisted denim shorts. There are endless options with the 90’s trend!

Will you be re-living the 90’s this season?
-Kaila Baptiste (London Contributor)

LoveBrownSugar Chic: Westside Safari

I took a trip to my local H&M recently and stumbled on this tunic for $4.95. At first I thought it was too good to be true. Nothing worth having is $4.95 anymore. But upon trying it on, I fell in love.

I really love the high-low construction of it, as well as the waist tie. That was thoughtful, considering without the waste tie it can turn into a boxy piece of fabric that won’t give me any shape.

The tie helps accentuate my waist, and turns it into a mini-dress as opposed to a simple tunic. 
The pattern is really what caught my eye. Once I tried it on, I realized how versatile a piece like this can be. You can take it casual with a pair of flats, or a little dressier with heels.
And for chilly evenings, you can easily slap a sweater or a leather jacket on top.
I paired this look with my red Zara heels (wore them here). They look good with everything, seriously.
My crochet cross-body bag is from H&M as well. It was my go-to when I went to Cali for Coachella.
Tunic: H&M | Jacket: Vintage | Necklace: Forever 21 | Shoes: Zara (similar here) | Bag: H&M (similar here)
Get The Look:

Style Play Polish: Great Gatsby-Inspired Nails

A lady should always treat her nails as she does her hair, never get caught slippin’. We know a thing or two about nail DIYs and looking extravagant without extravagant pockets. Speaking of extravagance, the week’s Style Play Polish nail design is inspired by raved-about blockbuster film, “The Great Gatsby.” Here are 4 easy steps to achieving the perfect Gatsby inspired nails:

What you will need:

Step 1: Paint your nails 2 coats of the royal blue polish to assure a darker opacity. (Remember! Always apply a base coat before applying your base color).

Step 2: Using the black polish, freehand a V-shaped stroke pointed towards the tips of your nails.

Step 3: Using your detailing brush, trace along the line where the black meets the blue polish. Paint 2 other lines parallel to the original lines. Don’t worry about the lines overlapping, we will fill that in later.

Step 4: Use the silver polish to create a half moon design near your cuticles, as well as filling in the sides and top of your nails where the black polish is exposed.

Gatsby is known for his expensive taste and bringing his wild imagination to life. If you have a Gatsby nail inspiration you’d like to share with us, tag us on Instagram @LoveBrownSugar.

- Gracie J

Instaweek 5.21.13

Back In Action

I’m back guys! After spending the good part of last week in San Juan, I was pleasantly surprised to return to beautiful sunny weather here in NYC. I had such a great time relaxing (and working!) beachside. San Juan is a beautiful city. This week, look out for a full review of places to eat, sleep & play in San Juan.

All About Hair 

First off, can we talk about how Solange SLAYED her Complex Magazine shoot. That girl looks flawless!

Speaking of hair, I’m still going strong with my Indique Mix & Match curly look! I posted a video back when I was prepping for LBS at Coachella, and these curls seem to get better with every wash. I’m currently planning my summer look. Contemplating box braids once again. We’ll see!

New Products I Love

I was invited to Brush Salon in NYC last week for a launch event featuring John Frieda Styling Tools by Conair. When it comes to styling your hair, the tools can really make or break your look. John Frieda by Conair has a new line of styling tools including a flat-iron, a hairdryer and a hot air brush that use advance ionic technology to prevent frizzies, especially good for curly-haired gals like myself. I used the blowdryer to on my curls with the diffuser attachement and it revealed the beautiful head of hair you see above. I’m sold!

Ann Taylor LOFT invited me to their Summer Fridays launch party last week and revealed the newest pieces from their summer collection – amazing stuff! I scored the lace minidress above, and I’m also obsessed with a tribal print jumpsuit that isn’t coming out until July. I don’t normally shop at LOFT but their new collection definitely gives me a reason to make a faithful return.

Like I promised in last week’s Instaweek, I finally did a review of MAC RiRi Woo and compared it side by side with my fave Ruby Woo. Check out the results here.

