Monday, March 26, 2012

Natural vs. Fake Hair Debate: Weigh In

Hey guys! I'm ecstatic and bubbling over to announce my latest story. A few months ago, the beauty editor at Refinery29 tapped me to ask 5 of my fab friends about their hair journeys, regimens and how they feel about the natural vs. relaxed, fake vs. real and everything in-between debate. This week, they posted the article and it's been stirring up tons of interesting commentary.

Here's a snippet about the story:

At the root of every bad hair day is a desire to achieve the highest level of hair amazingness possible...and the subsequent failure to meet those expectations. We always want what we can’t have, so we set ourselves up for disappointment when our strands can’t live up to our high hair hopes. We all fall prey to mane envy, and with that comes the desire to enhance — whether it be through straightening, coloring, cutting, or adding extensions.
Photo by Erin Yamagata

There’s been an interesting debate brewing recently over what "natural" hair actually is and whether hair enhancements like wigs, weaves, and extensionsplay a misleading role in how we define beauty these days. Is wearing your hair natural “better” than wearing extensions? What exactly gets everyone so riled up when a woman chooses to wear fake hair?

We found five real, stylish girls who have all dabbled with faux hair to answer those questions and more. Read on for their insightful opinions on this hot-button issue, then weigh in with your own thoughts on the “natural or not” debate.

What are your thoughts on this debate? What side are you on and why?
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Cover Girls: Angela Simmons for Ladygunn Magazine

Angela Simmons steals the spotlight in this month's issue of LadyGunn Magazine. Though I've never picked up an issue, I might be heading to the store to grab one. These photos of Angela are gorgeous.

Love the playful texture of the editorial...

And the hair is flowing and radiant per usual. Loves it! 

BONUS: Just found this super cute video of Angela, her stylist Kanayo and her makeup artist Angel making over an NYC subway rider for BET's Rip The Runway 2012. Check it out below!

Image Source: TheYBF
Video Source: BET.com
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Last Chance! Refinery29's Most Stylish Hood Contest

It's officially the LAST day for the Refinery29 contest I told you guys about two weeks ago! I really need your votes to take home a win. Just click on the picture below, go to the 'Popular Contestants' tab and click the heart in the left hand corner over my picture.

If I win this contest with Refinery 29 and luxury retailer Cole Haan, I'll officially win an editorial on Refinery29.com, a Cole Haan wardrobe and FREE NYC transit access for a YEAR! This would mean so much to me, and would really help me make some improvements to LoveBrownSugar.com if I win. Not having to worry about NYC transit fees would be a life-altering benefit for me this year, and would help me bring you guys more amazing content, giveaways, and posts.

Click on the 'Most Popular Contestants' tab. Check the heart in the left hand corner and login with your Facebook account to vote!

Photo by Ugonna Igweatu
Thanks in advance guys!!
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LBS Beauty: All In the Pleat

Yesterday, I did an outfit post "All in The Pleat" and promised to post a mini how-to on how to get my beauty look. There are a few main hair & makeup essentials I used to achieve the look. Below is a break down of the products and how I used them. I promise, when I get the hang of this video thing, I'll start recording these.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

LoveBrownSugar Chic: All In The Pleat

I was playing around in my room taking test shots before snapping this outfit. Two of my recent finds. Two new wardrobe staples - the tribal top and the pleated skirt.

So happy I can finally get my hair up in a top knot. I used the sock bun method. Tutorial coming soon on how I do mine.

Hair & Makeup

I went for a shimmery eye and a matte red lip. Tomorrow I'm going to post a mini how-to on products I used to achieve this look so stay tuned.


Last week I got minx done at Channing in the City's 2 Year Anniversary Party. The lovely ladies of Nail Taxi hooked me up. My first time getting a full set of minx and I really like it!

The Look

I paired the look with my favorite jewelry and a pair of wedge booties.

Top: Forever 21 (similar one for under $20 here). Skirt: H&M (similar one here and cognac version here for only $64). Wedges: Forever 21 (similar here for only $40). Watch: Michael Kors. Wrap Bracelet: Linea Pelle.

Have you voted for me yet? Click my picture below and go to the 'Popular Contestants' tab to vote!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Fab Five: Amanda Miller

You guys may remember seeing today's subject Amanda Miller as one of my very first Get Like Me interviewees back in March of 2010. As the Senior Fashion Market Editor at Saks 5th Ave, Amanda exudes chic. I mean, when you're directing the trends and buying decisions at a mega retailer like Saks, you kind of have to exude style.

