Thursday, June 30, 2011

LoveBrownSugar Turns Two!

Today, LoveBrownSugar is 2 years old! Words cannot express how appreciative I am for all your support. You guys - my readers, friends and extended family, mean more to me than anything. On this day, two years ago, LoveBrownSugar.com was born.

You guys remember this? The ORIGINAL header for LoveBrownSugar
 It started out as just a small place for me to muse about fashion, beauty, celebrities and live events. Since then, it has grown to become an outlet not just for myself but for all of you to voice your opinions, agree and/or disagree with me about celebrity looks and follow my journey in life from going natural...

to going on vacay, to going crazy in the fitting room

 I absolutely love you all and LoveBrownSugar.com would be nowhere if it wasn't for you. In celebration of this milestone, I'll be hosting a fab 2 Year Anniversary event next Wednesday, July 6th. More details on the event coming soon, but if you're in the NYC area (or if you will be next week), save the date!

In celebration, I'd love for you guys to comment with either a) your favorite post or b) your favorite thing about LoveBrownSugar.  

I want to keep serving up content that you guys love, so tell me what I'm doing right. You can also tweet me @LoveBrownSugar with hashtag #LBS2Year or leave a comment on the Facebook page!
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Kickin' It: Fort Greene Music Festival

 This weekend I did my normal Saturday trek to Brooklyn (I spend lots of time there during the summer) for the 2011 Fort Greene Festival. Featuring headliner and hip-hop artist Mos Def as well as a myriad of other amazing musical talents, the festival was a huge celebration of indie music, amazing Brooklyn-based food vendors, and of course festival fashions. Check out some of the street style I snapped:
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Kickin' It: Indique + Ginger & Liz Launch Glam Survival Kit

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Indique + Ginger & Liz launch of the Glam Survival Kit at the Townhouse Spa in NYC. Hosted by the lovely Lianne Farbes (one of THE first beauty bloggers to hit the scene and recently tapped for MAC’s Blogger Obsession collection), the event was jam packed with beauty goodies & smiling faces. 
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LBS Fashion Countdown: BET Awards 2011

You guys know the drill! Here are my Top 10 Best and Worst of the BET Awards 2011 red carpet. Feel free to chime in with your commentary. This year's fashions were...interesting to say the least. There were prom queens and club-hopping train wrecks galore. As well as a few understated gems. Take a look!
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Friday, June 24, 2011

You're Invited! Style Scene Exhibit

I hope you lovelies based in NYC will join me next week for a fab fashion event I'm co-hosting with Lowefactor.com & The Victoria Agency. Highlighting some up and coming stylists of color, we'll be sipping cocktails and enjoying an exhibition of their latest & greatest works. Hope you can join us on the rooptop of Bar 13!

To RSVP email rsvp@thevictoriaagency.com and mention "Style Scene Exhibit" at the door. See you there!
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Flavor of Friday: Curvy Girl Swimwear

It's officially summer! I don't know about you, but this summer I don't plan on hiding behind a mumu. Curvy girls don't have to settle for that. At least I never have. You can rock a vintage style high-waist two piece like the one Queen Bey is rocking above. Or, one of my personal favorites, a fitted one-piece with a deep V-neck. It plays up my best features.

Beachside in Puerto Rico, 2010
Curvy girls, if you're looking for inspiration regarding great bathing suits to rock for your body type, you're in luck! I made my debut on Essence.com on Wednesday featuring a special Curvy Girls Guide to Swimwear report with tons of bathing suit options for plus-sized divas like me. Check it out and tell me what you think!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Don't Believe The Hype

Recently Coco + Creme posted a thought provoking story about a good friend of mine Gabifresh of Young, Fat & Fabulous (now renamed Gabifresh.com) and some qualms she has with the plus-size community. Subsequently after, another blogger (and one of my fave tweeters) Sarah Conley of @StyleIT posted a response. To make a long story short, both women raised interesting points about the plus-size blogging community and the idea of supporting any and everything within it. I think this topic is one to be explored, not just in the realm of plus-size blogging but in the realm of blogging/journalism and life circumstances period.

Here are my two cents (or three, or four) about the situation:

1. Blogging is personal. 

I understand that in this day and age, with the internet overpopulated and websites clamoring daily for readers' attention, many have taken the opportunity to turn their blogs into businesses. Pageviews and comments become the sole priority for some bloggers after the initial realization that "other blogs are doing it too" and there's potential freedom from the drone of the 9-5 in blogging. Some sites, which may have started out strictly as personal style blogs, now have online shop components (myself included - i.e. SHOP LoveBrownSugar). But at the end of the day, for most, the blogs were birthed out of personal conviction and ultimately because we LOVED what we were blogging about. What happened to that?
When did it become the standard to blog or write about something because it is the "it" thing or because you're supposed to belong to a certain "community"? 
If mom jeans come back into style next season, guess what? I'm not blogging about them! I don't like them, they're unflattering on my body type and personally I think they're hideous. Will I include them in a LBS Runway Report if Marc Jacobs starts making them? Of course! Will I ask you all if Beyonce is Fierce or Foolish for wearing them, yes! But you won't find me sporting them on here. Or raving about them. My personal blog philosophy is: If I don't sport, I don't support. And that's that.

