Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cover Girls: Tracee Ellis Ross for UPTOWN Magazine

The lovely fashionista, actress extraordinaire (and my BFF in my head), Tracee Ellis Ross graces the cover of UPTOWN's March issue looking absolutely flawless, per usual. The hair, the makeup (remember when she spilled her beauty secrets?), the look. I'm obsessed!

She better WERK! Leopard, louboutins and a chic up-do? Three of my favorite things! Can't wait to read the full story in this month's UPTOWN. And look at this adorbs .gif of Tracee's quirks on set:

Loves it! Do you?

 Source: Necole Bitchie
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Confessions of a Shopaholic: LLULO

I'm back with a new fashion obsession! This week it's all about indie label LLULO. They make tees, sweatshirts, and brooches that are peppered with cultural patterns and truly make a statement. Get into it:

African-American Sweatshirt, $20.00
Now I'm not a big sweatshirt or t-shirt kinda gal. Unless I'm just vegging out at home, or headed to the gym, you won't normally find me in a sweatshirt or a tee. BUT, when LLULO offered to send me some of their super cool pieces, I couldn't refuse!

Ankara Brooches, $12/each

LLULO's mission is to "sprinkle a bit of the Motherland all over the world". Founder Michelle Olomojobi started the T-shirt and accessory brand after a brief trip to a fast fashion store. After sifting through overpriced tees, she decided to take matters into her own hands and add a cultural twist to her tees by placing a patch of ankara fabric on them. Their mission is to "make Ankara wearable in every way, shape, and form."

I fell in love with their "African-American" sweatshirt.

They shaped the African continent out of the American flag design for this piece. Clever, right?

But wait! There's more. LLULO also works closely with non-profit organization Echoes of A Kora. The non-profit supports children in Africa by providing them with school supplies. Gotta love fashion that gives back!

This MotherLand Ankara sweatshirt above is next up on my list of purchases. Love it!

According to LLULO, they're not just a brand, "we are also a movement trying to make a difference in the world." I can't wait to see more from this brand. 

Do you love it? Would you wear this?

Check out their Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Monday, February 27, 2012

Sick Site Spotlight: Meinto.com

Today's Sick Site Spotlight goes out to innovative e-retailer Meinto.com. Among the hundreds of thousands of e-commerce sites on the web, I'm keen on highlighting those that offer something just a little bit different. Meinto.com is an international site aimed at bringing regional fashion to the masses.

What makes them special and "cool", if you will, is that they've found a clever way to connect people across the globe with local boutiques in various cities. Here's a bit about the site:

"Meinto.com is all about putting local fashion on the international map. We partner with local, specialty boutiques that inspire global fashion by offering them a solid, online and social presence."

It's not easy for small businesses like local boutiques to achieve widespread scale. Enter Meinto.com. They allow you to purchase amazing indie labels directly from the boutiques that source them, which is a win-win because the boutiques have access to customers who truly love their clothes but don't necessarily live in their cities. 

Here are a few amazing spring pieces I'minto (Saw what I did there? Hah!)

They offer some amazing pieces at pretty affordable prices. Meinto.com also has a competition taking place until March 12th on their Facebook page. They're gifting over $1000 worth of clothing from their site. Enter their contest on the Meinto Facebook page here.

Would you shop Meinto.com?

This post is sponsored by Meinto.com. Opinions expressed are my own and not those of the company. 
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fashion Countdown: 84th Annual Oscar Awards

If you guys follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, I'm sure you saw some of my live coverage of the Oscars red carpet. We saw greens and golds, natural 'fros and sleek updos, and every silhouette imaginable. What I loved most about this year's Oscars red carpet was the incredible diversity - from color to body type. There were amazing fashion & beauty looks on the carpet for any shape and size. Here were my top 10 favorites:

10. Melissa McCarthy

How amazing is it to see curvy girls represented on the carpet? Though I'm a fan of the silhouette and the detailing on this Marina Rinaldi dress, I'm not the hugest fan of this color. I wish it was richer - like a navy or black. Even a deep fuchsia might have put the oomph into this look. Other than that, it fits her gracefully.

9. Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie was giving legs all day in Atelier Versace at the Oscars! I'm actually more in love with the structure at the top of her dress than I am with the slit. It's a classy look.
8. Emma Stone

Emma Stone wore a deep fuschia/red Giambattista Valli dress on the red carpet and it was absolutely gorgeous. I kinda wish the waist was bejeweled though.

7. Jessica Chastain

At first glance, I wasn't a huge fan of this McQueen dress. But upon closer inspection, I'm actually a fan of its intricacies and detailing. I also liked that she kept the neckwear at bay because of how strong the dress details are. I wish she had accessorized with long dangling chandelier earrings though. And hair up!

