Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cover Girls: Tia Mowry for VIBE Vixen

Tia Mowry is giving "hot mama" on the cover of VIBE Vixen this month, rocking a white blazer and royal blue. Just call her the Memorial Day special. Was anyone else as flabbergasted as I was that Tia and Pooch decided to quit BET's "The Game"? VIBE Vixen has the scoop on her life post-BET and all the amazing things she's doing from her new book "Oh Baby" to her reality show, her new role as an auntie and more. Check it out here!

What do you think of the cover?
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Drop The Dryer: Bantu Knot Out

So last week I introduced you guys to Nikita of My 12 Month Natural Hair Challenge! Here's her very first installation of "Drop The Dryer". Check out how she styles her Bantu Knot Out:

One of my favorite heat-free styles is the bantu knot-out. It's quick, easy, really cute, and maintainable for days at a time. I also like it because it is also a great way to retain moisture. I start my bantu knots by first creating twists with wet or damp hair.

I make about 15 twists (4 at the bottom, 5 in the row above that, 3 at the crown and 3 at the front) and then create a bantu knot out of each twist, which I then secure with a bobby pin. Tie a scarf on your head (I suggest satin or slik) and then put on a satin bonnet over that in case the scarf slips while you sleep. If you have your own hair securing method, please use what works for you.

The next morning, after showering (do not take your bantu knots out pre-shower!), Pull out each knot and separate the twist. Then separate each half into two halves. To get rid of the all of the parts, use your fingers to gently lift your roots (you can use a pick instead if you'd like) making sure to not pull your fingers all the way through.

It's nice and easy, and you can just moisturized with some jojoba oil and shea butter, re-twist and bantu knot at night for the same look the next day. Below are my results:

This style requires no heat, retains moisture and can easily have handbands, clips, and hats incorporated with it. Give it a try and let me know your results!!

- Nikita, My 12 Month Natural Hair Challenge

Have a cute heat-free style you want to share? Send us your pics at DropTheDryer@gmail.com!
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Friday, May 25, 2012

LBS Beauty Review: Carol's Daughter Transitioning 1-2-3

It's here! So if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (username: lovebrownsugar), you know that I recently took the following pic after being sent a new box of Carol's Daughter's Transitioning 1-2-3 Kit.

From My Instagram
Yes, ladies if you're transitioning from relaxed to natural (or already 100% natural), look no further. This the kit for you. The Transitioning 1-2-3 Kit is CD's answer to the two-texture struggle. It claims to contribute to 93% less shedding, healthier scalp and softer strands. But even if you only have one texture, this kit is spot on. Keep reading for the awesomeness...
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fierce or Foolish: Solange at MoMa Garden Party

Last night Solange Knowles (my fave) showed up rocking a fashion-forward ensemble at the MoMa Garden Party. In a leaf-printed Flaminia Saccucci shorts and skirt hybrid, Solange rocked the party with a rhinestone clutch and nude classic pumps. Eclectic, fashion-forward, yet sophisticated.

Thoughts? Would you rock an ensemble like this? Fierce or Foolish?
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Hair Tutorial: LoveBrownSugar & VIBE Vixen

Hey loves! So remember back in January when I got my hair done by the lovely stylists at True Indian Hair? Yes, this post and this post I was rocking that amazing sew-in of Kinky-Curly hair. So I actually filmed that whole process as a segment for VIBE Vixen TV! Check it out below as I walk you through the step-by-step sew-in process:


So I have to say, I was a little nervous while this video was being made. But I'm so happy with how it came out! Stay tuned for more videos about my fashion & beauty adventures on the streets of NYC. I'm just warming up!

Have you ever had hesitations about installing extensions? I wanna know, soundoff below!

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Brunch at Harry's

This past weekend, we sipped mimosa & got #fancy to celebrate the birthday of Jessica of Glamazons Blog. The festivities took place at Harry's in the Financial District. If you're ever there, you must try the Cornflake & Coconut-Crusted French Toast. I mean...foodgasm on a plate.

Jessica looked "glamazing", as she would say in a neon lace dress by Urban Outfitters and a matching neon neckpiece by H&M. I opted for my Marni for H&M maxi dress and Joe Fresh chain.

Jessica & I
Good times were had by all...

Me & Makeda of The Glamazon Diaries

Chris of Fresher Than Chris, Sandrine Charles

Jessica enjoying her day
Happy Birthday Jess!

P.S. For my makeup look I opted for slightly bronzed cheeks, bright yet neutral eyes and a hot pink lip!

Where do you guys head for brunch on the weekends? I'm a foodie at heart. Tell me the name and location of your fave brunch locale.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Introducing...The "Drop The Dryer" Series

Many of you, when I did My Blowout Month post, inquired about the best ways to maintain length. My perpetual answer to that is heat-free styling! It's one of the main tips I gave within that post about how I've been able to grow my hair consistently and it's also just a good rule of thumb for anyone transitioning, currently natural and even relaxed. Heat styling does serious damage if you don't use the right protection, so instead of having to go through all that...chile, drop the dryer!

