Monday, August 30, 2010

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Better Than Harper's...

 So I just moved to Harlem a few months ago, and I'm clearly still finding my way around, getting to know the neighborhoods and of course, the shopping. I happened to be strolling around 116th street on Saturday, and stumbled upon the most amazing African bazaar!

Way better than Harper's (get it?), African bazaars are outdoor shops with stands full of vendors selling everything from authentic African jewelry, to kente cloths and imported fabrics, African masks and sculptures, to handmade bags and shea butter. I was in a fantasy wonderland of sorts, with the smells of incense and imported fabrics surrounding me. Anyway, I stumbled on some really amazing finds...

 Spotted this handmade leather-worked bag at the bazaar. You almost can't call this a bag, it's essentially art. 

Tables were overflowing with wooden bangles, beaded necklaces and colorful knick-knacks. 

And these hand carved wooden stools were just beautiful. I'll need to go back there and pick one up for my place. 

Ever been to a bazaar? Know of any good ones in your area? Soundoff below!
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

LoveBrownSugar Fashion Countdown: Emmy Awards 2010

Sunday night's Emmy Awards brought the best and worst out onto the red carpet. We tweeted live some of our faves but in case you missed it, here's our countdown of the best and worse from the Emmy's 2010 Red Carpet. This time we're taking it from the great to the good and finally to the hell naw's. Hold onto your stilettos kids. Here we go:

Claire Danes in Armani Prive

Claire Danes showed up to the red carpet glistening, shining and looking absolutely stunning in an Armani Prive strapless gown.Trust, this gown looked 100 times more dynamic and glamorous on screen...

Dianna Argon in Carolina Herrera

 You can't help but look classy in Carolina Herrera. The elegant lace and nude, demure color were perfect for Dianna Argon of popular televesion series Glee.

Kim Kardashian in Marchesa
Reality star Kim Kardashian rocked the red carpet in a long white Grecian gown by Marchesa. In my book, Marchesa can do no wrong. Elegant silhouettes, curve-hugging draping and the perfect embellishments. I will say this was a little safe for Kim though. Props still, cuz the dress is gorge.

Job Well Done
Lea Michelle in Oscar de la Renta
 It always warms my heart to see a navy blue moment on the red carpet. And of course, when the dress is fron my favorite designer, that makes the moment all-the-better. Lea Michelle showed up in a standout Oscar de la Renta mermaid gown. The dress - hit! The hair - miss! Oscar is served up best with understated, pinned up hair.

Kelly Osbourne in Tony Ward
 Whoa! Where did Kelly go? She's dropped about 3 dress sizes and she seems to have refined her goth aesthetic completely. She looked stunning in her fave color - black. Though I loved the ensemble, I'm not a fan of the hair. It's very....Oprah circa 1995? No bueno.

Oh What The....HELL Naw!

Christina Hendricks in Zac Posen
 Now I know boobs never go out of style, but THIS is a bit much! We normally love Christina Hendricks but this dress needed a little more fabric up top. Whoo lawd, put the kiddies to bed...

Lo Bosworth in ???
We have no words. Apparently Lo was given a "Mad Men" makeover during the preshow? This just might be the worse makeover we've ever seen. More like a make-under. Mad? Yes, we're certainly mad at this ensemble...

What did you guys think? Who's your fave and who's a hot mess? Soundoff below!

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fierce or Foolish: Solange DJs Greenhouse in NYC

 Little miss Solange Knowles showed up to her DJ gig at Greenhouse in Soho, NYC sporting a ripped tee, jean cutoffs, a hat and blue heels. Are you loving her eclectic look?

Personally, I love the ensemble. Not sure about the hat though. I almost wish it was a printed turban instead. Fierce or Foolish? Soundoff below!
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Best of Beauty: Jasmine's Birthday Treats

So it’s practically the end of summer and the beginning of transition time for fall weather. Though we might be switching up the closet and swapping maxi dresses for chunky cardigans, our beauty products are still in rotation! Beauty correspondent (and my bestie) Jasmine who was responsible for the Spring Beauty Trends lineup, got an amazing gift for her birthday this month. As the beauty junkie of our group, it only made sense that this year instead of money or other gifts, she requested a beauty basket. A personalized gift basket is one of the more creative and thoughtful gift ideas for any occasion because you can combine the items that people want, need and love into one nice package. Another plus: you can tailor it to fit your budget!

