Friday, November 30, 2012

Flavor of Friday: Books, Biker Jackets & Beauty

Happy Friday y'all! As the month of "Thanks" is officially closing, I must say I'm thankful and proud to be part of a community of bloggers who go beyond the "blogger" title and truly inspire with their power moves. They're multi-talented, entrepreneurial, smart, and beautiful. An amazing representation of what women of color can do and who we can be. So, this "Flavor of Friday" is dedicated to them.

You Go, Girl

HUGE Congratulations to my girl Curly Nikki on the launch of her newest endeavor. Ms. Nikki Walton is now officially an author! Her new book "Better Than Good Hair" is now available for Presale HERE. She's also running an amazing giveaway for those who show their support - a Nook Color each week for 8 weeks and 2 iPad Minis. Find out more deets about that HERE. I put in my entry. (Who doesn't want an iPad Mini in life??). Congrats to Nikki - can't wait to check out her book!

Showing my support for Nikki's new book

She Can Transform Ya

You know those friends you constantly look to for inspiration? Everything they wear just seems to flow so eloquently and they're talented beyond words? Yep, that's my blogger boo Jessie Adore. Get into her. Aside from the fact that we're West Harlem neighbors, Jessie has the flyest style and the most amazing pieces in her closet. But wait...there's more! She actually designs - jewelry and now clothes. The latest of Jessie's creations is this 6-in-1 Transformer Jacket ($385) that is a convertible biker jacket that just...rocks.

There are no words. I'm putting in my pre-order asap. She's making these babies by hand and only in limited quantities so run, don't walk, to her inbox to place your order.

Beauty & Brains

If you're in the NYC area on December 5th, you MUST check out an amazing event being hosted by my girl Renae Bluitt of In Her Shoes Blog called "The Beauties & Brains Behind The Brands". Some of my favorite female entrepreneurs will be in attendance - Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter, Ginger & Liz of the eponymous nail lacquer line, Tia Williams of TheFlyCut, Tricia-Lee of Polish Bar Brooklyn and more. Alot of power in one fab place.

Go Glamazon, Go

Huge kudos to one of my fave bloggers Jessica Andrews of Glamazons Blog. We'll be seeing her pretty face on the blog more often now that she's opening up the site to include more outfit posts. I remember back when LoveBrownSugar first started and I was petrified of posting outfits and beauty tutorials for the world to see, but I really think it has enhanced my site overall despite my anxiety and fear of judgment. So happy to see more of us bloggers with different body types and styles embracing our style and showcasing it for the world to see.

Shop "LoveBrownSugar" Nail Lacquer

My LoveBrownSugar for LiSi Cosmetics Lacquer is still available on PRESALE guys! I started shipments this week and I'm quickly blowing through inventory (as in, I'll be sold out by next week and awaiting a new shipment!).

Get your BOTTLE HERE before they sell out! I appreciate your support!

I hope you guys had a faboosh November! I know posts on the site have slowed down a tad, but I promise it's for good reason. Next month and the impending year of 2013 are going to be amazing for LBS. Can't wait to show you guys all that's in store. 

In the meantime, what bloggers/blogs are you guys thankful for? Need to add a few more to my reader so put me on in the comments section below... 

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LoveBrownSugar Feature: Glamour.com

Guys! One more bucket list item checked off my list! Yesterday, I was featured on GLAMOUR Magazine's website. Beyond elated that the editors at Glamour saw it fit to include me in their roundup of "Cold Weather Outfit Ideas You'll Want To Steal" from their favorite bloggers.

They featured my LoveBrownSugar Chic: Sneak Peek outfit - my fave H&M leather dress and a vintage red blazer. 

Check me out in Slot # 4 HERE. Whoop whoop! *tootsie rolls*

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals 2012

Last year during Black Friday, I had an unfortunate experience at the mall. Someone took one of my shopping bags while I wasn't looking and I nearly flipped ALL the way out. And that was the end of my in-store Black Friday shopping. Ever.

So, this year, being the digital savvy fashionista I am, I'm all about the digital deals. Why slave away on long lines when you can click & shop from the comfort of your home? So here are the top 5 cyber deals I'll be taking advantage of this weekend:

1. ASOS: 20% Off Everything (Even SALE Items)

 I must confess, all of my EPIC party dresses of yesteryear have come from ASOS. It's one of my favorite online shopping destinations. And they're giving an extra 20% they're already low prices. No-brainer!

2. LiSi Cosmetics: 50% Off Everything

Aside from the fact that LoveBrownSugar has a new nail lacquer with them (on PRESALE at Shop LoveBrownSugar), their prices are ridiculously low ON THE REGULAR. I'm talking nail polish for $4.90! Until Monday, everything in-store and online is an extra 50% off. Run, don't walk to their website.