Nikita of My 12 Month Natural Hair Challenge

A good friend of mine, Nikita of My 12 Month Natural Hair Challenge has agreed to pop over to LoveBrownSugar weekly and give us an update on her amazing heat-free project. Starting this month, Nikita has vowed to go 12 whole months without any heat styling. That means no press & curl, no blowouts & no flat irons! Drastic, right?

Nikita drops her dryer

She even had to have a Parting Ceremony for her heat-styling tools. Complete with white wine! Yes, it's that serious. Nikita will be giving us an update on cool ways to style your hair heat-free, product reviews, hair tips & more. She's a girl on-the-go, so she's all about quick & easy hairstyles.

Nikita's Bantu Knots

Even better? We want YOU all to participate! Send pics of YOUR fabulous heat-free hairstyles to DropTheDryer@gmail.com for a weekly shoutout on the site. Make sure to include the products you used to achieve your look. Can't wait to see your submissions!

Everyone please join me in welcoming Nikita to the LoveBrownSugar fam. Drop her a note in the comments section!
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Color-Block Party: 5 Ways To Rock It For Work & Play

Nanette Lepore S/S 2012
Summer is upon us and you know what that means? Time to incorporate explosive colors into the wardrobe! Yes, ladies, long gone are the days of black, navy and gray. With summer 2012 trends being all about neons and pastels, there's no room for neutrals in your arsenal.

Last weekend I attended the Rising Affluent conference to speak on a panel about branding & social media. While there, I was greeted by some super chic women in business casual brights that made me do a double take. Take a cue from these fashion-forward mavens on how to incorporate color into your wardrobe:

1. Skirt The Issue

This young lady decided to incorporate a bright pastel pink skirt into her attire. She topped off her look with a patterned silk blouse and rounded shades...

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

LBS Beauty: My First Glossybox

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of uncovering my very first Glossybox! For those of you who don't know, Glossybox is the global leader in beauty boxes. Each month, they send a beauty box to your home, including five of the latest and most exciting beauty products from around the world. Before this month, Glossybox had only been available in the UK and select other countries but now they're officially shipping to the US! If you've ever heard of Birchbox, this is similar but Glossybox's products are more high end. Check it out:

First off, the packaging is simply delightful. I'm very much a "packaging is everything" type of girl so when I opened the box, I gasped! So amaze!

In each Glossybox is a really cute postcard thanking you for subscribing and also a list of all the cool products in the box. They also included a "Trend Guide" which was really cool because it explained all the amazing trends in different parts of the world. From Greece to South Africa to Japan. I loved it.

Whoop! Full size products! Can you believe? Are you gagging like I was? Inside my box were samples from Erno Laszio, C.O. Bigelow shampoo, Cargo EyeBronzer, Kryolan High Gloss Lip Shine, OPI nail lacquer and Basq eye gel. Fun!

I'm excited to give these products a try. I'll make sure to post reviews of my favorites. If you're a beauty junkie interested in signing up to receive Glossybox, subscriptions start at $21/month. Go to Glossybox.com for more information.


Today from 3PM-4PM EST I'll be co-hosting a Twitter party with the Glossybox folks. Make sure you're following me @LoveBrownSugar and @Glossybox_US to participate in the chat. Today is all about hair! Send me your hair questions via Twitter with the hashtag #GLOSSYchat - can't wait to tweet you guys!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Flavor of Friday: Met Gala Style, Tamu's Threads & Events

Happy friday folks! Here's the rundown of this week's news, events & fab stuff to discuss:

Red Carpet Haute

My lovely companions at Glamazons Blog gathered up a haute rundown of the best fashions at the Met Gala. In case you missed the livestream of the red carpet, check out their picks for Best Dressed. They hit the nail on the head with their post featuring Solange, Beyonce, Chanel Iman & more.

Who's That Girl?

I heart Tamu! If you don't know her, get into her. StyleLikeU recently did a video featuring one of my fave street style photographers Tamu McPherson of All The Pretty Birds. Her blog is amazing and she's such a sweetheart (I've run into her many a time during NY Fashion Week and she's absolutely adorbs). Check out the video HERE - props to Huffington Post BV for posting it.

Be There or Be...Lame

Ok folks, some important events you NEED to attend if you're in the NYC area. (Non-NYC folks, I'm working on some cool ways to include national citywide events, so stay tuned!)

I'm speaking! Yes, yours truly will be on a panel of experts for the above young professional conference Rising Affluent. I attended this last year (blogged about it here - a must-read!) and had an amazing time. It's so great being in the company of other young professionals who are driven and connected. It's also awesome to hear all about entrepreneurship, branding, and success from a panel of experts and influencers. I would encourage anyone with hopes and dreams in the NYC area to attend. You won't regret it.