Inside Her Basket: A Hanae Mori butterfly roller ball, Essie protein base coat and Essie To Dry For top coat, Josie Maran argan oil and moisturizing stick, Sephora by Opi Chic Prints for nails, True Blue Spa Beauty Booties moisturizing gel socks/soothing socklets, HEMPZ herbal moisturizer, Fresh Sugar Lychee eau de parfum rollerball, Carol’s Daughter Sweet Honey Dip Chocolate Brown Sugah Scrub, Bath & Body Works aromatherapy pillow mist in sleep - lavendar vanilla.

Here's Jasmine’s personal rundown of the standout products thus far…

1. Josie Maran argan oil moisturizing stick: It took a scar on my elbow from scary to barely there! I used it liberally on the scar whenever I remembered, and it reduced the appearance of the scar so much that I almost can’t find it.The mixture of Vitamin E and fatty acids in the oil do wonders for the skin and can help with a number of skin ailments including sunburns, bug bites, and dry skin. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a natural moisturizer, especially one that’s portable and affordable. At only $6 for a mini tube and $22 for the larger lipstick-lookalike tube, who could live without this miracle stick? Shop Josie Maran

2. Sephora by Opi Chic Prints for nails: They are the brainchild of the brilliant people behind Minx for those of us who want to stay on budget. I tried the decals in tiger print and after my first horrible attempt, I got the idea that you have to file them to fit your nails and they ended up looking like this (pictured above). I was definitely pleased with the results and would buy again for those times when I’m not in the mood to go to the salon. And they come in different designs including chrome lace, stars and fishnet. Anyone who rocks these will definitely be getting stopped for compliments. Shop Sephora

3. Carol’s Daughter Sweet Honey Dip Chocolate Brown Sugah Scrub: It smells like an amazing dessert the second you pop the lid open. The real brown sugar crystals in the scrub made me forget for two seconds that I was supposed to put it on my skin and not in my stomach. And like all of the line’s products, this one is all natural. The oil and sugar crystals slough away the dead skin and leave your skin supple and smooth. I think it’s a great way to de-stress after a long week. Shop Carol's Daughter

4. And finally there was the Fresh Sugar Lychee Eau de Parfum, which is standing out for another reason. It is the only gift that I am planning to exchange out of the basket. The concept sounded great and it could possibly be the right scent for another girl, but I couldn’t see or smell myself putting this perfume on. If anything, it taught me that when shopping for a scent for yourself you cannot underestimate the importance of testing the scent on your own body. The Fresh line has a number of amazing products that I love but this one did not fit anywhere in my beauty regimen. I’ll probably exchange it for more Smith’s Rosebud Salve or some kind of red lipstick.

So that’s my beauty basket review! What products are must-haves in your beauty basket?
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Confessions of a Shopaholic: ELLE Picks for H&M

Yesterday as I was strolling my neighborhood waiting to have coffee with a friend, I wandered into my local H&M and was pleasantly surprised to find that they've stocked up on most of their Fall line already. Even more surprised was I to find a beautifully merchandised front section of the store littered with little tags reading "Elle Picks".

 The editors at Elle Magazine have teamed up with H&M in a nationwide campaign featuring their absolute favorite Fall items this season. I think it's so great when fashion brands and publications team up like this. I mean who wouldn't take a second look at a fashion editor's favorite things?

I fell in love with this metallic faux leather mini on the racks. Not sure if I could pull it off, but I imagine it would be super cute with a tight bustier, a fitted blazer and some killer platforms.

Can you believe this is faux leather?? Neither could I. That's always a good thing...