2. Branding is a business. A full-time job actually.

Picture this for just a minute. Imagine your favorite fashion magazine of all time decided to switch directions with their content. Instead of serving up amazing, high-end glossy fashion editorial, they decided to simply have a free-for-all and invite every fashion brand with a few advertising dollars to play an integral role in the magazine. Can you imagine how sloppy and watered-down the content would be? If VOGUE decided to let K-Mart take center stage in an editorial shoot - you'd be appalled. Why? Because they have a brand, and a reputation to uphold. As an editor who works day to day at a magazine, I've learned that branding is everything. Your reputation can help and/or hurt you in attaining future opportunities. Bloggers (and non-bloggers alike) should be so careful about aligning ourselves with entities that don't truly represent who we are and what we stand for. At the end of the day, your personal brand is more precious than that free sample or that $50 ad space in your sidebar. Choose wisely.

3. Integrity is everything.

Nobody likes feeling betrayed or deceived. When people put their trust in you (as a blogger, as a confidant, even as a friend!) it's your responsibility to uphold it like it's more precious than gold. Everything you see on LoveBrownSugar is a direct reflection of me; my thoughts and my likes/loves explored. Personally, I would rather not discuss a brand if I strongly dislike it. This goes for beauty, fashion and everything in between. That said, why should someone be expected to rave about a product or line just because they fit a certain descript or are lumped into a community? I'm a natural-haired girl and I love my natural hair but sometimes I like wigs! Yep, I said it - I do! So even though I joined the natural hair community last November, it doesn't mean I'm suddenly going to review every natural hair product and do what that blogging community does. It's not my sole priority, and it doesn't have to be.

I think Gabi and Sarah's points regarding plus-size blogs and companies, address a bigger issue that we should all evaluate. How often do you sell out, or give into the hype of something because people assume you should? Bloggers, are you being honest with your readers? As an adult, are you being honest with yourself about your career path, your love interest or your friendships? What is there to gain by believing the hype instead of your gut?

What are your thoughts? Soundoff below!
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fierce or Foolish: Lala's 32nd Birthday at Tao

Lala Vazquez celebrated her 32nd birthday at TAO Las Vegas this weekend. For the festivities, she donned a black and white printed jumpsuit and her signature Louboutin platforms. What do you all think of her look?

Fierce or Foolish? Soundoff below!

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Steal Her Chic: Solange at Dream Downtown Opening

Solange Knowles looked absolutely gorgeous last night at the opening of Dream Downtown in NYC. After the ASH flagship opening, she showed up to Dream donning a delicate Alexander Wang blouse, Honor wide-legged trousers and jewels from Dannijo and House of Waris.

She topped off the look with delicate nude heels and a coral lip. I die! Here's how to steal her chic:

1. Palazzo Pants, ASOS, $68.96. 2. Top, DKNY, $95.99. 3. Lipstick, Lancome L'Absolu Nu in Coral Sand, $29. Earrings, Rachel Rachel Roy, $36. 5. Sandals, ALDO Marum, $100

Would you try this look? I would!

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Kickin' It: ASH Flagship Opening With Solange + Refinery29

 Last night I was invited to the flagship opening of ASH footwear boutique in Soho. A luxury shoe brand originally launched in Europe, ASH opened it's very first store on US soil in downtown NYC last night. The event was hosted by two of my faves: Refinery29 & Solange Knowles.
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Kickin' It: Dark & Lovely + Essence Event With Bria Murphy

 Last night LoveBrownSugar contributor Nike of MyModestMouth covered a fab event with Dark & Lovely. I blogged about their Fashionista Model Search with Essence Magazine on Monday. Hopefully some of you lovelies saw it and attended the live casting call in NYC! In case you didn't here's a brief recap:
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sick Site Spotlight: ObviLux.com

So I have a new online obsession. Today's Sick Site spotlight goes to the young Stanford grads who came up with new shopping application ObviLux.
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Cover Girls: Beyonce for W Magazine

Queen Bey covers W Magazine's July Issue and she looks fierce. I'm always a fan of W Magazine's sexy, sultry shoots (see Rihanna's February 2010 cover). This might be my favorite shoot of her's this summer. We already knew with her 4 album releasing that she would be on everyone's cover this month!
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Ask LBS: White Lace Dresses

A recent wardrobe query came through my inbox that I thought would be helpful for those of you attending events this summer like summer cocktails, weddings and the like. The white trend is big this season, and lace is always a huge hit. 

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Fierce or Foolish: Beyonce Airport Chic in Nice

Queen (or King...whichever you prefer) Bey showed up to an airport in Nice, France donning standout sunnies, a white blazer, black skinnies, peeptoe stilettos and a black fedora. I love a men's-inspired look. Kinda wish she had a cool statement necklace to add the exclamation point to the outfit though.