I'm pleased to introduce a new series The Fab Five, highlighting five amazing ways to wear one killer piece. This first rendition is guest edited by none other than Amanda Miller! Check it out below:

As the Fashion Market Editor at Saks Fifth Avenue, I am a girl who still LOVES to play dress up in my closet. Whenever I leave a store with a new item I automatically daydream about different ways I will rock it. I usually love to buy transitional pieces that I can wear from spring to fall. One of my most recent purchases is this blackground floral print dress from H&M ($24.95). Here are 5 different ways I would wear this:

Vest: Saks Fifth Avenue Astrakhan Vest. Shoes: Christian Louboutin. Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples. Earrings: H&M

When it starts to get a bit colder a few great outerwear pieces are essential, especially in New York. I have this Astrakhan vest from Saks Fifth Avenue Collection that I love to wear with just about everything.  

I would wear this over the dress with printed stilettos (and black tights depending on the weather). This is cute enough for work and afterwork drinks.

Leather Jacket: Elie Tahari. Shoes: Jimmy Choo. Leggings: Wolford. Handbag: DVF

To transition this dress into early fall when the weather just starts to get a little crisp in the morning, I would wear this back to my Elie Tahari black leather baseball style jacket. 

I would probably go no hosiery for September, but when it gets a bit colder I would wear this with black opaque tights and rock this at work.

Blazer: Elie Tahari blazer. Earrings: Vintage. Ring: H&M. Clutch: Nancy Gonzalez. Wedges: Sam Edelman.

If I want to be more casual a great go-to item in my wardrobe is my Elie Tahari blazer.
 I would throw this over the dress and wear it with comfortable Sam Edelman wedges for a trip to the park in the Fall.

Trench: Viktor and Rolf for H&M. Flats: Jimmy Choo. Handbag: Elliot Luca. Earrings: Vintage.

It seems that Spring may have finally sprung, so I love pairing this Viktor & Rolf trench coat for H&M that I got a few years ago (one of my favorite things in my closet) over this dress. 

Mixing floral print with the defined waist trench coat is ultra feminine and I can wear it back to my Saks Fifth Avenue black ballet flats for a comfortable Sunday brunch.

Skirt: J Crew. Wedges: Boutique 9. Bag: Rebecca Minkoff. Earrings: Vintage

Summer is by far my favorite season (probably because I am a summer baby) and I absolutely LOVE dressing for the summer. One of my favorite tricks is making a dress into a different silhouette, so here I put my dress on with a chambray J. Crew skirt over it.  

This gives the illusion of a knit top. I would wear this with my new Boutique 9 white wedges for a summer date night.

Would you rock your dress this way? Any other tips/tricks for getting mileage out of this piece?

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cover Girls: Melanie Fiona Covers VIBE Vixen

On the heels of her new album release, The MF Life, R&B songstress Melanie Fiona covers VIBE Vixen.  She's giving off-kilter glam with this melon sorbet dress and menswear tie. Absolutely love her style. VIBE Vixen chatted with the Canadian sensation about her new album, her emotional highs & lows, heartbreak and self-confidence:

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3 Ways To Simplify Your Life

This week, I've been commissioned by the lovely folks at Sprint to expand on the ways I simplify my life. As a blogger with a full-time job, sometimes burnout is inevitable. At the moment it's 3AM and yes, I'm still blogging. But for anyone who wears more than one hat; whether you have extracurricular activities, children, or a small business - life can be daunting at times. Here are 3 simple ways I simplify my life:

1. Prepare.

Preparation is the antithesis of confusion. Though it may be hard at times (especially if you don't have a personal assistant!) preparing everything you need for the coming days/weeks can make all the difference. I once read a book about efficiency and time management, and one of the key takeways was about "batching" tasks. That means doing a whole lot of one specific thing, all at one time. Bloggers, for example, can take 3 - 4 hours out of their weekend to just draft up and schedule all posts for the remainder of the week, instead of spending two hours each day on them. That's essentially batching. And it helps!

2. Write things down.

"I know I have to do something at 5pm tonight but I can't quite remember what..." Sound familiar? Simplify your busy schedule by writing things down! Whether it's oldschool with a pen & paper or digitally on your iPad, writing down to-do lists and checklists can really help you remain in control. If you're forgetful like me, this is key.