My curly friends Natasha of Asili Glam and the Around the Way Curls crew are hosting a fab natural hair meetup next Thursday, May 17th called Curl Daze! There will be cocktails (by Ciroc, 21+ only, sorry youngin's), there will be goody bags, and there will be lots of natural curls! Curly or not, you don't want to miss it. "It's a party, it's a party it's a partayyy" *Waka Flocka voice*

Ok that's it for this week's updates. Have a faboosh weekend y'all. And hit me up in the comments if I missed anything!
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cece's Curls: My Blowout Month & 3 Tips for Growth

So as you guys know, I've been natural now for almost a year and a half. I know I don't nearly spend enough time talking about my hair journey on here, but I promise I'll get better at it. I did my Big Chop in November 2010 and since then I've restricted myself to heat styling only once every 4-6 months and to continuously doing protective styles. Here's where I started:

November 2010

I have to say, my steady regimen of low heat and protective styles has been working! I wanted to show you guys some comparison shots from my very first blowout in October 2011 (one year post Big Chop) and my most recent blowout in April 2012. My hair has grown out alot!

Above is a pic of my very first blowout on natural hair in October 2011, just 6 months ago. I got it styled at the Hair Rules Salon with head stylist Dickey. See here for that post with video!

Above is a picture of my second blowout & press (April 2012). I took a few "length check" photos. I'll share those with you soon.

Updo on pressed hair (April 2012). This was about a week after my press. I got tired of wearing it out in pin curls so I pulled into this updo for a Saturday of shopping. I'll do a follow up post with more pics of this style as well.

Bantu Knot out on blown out hair (May 2012)

I have more pics to share in some follow-up posts but my main reason for sharing this post is to encourage all of you out their in the beginning or middle of your hair journeys. Your hair will grow, trust me! My hair is now the longest it's ever been in my life and I'd have to attribute that to the following three things:

 3 Best Practices for Natural Hair Growth 

1. Limit heat-styling.

It's hard, yes. But you can do it! As someone who has been addicted on & off to the creamy crack, press & curls,  and blowdrying, I know it's a hard habit to beat. But letting your natural curls grow without applying heat is a great way to protect them from damage and breakage. Do a heat-free challenge for a few months and you'll begin to notice a clear difference in your hair's texture and strength. And there are TONS of cute styles to get into that don't involve heat at all.

2. Do more protective styling.

I actually just wrote a whole post for Carol's Daughter Transitioning Movement site about this very principle. Protective styling isn't just braids, weaves and wigs. Believe it or not, rocking a turban out one day is a protective style! Wearing your hair in a loose bun is another protective style. As long as your ends are being covered and shielded from the harsh elements, you're protective styling. And more of it leads to less breakage and therefore more length retention.

3. Condition, condition, condition.

I live by my weekly deep conditioner. Whichever deep conditioner you choose, try to make sure it incorporates natural ingredients that will nourish your hair and scalp. You can also make DIY deep conditioners (there are tons of YouTube vids for this). Making sure your hair is properly conditioned is the best way to assure proper length retention.

Any other tips for growing out natural hair? Share them in the comments section!

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Winner: Bon Bon Vie Tote

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Bon Bon Vie tote giveaway on Friday! You guys said you'd rock your tote with everything from turquoise trousers to tank dresses. Too fab. Love it! As promised, we have a winner for this amazing gift...
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LoveBrownSugar Feature: HuffPost Black Voices Top Instagrammer

Hey folks! If you guys already follow me on Facebook and on Twitter, there's another social network you should be stalking me on - Instagram! According to HuffPo Black Voices Style & Beauty editor Julee Wilson, I'm a top fashion & beauty Instagrammer!

I'm so proud that my random nail art snaps and Fit Room Flicks are getting me somewhere in life. Whoop! Check out the full list of amazing folks featured on HuffPo Black Voices HERE. And check out a few of my recent style snaps below:

My Sally Hansen Salon Effects manicure in Tri-bal It On

My travel story in this month's UPTOWN Magazine

My fave new bag from Handbag Heaven

Are you guys on Instagram? What's your username? List it below so we can be BFFs!

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Friday, May 4, 2012

LoveBrownSugar Giveaway: Bon Bon Vie Tote

Happy Friday y'all! To celebrate my return to the blogosphere (and just because I love you guys), I'm hosting a super chic giveaway with clothing & accessories line Bon Bon Vie!

If you haven't heard of Bon Bon Vie, get into them. Founded by chic web developer & designer Shari Neal, what started out as a Connecticut-based tee company is quickly blossoming into a lifestyle brand. I've seen her super cute "Brown Skin Lady" tees all over the blogosphere and I'm proud to collaborate with Shari on this giveaway.

According to the owner, "Bon Bon Vie is a brand that’s accessible, positive, and created to encourage people to 'live the good life.' The Bon Bon Vie lifestyle isn’t necessarily about material possessions, but rather self-love, pursuing your dreams, and celebrating your own personal joy."

Love it!

If you think Bon Bon Vie is amaze like I do, leave a comment below explaining how you would rock the following tote from their accessory collection:

One winner will be selected at random and announced on Monday, May 7th.

BONUS: For EXTRA entries into the contest, tweet the following message: "Loving this @ShariBonBonVie giveaway on @LoveBrownSugar http://ow.ly/aHSVd #totesamaze"

Good luck!!

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