Not sure if this was one of the ELLE Picks but it's certainly a LoveBrownSugar pick. Cognac lace-up booties are huge for Fall! Currently scouting my own pair. I'm tempted to add these to my "Bootie Calls" installation. If I can find a size 10 in the tri-state area, I'll tweet about it.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fierce or Foolish: Beyonce on Vacay in Italy

Beyonce was spotted out with Mr. Carter taking a nice seaside vacay in Italy. She rocked out in an eclectic mix of linen shorts, a cropped tank, white bejeweled bathing suit, body jewelry and tons of accessories to boot. While I love alot of these pieces separately, I'm not sure if I love them all together...

What do you guys think - is it accessory overload or did she get it right? Soundoff below!

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Introducing...Shoe Candy!

I have to admit, I have a bit of a problem. Accessories are my weakness, shoes are my Achilles heel (no pun intended). So if I obsess every now and then, bare with me. I'm in love...

 These babies I snatched up at Forever21 this past weekend. I tweeted about them on Saturday. Apparently they are actually Miu Miu knockoffs...pretty damn good ones I must say considering the F21 pair are $25.80 and the originals are $590:

 (From left: Forever 21, $25.80. Miu Miu, $590)

Anyway, I plan to debut them during fashion week if the powers-that-be don't frown on me for wearing F21 knockoffs *shrugs*. In the store, I contemplated getting the black pair on the left with tiny white polka dots, but decided the floral ones were more fun and adventurous...

So, it has come to my attention that many of you beauties are shoe aficianados like myself.  For those of you who share my insanity for shoes, now YOU can contribute to LoveBrownSugar! Starting this week, I'll be featuring all of YOUR favorite shoes in a column called "Shoe Candy". Each week, you'll have a chance to submit pictures of your favorite shoes (from cell phone pics you snapped in the store to outfit pics you snapped on your digicam) and readers will vote on the best shoe pic of the week. Best part of the deal? The highest rated shoe pics win a FREE PAIR OF SHOES!!! In the words of Rachel Zoe, "I die!"

Here's what to do:

1. Email LUVBROWNSUGAR@GMAIL.COM with a picture of your fave shoe of the moment.
2. Be sure to include your Name, City, and website/twitter handle/anything online you can be identified with (so I can shout you out!)
3. Tell your friends to VOTE VOTE VOTE for your chance to win a FREE pair of shoes!

Can't wait to see your submissions!
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Fierce or Foolish: Rihanna's Longer Locks

 Rihanna was spotted out heading to dinner with her family in a nude textured dress and sporting a longer, cropped ruby red bob. What do you guys think of her look?

 I personally think the dress is a little shapeless and the hair isn't my favorite either. I can't be the only one who dislikes this bright red hair on her. What happened to dear Rih-Rih?

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Bootie Calls: Jeffrey Campbell FL'10 Lookbook

So this week's Bootie Call is a shoe orgy of sorts. Instead of obsession over one particular shoe for fall, I'm completely head over heels about Jeffrey Campbell's Fall 2010 lookbook. I swear this man is one after mine own heart. These shoes give me chills. Warning, the following collage of images from Jeffrey Campbells' Fall 2010 Lookbook may cause excessive drooling....

I might die if I don't get my hands on a pair of the black laceups with wooden heel on the top left. Ugh, still drooling...

What do you guys think of the collection?

Check out Jeffrey Campbell at their Website. For new arrivals, check KarmaLoop...

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

LoveBrownSugar Chic: It's The Little Things...

As these last fleeting moments of summer pass, I'll be taking these next few weeks to relax, rejuvenate and appreciate all the things that have brought me joy this past season. From bright turquoise nail polish and bubble gum pink lipstick to Thai iced coffee, whimsical memoirs and bright-colored rings, each "little thing" served it's purpose and made this summer that much more enjoyable.

 As an ode to "little things", I've posting a few photoshoot outtakes featuring a little gem I found at a local jewelry store. I really love this ring...can you tell?

 What were some of your favorite "little things" this summer?
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Sneak Peek: WEtv Presents "You're Wearing That?!?"

For all my fellow fashionistas that have had to give mom the side eyes for walking out the house looking...not so fashionable...there's a makeover show for you! I don't know about you guys, but my mom can be fashionably challenged at times. Likewise, she's shaken her head at me countless times for wearing outlandish outfits.