 3. Shop Nasty Gal: 20% Off All Shoes

 I happen to be obsessed with Nasty Gal. I've been a fan of their pieces for quite sometime. They are one of the BEST online retailers for super dope and extremely creative footwear. So it only makes sense that they're discounting shoes this weekend.

4. Rachel Roy: 30% Off Everything
She's one of my favorite designers so I couldn't help but share her awesomesauce discount for Black Friday. Super cute frocks for under $100, handbags, jewels and more!

You guys may recall that I celebrated my blog's 3 Year Anniversary at the INGLOT cosmetics loft in Chelsea. I'm a huge supporter of the brand. And today through Nov. 27th they're giving customers 20% off everything on site.

So, where are you guys shopping this Black Friday - at home or online?
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Kickin' It: LoveBrownSugar x LiSi Cosmetics Nail Launch

On Tuesday evening, I hosted an exclusive preview of the LoveBrownSugar x LiSi Cosmetics Nail Polish at the LiSi Cosmetics flagship store downtown. Some of my favorite bloggers and social butterflies came out to help me celebrate. Check out scenes from the event:

Beyond my wildest dreams! My very own nail polish!
Aside from my polish launch, LiSi Cosmetics launched an array of their newest Fall/Holiday products. All polishes retail for only $4.90!

Makisha Timothy, LoveBrownSugar.com Assistant & Pop Culture Editor
What I love about the store is that there are makeup artists on-hand to let you try out the products whenever you like. Here, LoveBrownSugar's own Makisha Timothy gets her face beat for the gawds!

Meki and Allison from My Shade of Brown were in attendance. Love their curls!

Love my girl Natasha from Asili Glam - super sweet personality & faboosh hair. What's not to love?

Julee Wilson, Style & Beauty Editor at Huffington Post stopped by (left) wearing LiSi Cosmetics lipstick in "Fierce". Beauty buff Tunisia Wilson (right) came by as well. Long live the statement lip!

 Annika Harris of UPTOWN Magazine passed through to say hi! She's a fan of the polish!

 Misha of TheFabChick stopped by! Definitely check out her site - great fashion & beauty tips!

Black-rimmed spectacles never looked so good! Christen of Divas and Dorks and Ty of Gorgeous in Grey delighted us with their presence. Nothing like a great statement accessory!

 Danielle Young of Hello Beautiful got her makeup done as well. So gorge!

 LoveBrownSugar Intern Grace blows kisses, wearing LiSi lipstick.

 Me and the lovely ladies of LiSi Cosmetics. Stop by the store sometime and tell them I sent you!

Stay tuned! In December, I'll be hosting a meet & greet in-store event for you NYC-based lovelies to come out and shop the store (as well as my new color) before the holidays. Can't wait to meet you guys!
Toodles from the LoveBrownSugar family! Happy Thanksgiving!
 Check LoveBrownSugar on Facebook HERE for more pictures from the event! 

To purchase my polish on PRESALE, head to SHOP LoveBrownSugar
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LoveBrownSugar x LiSi Cosmetics Nail Polish

Hi everyone! As today is Thanksgiving, I thought it only fitting to introduce you guys to something that I'm incredibly thankful for this year. Aside from being thankful to have all of you as faithful readers of my site, I'm BEYOND ecstatic to announce my latest accomplishment. I can't even express in words how honored I am to announce this....

I have my own nail polish color yall! One of my favorite new brands LiSi Cosmetics has honored me with privilege of having a glossy bronze nail color in my honor - called "LoveBrownSugar". You guys may remember my post about their digital launch party a few months ago, as well as my trip to the store to prep for the BET Awards.

What I love about LiSi Cosmetics is that all of their makeup products are so effective and so well-priced. The store resembles a high-priced luxury cosmetics store complete with makeup artists on hand and product trials, but EVERYTHING retails below $20! Can you believe it? So when the Creative Director told me they wanted to name a nail lacquer in my honor, I almost fainted.

This is literally a dream come true. Words can't express how appreciative I am that all of you follow me, read my posts and actually care about my crazy life. Thanks to you, I've been granted amazing opportunities like this. I couldn't have done this without you. I really and truly appreciate you.

LoveBrownSugar x LiSi Cosmetics nail lacquer is currently available for PRESALE exclusively through SHOP LoveBrownSugar as well as in-store at the LiSi Cosmetics flagship store in NYC (741 Broadway, New York, NY 10003). In December, it will have be on sale on LiSiCosmetics.com as well.

I so appreciate your support guys. First shipments of the polish will go out on 11/26/12 so make sure to order your stock and tell your friends!