3. Know your limit.

The hardest thing for me to do, when I was in college, was saying "No". Whether it was a friend who needed to vent for an hour, a group member slacking on their work that needed some extra "help", or an event invite sitting in my inbox. I always felt like whatever was asked, I could do. Not true.

Knowing your own limits can truly help you avoid potential pitfalls and will essentially simplify your life. Sometimes you need a day to yourself. And that's ok. The sooner you realize it, the faster you can take the time you need to re-energize and conquer your complicated life.

How do you keep it simple? Leave your tips in the comments section.

Sprint is the only national carrier that has truly Unlimited data for all phones while on the Sprint network with the Everything Data plan. No throttling, no metering and no overages. Plus you get Unlimited text and calling to any mobile. It’s the simple plan that allows you to use data on your phone the way it should be used. Visit http://bit.ly/xK6WDo
Compensation was provided by Sprint via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sprint.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

LBS Luxe List: Top 10 Statement Jewels For Spring

There's nothing I love better in the spring & summer than a simple maxi dress, a great transitional jacket in denim or leather and amazing accessories to top it off. It's the ultimate fool-proof ensemble! The coolest thing about a statement piece, is that it does the talking for you. Here are 10 conversation pieces you should add to your arsenal:

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Flavor of Friday: Rihanna's Line, DVF for Gap Kids & More

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Cover Girls: Solange Knowles for Time Out NY

Solange graces the cover of this week's Time Out NY spring fashion issue and she exudes natural glamour. Solo rocked her signature bold prints, flawless makeup and natural hair.

About her fashion sense, she told TONY "I’ve been clear I just want to express myself. I’m really appreciative for the love and respect [from the fashion community], but I just want to do the fun shit,” she said. “I’m a lot more interested in style than fashion—style is what makes us who we are.”

She also talked about her upcoming music release, which she hopes will be a timeless record.

“I hope 25 years from now, my son can look at the pop stars [of today] and have that same feeling that I have when I listen to Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey records, and experience that timelessness of just good songs.”

She's giving me old school chic in this photo! I can't take!

Check her out over at Time Out NY giving life! Will you be picking up her album this summer?
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

LBS Luxe List: 10 Spring Shoe Styles I Adore

The weather is warming up here on the East Coast! You know what that means. Time for rising hemlines and open toe shoes! This week, I'm giving you guys a taste of what I'm excited for in stores this season. Look out for my LBS Luxe List Spring Fashion guides all week long, from my favorite carry-alls to the best spring bling! As a shoe fanatic, I had to start with footwear. So here are the Top 10 Spring Shoes that I can't wait to slip on:

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5 Ways To Be Free & Live Life Without Worry

Happy Wednesday guys! So I've been commissioned by the wonderful folks at Sprint to share with you all how I live life worry-free. Here are my top five ways to take the edge off when things in life are getting a little crazy:

1. Keep Inspiration Nearby

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a whole series about How To Create a Vision Board. Having inspirational images, quotes and written goals nearby can instantly make your current situation seem less of an issue and more like preparation for attaining your goals. Don't have time to make a vision board? Check out websites and even twitter streams that are dedicated to inspiring daily.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Announcing: New Jersey Full Figured Fashion Week

Calling all curvy fashionistas! New Jersey Full Figured Fashion Week is coming up on March 30th and you don't want to miss it. Filled with celebrity performances, VIP appearances and (most important) stylish threads, the NJFFFWeek itinerary is shaping up to be a must-see. Here's what to expect:

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Refinery 29 Contest: NYC's Most Stylish Hood

Hey guys! Ok so I know that I've asked you guys quite a few times to vote for me, in different competitions. The last one I competed in was the Silver Jeans competition and I got so incredibly close to winning, but unfortunately I lost in the last stretch. Well, if you know anything about me, you know that I never give up. I've been dying to take home a win in one of these style competitions, so with slight hesitation (and a little fear of failure), I entered myself again.

Refinery 29 just launched a new contest with luxury retailer Cole Haan and they're looking for NYC's Most Stylish Hood. They asked contestants to submit pictures that represent their 'hood for a chance to win an editorial on Refinery29, a Cole Haan wardrobe and FREE NYC transit access for a YEAR! Considering how much I pay in transit fees each month, I couldn't pass up this opportunity.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Flavor of Friday: Styled By June, Spring Fashion & More

Happy Friday folks! This week was hectic readjusting to NYC's fast pace. Boy do I miss the sunny, laid back steaze of San Fran. Anyway, here's the tee on style & beauty this week, from some of my favorite sites...

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