Mom and I, College Graduation 2009

Anyway WEtv teamed up with NY-based stylist and fashion consultant Lucienne Salamone to give input and help mother-daughter duos re-style each other’s wardrobe and feel confident in what they wear. Here's a sneak peek at the show...

Even cuter, the first episode features former American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke and her mom. Check it out when "You're Wearing That?!?" premieres tomorrow night, August 19th at 10pm on WEtv! After all, who doesn't like a good makeover show?
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Cover Girls: Jennifer Hudson for Michigan Avenue

 Jennifer Hudson looks absolutely stunning on the cover of Michigan Avenue magazine. As the newest spokeswoman for Weight Watchers, she's clearly representing the brand to the fullest. Now I know most of us are skeptics about celbrity weight loss. I am, given their access to the proper resources and well...their money. However, there's something so real and attainable about J. Hud's weight loss that it's truly inspiring. She did it the right way - eating right and exercising - and Weight Watchers is really something anyone can do. Anyone reading this have a goal that became more attainable for them once they saw a celebrity do it? Weight loss, hair cuts, new lipstick color? Soundoff below!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gearing Up: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week S/S2011

Time to strap up the heels and pull out my digicam. The Spring 2011 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week schedule was recently announced and I'm beyond ecstatic. Fashion week is just around the corner and here are some of the designer showcases we have to look forward to...

Per usual., I'll be tweeting live from the venue, taking copious notes and hitting you guys off with my wrap-up reviews of the best shows. Make sure you guys follow LoveBrownSugar on Twitter for updates! And stay tuned for my "Fashion Week Essentials" list coming later this month

What do you guys most get excited about for fashion week? I personally LIVE for the celebrity sightings. Do you? Soundoff below!
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Cover Girls: Halle Berry for Vogue September Issue

This month's issue of Vogue is being graced by the one and only Halle Berry. As the first woman of color to grace the September Issue of Vogue since 1989, I'm absolutely ecstatic that her face will be on newsstands this coming month. It's interesting to see how far we, as minority women, have come in the fashion industry but we still have SO much progress still hanging in the balance. The fact that Vogue hasn't had a black woman on it's September issue cover in 21 years is proof that we still have a long way to go. Here's what Ms. Berry had to say about it...

On being asked to shoot Vogue's September Issue:
"What that means for a woman of color and what that means in the fashion world, what that means to pop culture, there was no way I could say, 'No, I'm not going to be on the biggest issue of the year.'"

On breaking her 3 year hiatus from press:
"I was burned-out with having other people tell the story about me that they wanted to tell,'' Berry claims. "I told my publicist, 'I'm not going to talk anymore. I'm just going to live my life and be who I am'."

On her break-up with longtime boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry:
“I don’t think I’m unlike a lot of people. I am just someone who is trying to find that mate, and I think it’s a really hard thing to do,” Berry said. “I am not willing to stay somewhere where I am not really happy. And I am not willing to pretend I am for the kid’s sake or so that I don’t have to go through another public humiliation.”

Vogue's September issue hits newsstands on August 24th. For full article and photoshoot, pick up a copy, or check Vogue.com for updates.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

LoveBrownSugar Feature: Cavalier Literary Couture

I was honored to be featured by a new arts & culture blog called Cavalier Literary Couture. They asked me some really interesting questions for my "Spotlight: Blog in Vogue" and did an overall great job.

My day-to-day is pretty hectic but overall, pretty exciting. I work for Honey Magazine as a full-time editorial assistant. I'm in charge of all their fashion, beauty and lifestyle content, as well as a host of other things like celeb interviews, etc.I work with all kinds of people in the industry - I work especially close with editors and other freelance writers. I'm also constantly in touch with publicists and their respective clients from fashion mavens to music artists. Once I leave my job at Honey, I normally have an industry event to attend in the evening and after all that I head home to pen articles for LoveBrownSugar.com. My work is never over!