I hope you lovelies have a wonderful week! Any plans for Memorial Day weekend?

LBS Beauty Review: MAC RiRi Woo vs. Ruby Woo

mac-riri-woo-ruby-woo-reviewYou guys remember how hyped I was for the release of bad gyal Rihanna‘s very first lipstick collaboration with MAC Cosmetics, right? I practically had my shopping cart ready to go 24 hours before the grand premiere. I was one of the lucky hopefuls who scored a stick of Rihanna’s MAC RiRi Woo greatness before it sold out online only hours before going on sale.


As a red lipstick fanatic, I’m obsessed with finding new ones to try and obsess over. And now that I have RiRi Woo in my beauty arsenal, here’s a snapshot of the main differences I see between RiRi Woo and my absolute fave MAC Ruby Woo. Check out the review below:


So upon first glance, RiRi Woo looks VERY similar to MAC’s classic Ruby Woo. It’s a matte, highly pigmented red that works for a myriad of skin complexions. That’s what drew me to the color originally – so many recommendations from women of different shades.

Looking at them side by side from afar they look basically identical. On the left is MAC RiRi Woo and on the right is my highly-used (I literally wear it almost daily) Ruby Woo stick.

Upon closer inspection though, you’ll notice that RiRi Woo has a deeper tint with more bluish undertones. This works perfect for skin shades that are deeper because the color really comes through with a bold finish. Here’s a swatch of the two on my skin:

Top: RiRi Woo  Bottom: Ruby Woo

Top: RiRi Woo Bottom: Ruby Woo

Here you can see against my skin that RiRi Woo (top) is a little deeper with a bluish base. It has more of a sultry night-time feel to it.


RiRi Woo vs Ruby Woo
 Next up, I took pictures in both colors. Here’s how they look on (don’t mind me coloring outside the lines lol):
Very subtle difference between the two that’s barely noticeable but there’s a difference for sure. So for those of you wondering which one works best for you (or whether to splurge on RiRi Woo once it comes back out later this summer), here’s a snapshot of what they look like.
Wearing MAC RiRi WooI’m still obsessed with my Ruby Woo. I don’t think anything can separate me from my first love. 

IMG_7614But I’ll be rocking out with Rihanna’s namesake this summer as well. I’ll probably alternate between the two. For you lovelies of different skin complexions, here are links to some of my favorite fellow bloggers doing reviews of Ruby Woo vs. RiRi Woo debate:

For deeper-skinned beauties, check out Danielle of Style & Beauty Doctor
The Glamazons also have a review featuring Glamazons Jessica and Margo
Caramel-skinned beauties, check out Melanie of OSoChic’s review
Olive-skinned ladies, check out Marisa of You Had Me at Makeup 

Would you purchase RiRi Woo? What are your red lip faves? Soundoff below!

LBS Gift Guide: Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

So it’s the day before Mother’s Day, and like any good child you’ve had Mom’s gift wrapped and ready to go weeks ago. You have absolutely no worries because you always know just what to get the most important woman in your life, right? Mmmhmmm didn’t think so!

For those of us with super busy schedules and absolutely no clue what to snag Mom before the big day, here’s a great selection of last minute gifts ideas from the luxe and lavish to the quick & easy, that drive home the “I love you and appreciate you” sentiment in a unique way.

The Luxe: A Weekend Getaway

If you’re a big-spender and you really want Mom to know how much you love her, book her a fantastic weekend getaway to someplace luxe. Send her to soak up sun and sand in style. This may not be feasible for every destination, but these days getting away to luxe beach destinations on the cheap is as easy as 1-2-3 from major US cities. Airlines like Jet Blue offer quick and affordable non-stop flights to tropical yet domestic destinations that are “no passport required” like San Juan, Puerto Rico and St Thomas, USVI. Check out the Jet Blue Getaways page for vacation packages that take the guesswork out of booking flights & hotels that fit your budget. Mom will love you for it – and you can even pitch in with your siblings to make it a group gift she’ll never forget.