What do you think of her airport look? Fierce or Foolish

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Flavor of Friday: Natural Hair in the NY Times

The New York Times published an article this week that made me smile. The story, penned by writer Jamila Bey, takes an inside look at the growing resurgence of the fro and the Youtube tutorial trend. She spotlights one of my fave Youtube vloggers Maeling Tapp (also known as NikkiMae2003 or NaturalChica) about the ever-growing natural hair community and her personal influence on up and coming naturals.
“I wanted to contribute to the wealth of information that’s out there,” says Mae about her reasons for joining the online natural community.
Personally I'm super thankful to youtube vloggers like Mae and Kimmaytube, also spotlighted in this article, for taking the painstaking time to document their hair journeys. Also featured was uber popular natural hair blogger CurlyNikki. When I did my big chop, I literally frequented that site 5-7 times a day!

Not only have these women helped me immensely in learning how to properly care for my newly natural hair but they've encouraged countless others to make the switch and embrace their curls. Gotta love that. Check out the full NY Times Article HERE.

What do you think? Have Youtube tutorials helped you embrace something you normally wouldn't? Soundoff below!

Follow LoveBrownSugar | 'Like' LoveBrownSugar | VOTE for LoveBrownSugar (pg. 5) 
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Dark & Lovely Fashionista Model Search

NYC fashionistas, Dark and Lovely has partnered up with Essence Magazine in a nationwide search for the next Dark and Lovely” Fashionista Model Search. They plan to kick off the search with a live casting call in NYC at the Metropolitan Pavillion on Wednesday, June 15th from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM and it’s open to the public. Check out the deets below!
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

LBS Beauty Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects

Ladies, meet my newest love affair. I'm cheating on nail polish with Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail appliques. Yeah, I said it.It's official. They're my undercover lovers. Here's why...
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fierce or Foolish: Tika Sumpter in Tracy Reese

 I absolutely love this look on Tika Sumpter. She showed up to the CFDA Awards yesterday evening donning this Tracy Reese floor length lace number.  I think she looks stunning. I'm always gawking at Tika's beautiful complexion and well-suited makeup look. Might have to reach out to her about her makeup faves. Stay tuned.

What's your verdict? Fierce or Foolish?


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Monday, June 6, 2011

Cover Girls: Jada Pinkett-Smith for UPTOWN Magazine

Those of you who are old school fans of Jada Pinkett back when she was Lena on "A Different World" can sympathize with me on this. I can only dream of looking this fabulous at her age. UPTOWN Magazine released an exclusive cover story with the super mom. Her family is practically entertainment royalty at this point. Gotta love it!
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Kickin' It: Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

This past Sunday, June 5th in NYC, premier champagne company Vueve Clicquot hosted their annual Polo Classic competition. The Vueve Clicquot Polo Classic is an annual charity event held on New York's Governor's Island. It's completely open to the public and folks come out for champagne, picnic fun & people-watching.  I would describe it as a 3 hour version of the Kentucky Derby, with way more champagne. Folks came out in droves decked head to toe in preppy chic, big hats and penny loafers. Check out a few street chic snaps I shot while there:
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FIerce or Foolish: Nicki Minaj at MTV Movie Awards

Nicki Minaj showed up to the black carpet of the MTV Movie Awards donning a black bra, a fitted vest with gold hardware, cropped tan pants and glitter wedges. Love the vest, love the shoes, hate the bare boobies. I'm gonna go with foolish. 

What's your verdict? Fierce or foolish?

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

LoveBrownSugar: Short & Sweet

Like the title suggests, I won't say much. All I'm going to say is that I'm in LOVE with this H&M romper. I tweeted about it the day I bought it and it has been my obsession ever since.

My love flows equally to these Layla Joy wedges I received courtesy the new shoe line. I blogged about them HERE. They're absolutely perfect.

Romper: H&M, Espadrilles: Layla Joy (HERE), Bag: Vintage Coach, Chain: Vintage, Ring: H&M, Watch: Michael Kors

What's your summer obsession?

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Cover Girls: Beyonce for Essence Magazine

Everyone's favorite chart-topping diva Beyonce Knowles is on the cover of Essence Magazine's July 2011 issue. In their summer issue, Essence sits down with Queen Bey for a chit-chat on her year-long hiatus. Don't know about you all, but I can't wait to get into this one. Love how fun and natural she looks on the cover!

Sidebar: Did you all know #feyonce was a trending topic on Twitter yesterday? Some fool spelled fiancé wrong apparently. The Beyonce mania continues...

Thoughts on the cover? Soundoff below!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cover Girls: Zoe Kravitz Covers ASOS Magazine

Vera Wang Princess posterchild and budding socialite/superstar Zoe Kravitz covers the July issue of ASOS Magazine and she looks absolutely gorge!
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