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Friday, November 16, 2012

LoveBrownSugar x bombom Jewelry Glam Suite

Hey ladies and gents! If you're based in NYC, join me this weekend for some pre-holiday fun. I'm co-hosting a fun jewelry suite with bombom Jewelry featuring free cocktails, their Holliday collection of jewels and of course fashion/beauty tips & chit-chat. Come ready to sip & shop! I hope I have a chance to meet some of you this weekend. Make sure you RSVP to PR@bombombJewelry.com

See you there!
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Monday, November 12, 2012

Instaweek 11.12.12

In The Morning
Happy Monday! I have to say, Monday mornings are normally quite mundane for me. There's something about Monday morning that conjures up feelings of dread and anxiety. I stumble out of bed, rush out the door (because I'm normally running late), hop on a crowded train to work and count the many ways I'll probably have a horrible week. This Monday is different though. Not that my circumstances have changed. But I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmingly grateful for all the wonderful things I have in life. I'm determined to make this a great week despite undesirable circumstances. The minute you take time to change your perspective and focus on what's great about your life instead of all the things horrible about it, your emotions makes a shift as well. Positivity breeds positivity and the same goes for negativity. So this week, I implore you guys to reset the negative mental tape in your head and focus on seeing the positive in your life situation. It makes a HUGE difference, trust.

New Beauty
Cece's Curls are back y'all! I spent last week experimenting with new hair styles. My 2 Year Natural anniversary is coming up soon and I'm ecstatic. My curls have grown out so much. I'll have some posts up later this week about my hair style experiments. On the hair topic, the wonderful folks at Jane Carter sent me a sample of their Curl Defining Cream. I plan on giving it a try this week. Also, Maybelline has recently released their own version of the nail applique trend (top left)- Maybelline Color Show Fashion Prints Nail Stickers. They sent me samples of two of their styles. Pics of that should be coming soon as well. Can't wait to try them!

Rocked The Vote
Whoop whoop! I'm sure I'm not the only one ecstatic about last week's election results. I'm happy I had the opportunity to fulfill my civic duty and I hope you guys were able to as well. Also, thanks to those of you who entered my Rachel Roy "VOTE" tee contest - the winner has been announced on the page here.

Happy Birthday Ursula Stephens (Slash...I Was 2 Feet From Rihanna Y'all!)
Celebrity hairstylist and Motions Haircare spokesperson Ursula Stephen celebrated her birthday last Thursday evening at Boudoir in downtown NYC. Ursula is most noted as the hairstylist who transforms Rihanna's coif ever so often and drastically puts beauty aficionados in a state of shock & wonder with her red carpet looks. Yep, she's major. I was invited to celebrate her birthday last week along with countless other bloggers, editors and celebs like Taraji P. Henson, Toccara and (gasp!) Rihanna (middle left)! Y'all. She walked in and I nearly fainted. She was about 2 feet from me. And she's absolutely gorgeous in person. I didn't get to "meet" her sadly. She made a beeline for VIP and stayed there. It wasn't like My Chance Encounter With Kanye BUT it was magical nonetheless.

How did you guys spend your week? Talk to me!
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Instaweek 11.5.12

Happy Monday all! I'm praying that those of you who have been affected by the aftermath of Hurricane  Sandy are quickly recovering. It's been a crazy week for so many but if you're still alive, you're blessed! Have to be thankful for that. Here's what I got into last week:

Sandy Situation: So as I mentioned last Monday, I was stuck in Atlanta after my flight back to New York was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. To be honest, it was a blessing in disguise. Though I probably gained about 10 pounds from all that amazing Southern cuisine, I was safe and sound at a friend's home. I ended up staying until Thursday evening when my flight was rescheduled and returning to my NYC apartment in mint condition, with power/lights/electric, etc.

Helping Hands: Though I lucked out as far as having no complications at my apartment related to Sandy, other New Yorkers were not as fortunate. A few friends and I devoted our Saturday this weekend to volunteering with the New York Cares organization to help underprivileged NYC residents in lower Manhattan who are at a severe disadvantage due to Hurricane Sandy. We handed out food, fresh water, pampers and other imperative supplies to families who were affected by the storm. If you're in the NYC area and you have the ability to help out this week, check their website here OR check out NYC Service for even more ways to help.

Back In Action: I'm back in the fold, back to posting regularly, buying too many pairs of shoes and galavanting around town (or wherever the MTA is functioning right now). Last week's events were truly eye-openers for me. Live every day like it's your last.

How was your week? Were you affected at all by Hurricane Sandy? Feel free to share!