The Lavish: A Trip to the Spa

What Mom doesn’t enjoy being pampered and taken care of? By far, the most popular gift option for mothers during this time of the year, there are so many ways to gift a spa treatment without breaking the bank. Hit up discount sites like Groupon, Living Social and even Lifebooker for spa packages in your area. If you want to go the traditional route and find a spa your Mom will love, try Spafinder for recommendations and reviews. One of my absolute favorite spas here in NYC is the Tribeca Beauty Spa. I went there for a facial recently and was so impressed I can’t wait to return. LBS Spa Reviews coming soon!

The Original: A Custom Fragrance by Original Scent

Get your Mom something she’ll be reminded of everyday when she inhales. Make her a custom scent! The folks over at Original Scent make it super simple to compose a custom blend fragrance based on your preferences, your personality and your lifestyle. Their motto is “It’s all about you!” Even if you can’t physically head to one of their locations, they allow you to Build Your Scent online with an intimate and detailed questionnaire. They then send you 3 samples to try out, and the one you love best you can have them tweak to your heart’s desire until you have the perfect “you” scent. At which point they’ll send you whichever product you prefer from eau de parfum to scented candles. This is such a unique gift option that any Mom would love.

The Thoughtful: An Edible Arrangement

This one is a classic and one I revisit nearly every year. There’s something so special about Edible Arrangements. It’s genius. Just as beautiful as a bouquet of flowers…and edible! You can’t beat that. The best thing about Edible Arrangements is that they are open for business and shipping their speciality Mother’s Day arrangements throughout the weekend. So even if you think it’s too late, try them. More than likely they can have a bouquet in front of Mom on Mother’s Day, regardless of where she is in the US.

The Social: A Giftbar Certificate

There’s a new gifting service in town, and it’s by far one of the most unique and genius concepts I’ve seen as far as gifting goes. A new edition to the digiworld, the Giftbar service is quickly growing but currently only offered in select cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. If you’re based in either of these cities, you’re in luck! This new online giftcard marketplace is a way to gift Mom with a thoughtful giftcard from a local retailer. From boutiques to restaurants, salons and yoga studios, Giftbar has a little something for every type of Mom. This one is especially great for the social mom who loves to hit the town, whether it be to shop, eat or play.

The Pretty: Glossybox Subscription

You guys have seen me review Glossybox on a few different occasions here on LoveBrownSugar (click for My First Glossybox review and here for my 2nd review). I’m a huge fan of this subscription service. They always have the latest and greatest beauty products from around the globe, they often send full size samples (who doesn’t love full sizes!) and they offer you the flexibility of purchasing just one box for Mom, a 3-month subscription, 6-month subscription up to a full year. Their inaugural Mother’s Day box includes everything from Essie polish to anti-aging By Terry creme and Modelco lipgloss. Definitely check out Glossybox.com for gift options if you’re Mom is into beauty and “surprises”.

The Tech-Savvy: An iPad Mini

If your Mom is tech-savvy and needs to have her world on the tips of her fingers at all times, the iPad Mini is a great gift option. Offering similar functionality of the full size iPad in a smaller and more affordable package, any tech-crazed mother would be happy to unwrap this bad boy on her special day. And with Apple’s technology being so user-friendly, she’ll be acquainted in no time.

The Affordable Indulgence: Carol’s Daughter Gift Set

You can never go wrong with Carol’s Daughter. Not only are they my favorite for body sets and luxe hair products, but they offer a really broad range of gift options for different budgets. You can opt for their Almond Cookie 3-pc set for a mere $30.00 or go all out and get the complete Spa Indulgence package for $60.00. You can also mix and match treats to make your very own sampler. Definitely something a mom would appreciate.

That’s all folks. I hope this gets your wheels turning and gives you some great gifting ideas for the special lady in your life!

What do you plan on getting Mom this year? Leave us your gift ideas in the comments section!