6. Stacy Kiebler

George Clooney's date Stacy Kiebler really stole the show on the red carpet in a Marchesa metallic dress. Nobody's dress looked even remotely similar and she really stood out. Also loved how she rocked a slight wave in her hair to accent the dress.

Beauty Bonus: Celebrity stylist Melanie Inglesis used Biore’s new Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser to prep Stacy Keibler’s skin for the big night.

5. Gwyneth Paltrow

I really loved the clean, sleek lines of Gwyneth's Tom Ford gown. And I loved it even more with this amazing floor-length cape. A daring move for the Oscars and she pulled it off flawlessly.

4. Viola Davis

I thought Viola's green Vera Wang gown was an elegant pop of color on the red carpet. And can we talk about her amazing natural hair? I'm beyond elated to see natural 'fros on the red carpet at the Oscars. Amaze!

3. Milla Jovovich

This one shouldered Elie Saab beaded gown is so graceful on Milla. I'm a sucker for asymmetrical looks. And the red lip gives it a pop!

2.  Octavia Spencer

I love how Tadashi Shoji gowns compliment Octavia's figure so well. The design is beautifully cinched in the waist to really play up her curves. And this color and beading combination has just the right amount of detail. Love it! (P.S. I CRIED when Octavia took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress - so proud!)

1. Jennifer Lopez

Not only did she dress to absolute perfection, but her body looks amazing! Jennifer Lopez truly killed it in this Zuhair Murad gown. And she kept it classy and elegant with a slick updo.

Do you agree with my list? Who were your faves?
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Friday, February 24, 2012

Confessions of a Shopaholic: House of Deréon S/S 2012

After 8 years in the fashion biz, Beyoncé & Tina Knowles' ready-to-wear line House of Deréon is still going strong. Introduced to the chic streets in 2004, I've been following the line since it's humble beginnings. In fact, I coined the term "Fierce or Foolish" for LoveBrownSugar's celebrity fashion posts, based on this House of Deréon lookbook post way back in 2009 - isn't that crazy? Good times...

Yes, post baby Blue Ivy, Beyonce is back on the grind releasing projects and I have to say I'm impressed at this season's lineup. I scooped these images from the House of Dereon S/S 2012 collection over at Concrete Loop (thanks Angel!)

Take a look at the pieces:

I'm absolutely loving the pattern-lined pink blazer and the sorbet-colored cutout dress. Give me NOW!

Head to www.HouseofDereon.com for information about the collection!

Thoughts? Fierce or Foolish?

BONUS: Check out the Lookbook Video below:

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Silver Jeans Co & Creme De La Creme Giveaways

It's time to announce the winners of this month's giveaways! See below to find out if you won this time around.

Silver Jeans Co Giveaway

Thank you SO much for who participated in my Silver Jeans Co competition. Unfortunately, I didn't win the Style Wars challenge but I throughly appreciate EVERYONE who voted, shared, tweeted and 'liked' my posts! You guys are so awesome. Congrats to Tiffany of Fatshopaholic for taking home the win.

Even though I didn't win, three of you still do! Here are the lucky winners going home with a free pair of Silver Jeans:

Day 1 - Nicole Worthy
Day 2 - Hanifah Fields
Day 3 - Rashida Selise

Email luvbrownsugar@gmail.com with your Name and Mailing Address to claim your prize!

Winners have 7 days to claim prizes. Winners were randomly selected via Random.org. LBS did not receive monetary compensation for this giveaway courtesy Silver Jeans Co. 

Creme De La Creme Giveaway

On Valentine's day, I announced that Creme de la Creme Hair would be gifting one reader with a bundle of premium extensions. Congratulations to LBS reader Monique! Email with your Name and Mailing Address to claim your prize.

Winner has 7 days to claim prize. Winner randomly selected via Random.org. LBS did not receive monetary compensation for this giveaway courtesy Creme de la Creme Hair.

Thanks everyone for participating and stay tuned for the awesome giveaways in store for March!
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

LBS Beauty Tutorial: Milkmaid Twist Pin-Up

Last week I posted this outfit that I wore to NYFW Day 3. After posting it, I was inspired by one of LoveBrownSugar's Facebook friends Juliette (hey girl!) to post this tutorial about how I did my Milkmaid Twisted Messy Pin Up Thingy. Yes, I made up that name. No, it's not hard to do.

As a disclaimer, my hair was "assisted" for this look by a sew-in weave that I had in for about 4 weeks as a protective style. I used the Kinky-Curly textured hair from True Indian Hair in 14-inch and had it sew-in so that my edges were left out all around. That allowed me alot of versatility for styles like this.

What You'll Need:

Fine Tooth Comb
Your Favorite Styler (Gel or Curl Creme)
Hair Pins
Bobby Pins

Step 1:  The first step is to split hair into sections and moisturize before applying your favorite styler. Curly girls, if you have shorter length hair, consider doing a blowout for maximum stretch. I applied MorrocanOil Curl Defining Creme to two sections of my hair.