I've always loved fashion. I can remember being in love with vintage shopping all the way back in Junior High School when I first discovered a thrift store near my house in Queens. When I got to high school, I decided to start a "club" for other fashionistas like me who wanted to learn how to sew clothing and talk about fashion. So I started one, called SAS - "Sewing and Style". It's one of my fondest accomplishments though I never talk about it. We even had countless bake sales so we could buy our first sewing machine. It was a great time. Anyway, I went on to college and I joined a fashion-based organization called Dzine2Show, became a fashion editor for their first magazine The Walk and also started interning at Saks Incoporated in the buying department. After racking up a few more summers of internship work, I landed an editorial assistant position at Honey!

I think blogging is such a powerful tool these days. It's the perfect form of self-induced press and promotion. My blog even granted me access to Mercedes-Benz fashion week. There isn't much more you can ask for. It's a great way to get your name out there and develop a following. I did it because I thought it would be fun. I never really did it with the intentions of it blowing up as largely as it did. I absolutely love it. When I can initiate conversation and discussion, when I can give curvy girls confidence to rock their favorite outfits, or young aspiring writers the inspiration they need to do their own thing, it makes me feel accomplished. I started out doing this just for myself and it's grown into something I do not just for me but for my readers.

Everything happens for a reason. I live by this phrase. It's a constant reminder to me that each step I take, each opportunity I'm presented with, and each person I meet is part of the divine order and purpose in my life. Sometimes bad things happen, or you meet bad people. They were sent to you as lessons to learn from and build upon. Never a failure, but always a lesson.

For full article, check out Cavalier Literary HERE
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fierce or Foolish: Kelis in Jewel By Lisa

 Songstress and rebel fashionista Kelis has been seen around town rocking it out in afro-inspired pieces by Nigerian-based line Jewel By Lisa...

 That seems to be a HUGE trend of late, from my faves like Boxing Kitten and naKIMuli Inc. to newcomers Koko Celeste and now Jewel by Lisa. I absolutely love the pieces Kelis has been sporting. They're fun and clearly summer-appropriate. It almost bothers me though, that it has taken years for the fashion industry to really recognize that the most beautiful pieces trace way back to African roots. The emphasis in fashion, as a whole has been so European-based that they've somehow forgotten or ignored the beauty that can come out of African influence...

 Solange in Boxing Kitten

Years ago, you never saw traditional kente cloth or fabrics from Africa on the runways. Disturbing, yet it give me hope. Let's make lines like these mainstays in the industry and not just "trends". What do you guys think? Is this a "trend" or is tribal print here to stay?

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bootie Calls: A Clog Named Slingback

So I wrote a "Sole Food" feature about these amazing Sam Edelman Falken ($180) shoes that are perfect for transitioning into fall...
You'll know I'm really IN LOVE with something when I bring it over from Honey to here. I call this style "A Clog Named Slingback". These are the perfect way to transition a trendy summer shoe into fall.

With the sling around the back, you have options. Either wear them alone with a dress and cardi or add socks/tights and a chunky sweater when the weather cools down. What do you guys think? Are you gagging like I am?
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Jamila Jo Jewelry

 If you're anything like me, you go giddy for statement accessories. There's something so special to me about finding just the right standout accessory to make your outfit pop. A good friend of mine has started a new jewelry line called Jamila Jo and as a supporter of up and coming indie designers, I was delighted to see how delicate and desirable her new collection is. Let's indulge, shall we?

 Shani describes the line stating "Jamila Jo is best described as a lyrical paradox. It is a mixture of masculine and feminine, trendy and classic, hip hop and gospel, natural and industrial."

 Using natural stones like druzy quartz, greenrock, and turquoise, the line's influences from nature and simple silhouettes give a fresh and pure feel to the pieces.

Here are a few of my faves:

I'm a huge fan of turquoise, in case you weren't aware. Evidenced by my previous posts, I'm quite a fiend for it. So I absolutely love this piece. The Pocahontas retails at only $15 and It's simple, precious, unadulterated turquoise. Just beautiful.

 And last but not least is the....get this...Brown Sugar ($40) ring! Isn't that just perfect? I love that it actually looks like brown sugar, and it's cute! 

Check out more of Jamilo Jo Jewelry at their Website | Shop | Tumblr | Flickr
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