Step 2: Use a fine-toothed comb to separate the hair neatly into two sections. Starting from the temple, flat twist each section going backward towards the nape. Twist until the very ends of the hair. Use hair pins to conceal strays.

Step 3: Take both ends of the chunky twists and pin them to either side of your head at the nape. Use bobby pins to secure. I'm actually cool with my "beady b's" but if slick hair is your thing, this would be a good time to spritz your edges with water and lay them down with gel. Sitting with a satin scarf on for a few minutes after applying water & gel will help set your edges as well. I recommend Eco-Styler gel.

Voila! That's the finished look.

UPDATE (2/29/12) - Check out how Lexi of Curls, Coils & Kinks rocks this style three different ways!

Have you tried this style? What do you do differently?
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NYFW Fall/Winter 2012 Runway Report

Hey loves! I whipped up a Runway Recap for VIBE Vixen featuring all my favorite shows during New York Fashion Week. My favorite collections came from designers like Rachel Roy, Nanette Lepore, Tracy Reese and a slew of others. Here's a snippet from the article:

New York Fashion Week came and went like a winter boo during cuffing season. Though we’re already runway-stalking London Fashion Week, we can’t help but stop and reflect on all the amazing American collections we drooled over for Fall/Winter 2012. In true Vixen fashion, we laughed, we cried, we gagged and we even broke a few stilettos running in and out of the #NYFW tents for a taste of next season’s trends. We saw everything from 70′s retro glam to sultry sophisticated chic. 

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Rachel Roy Fall/Winter 2012 Collection

On Monday, I had the pleasure of attending Rachel Roy's Fall/Winter 2012 collection presentation at the Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. Not only was the collection absolutely amazing (when is it NOT amazing?), I also bumped into some awesome VIPs. Here's a recap:

Rachel's collection was dominated by a rich color palette of greens, plums and grays with subtle pops of jewel tones like cobalt blue and mustard.

She showed some chic and tailored must-haves for fall like fur vests, chunky knit cropped sweaters and ready-to-wear dresses. Also loved the accessories; wide brimmed felt hats wee definitely a recurring trend this season.

Designer Rachel Roy was on hand giving interviews, sporting her signature smoky eye and red lip.

Socialite Olivia Palermo showed up to support her friend Rachel. Was anyone else addicted to MTV's The City? I kinda want them to revive that show.

Rachel chatted it up with runway extraordinaire Miss Jay Alexander.

Beyonce's stylist Ty Hunter was in the building taking a look at the collection. Queen Bey may be sporting one of these looks sometime next fall. If she does, you saw it first here!

 I bumped into Ebony.com Style editor Geneva Thomas sporting her signature red lip.

Angela Simmons was in the building rocking a body-conscious Rachel Roy dress, which looked amazing on her.

Angela and I snapped a pic before I headed off to my next show.

Rachel's presentation was amazing. Can't wait to see what she has in store next season!

For more pics from the Rachel Roy F/W 2012 presentation, check the LoveBrownSugar Facebook page HERE.
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LoveBrownSugar Chic: Fur & Neon

Forgot to post this little outfit I wore on Monday! I rocked my favorite vintage faux fur coat, H&M black pants, H&M ring and snake cuff, ALDO lace-up boots and my Cambridge Satchel.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kickin' It: Texture on the Runway Recap

If you guys follow me on Twitter you probably saw me yapping away last Saturday about #texturerunway - the event hosted by NaturallyCurly.com to celebrate curls for New York Fashion Week. I was chosen as one of the digital influencers to recap the event via Twitter for the livestream hosted on TextureontheRunway.com 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kickin' It: Robert Verdi's Luxe Lounge

This past Saturday, I was invited up to stylist Robert Verdi's Luxe Lab to experience his biannual Fashion Week Retreat. He invites editors, bloggers, stylists and influencers into his amazing suite in midtown Manhattan to experience an array of his favorite picks from beauty must-haves to fashion's newest apparel and accessories collections. Here's a quick snapshot of my time there:

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

LoveBrownSugar Chic: NYFW Day 3

Here's the outfit I rocked on Saturday for New York Fashion Week. I went to countless events rocking this outfit on Saturday, so you'll be seeing alot of this dress in upcoming posts about my fashion week festivities:

Leather Jacket: Vintage. Dress: Forever 21. Necklace: Street Vendor. Bag: H&M. Boots: ALDO. Bracelets: Street Vendor. Watch: Michael Kors. Ring: H&M.

I went with Urban Decay eyeshadow in Half Baked for a golden glow on my eyes. For the lips, I opted for MAC lipstick in Ruby Woo.

The dress was a big hit on Saturday. Can you believe I paid $29.80 for it at Forever 21? Best purchase all February!

More fashion week posts to come. Keep up with my live NYFW updates on Twitter. Follow me @LoveBrownSugar
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