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Red Carpet Fashion: Black Girls Rock Awards 2012

Tonight BET Networks premiered the annual Black Girls Rock Awards and in true red-carpet fashion, our favorite females showed their support as well as their impeccable sense of style. Black Girls Rock is always one of my absolute favorite award shows, not just for the fashions but because these celebrities are supporting such an amazing cause. Empowerment of young females of color is so incredibly important so I make it a point to watch and support the show every year. Here are a few of my favorite looks from the red carpet:

Roc Nation songstress Bridget Kelly served it up on the carpet in a body-conscious black dress, statement jewels and her signature blunt bangs (done by celebrity hairstylist Keith Campbell)

Black was definitely the theme of the night. Lala Vasquez-Anthony showed up in a body-hugging Balmain black velvet number, a sophisticated updo and classic Louboutin black pumps.

Marsha Ambrosius was glowing in a fitted black blazer and statement belt, luscious curls, and rhinestone hoops.

Janelle Monae (who's a new spokesperson for Covergirl) looked amazing in her signature tuxedo "uniform" with a little diamond embellishment.

Taraji P. Henson broke the mold in a glittering gold DVF number. Super classy and well-fitted. Loved it!
Ciara went with an architectural silhouette and slicked back hair. Not gonna lie, I was a little confused by this look, but I'll let her live.

Meagan Good served a glowing post-wedding glow with tapered layers, a red lip and a full on black ensemble. She rocked a cropped turtleneck top and a flowing maxi skirt.

The hostesses of Black Girls Rock - Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King pose with performer Keyshia Cole on the red carpet.

Per usual, Tracee Ellis Ross served a fierce face and a luscious head of curls. That berry lip is everything! Definitely doing a "Get The Look" for this one soon.

Who doesn't LIVE for Kerry Washington? I am here for her. Love this beauty look. She's giving a sophisticated updo, a red lip and a dainty beaded Marchesa cocktail dress.

For more pictures from the Black Girls Rock red carpet, head on over to LoveBrownSugar on Facebook. There are tons more. Leave comments and let me know your thoughts over there.

Photos by Shade Freeland of ShadedBlaque Photography

Which red carpet look was your fave? Soundoff below!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Beautiful In My Own Skin

 As a child, I was always told I was beautiful. As the baby girl in the family, my parents and older siblings nurtured me and constantly reaffirmed that I was intelligent, capable, and beautiful both inside and out. Looking back on it, those words of affirmation truly gave me the initial spark of confidence I needed to pursue my dreams, but without my believing it myself those words wouldn’t have been worth anything. Hearing from others that you’re beautiful can provide an amazing boost of confidence, but the only thing that will truly sustain it is if you believe it yourself.

Being comfortable in my own skin has been less of a destination and more of a continuous journey. As a pre-teen, I thought that I was ugly, fat and undesirable. I started developing at a much faster pace than the other girls in my elementary school. I’ve always had curves (and pre-high school, curves were largely undesirable) and I’ve always gone to schools in which I was the minority. So, my youth was marked by a continuous struggle with being comfortable and confident in environments where I was simply different.

Now, as a style blogger who tries to use my words to inspire and empower through the lens of fashion and beauty, I have discovered that you can have all the red lipstick, high heels and little black dresses in the world, but if you’re not comfortable in your own skin, you’ll never truly feel beautiful.

Clothes, shoes, makeup and all the wonderful things we fashion-forward girls enjoy daily are amazing fixins, but they’re not a cure-all for self-esteem issues.

Feeling beautiful is a process that involves self-evaluation, honesty, and a vulnerability that’s not always easy to achieve. I admit that I don’t love everything about my body, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I believe that I was beautifully and wonderfully made, and no amount of fancy perfume or red-bottom platforms will change that.

 Here are some ways I’ve grown to feel beautiful in my own skin:

I switch up my look often:

There are so many interpretations of beauty. Why settle for just one?

I’ve found that trying out new looks makes me appreciate myself in a new way. If I can love myself equally as a brunette or a blonde, with curls or with straight hair, with or without makeup, I’ve learned to embrace beauty that remains the same regardless of other things that change.

I wear clothes that flatter my curves.

Even though looks aren’t everything, being comfortable in what you’re wearing plays a huge role in how confident you feel.

I’d love to try every trend that comes down the runway. But instead of being incredibly uncomfortable and “on-trend”, I choose to interpret the trends with silhouettes that are flattering and make me proud to show off my curves.

I surround myself with positivity.

Me and my Mom
Earlier in this post, I touched on the impact that having positive affirmation during childhood provided for me. It doesn’t stop in adulthood. I’ve been blessed with an amazing network of friends, family, and associates whom I can call on for inspiration and encouragement. One of my biggest role models, my mom, provides me with daily inspiration, and I use her as the framework for what I consider beauty from the inside out. One of the keys to feeling beautiful is surrounding yourself with people who affirm those sentiments. Only keep positivity in your corner, and you’ll see it manifested in your life.

Do any of these methods work for you? What do you do in your daily life to feel beautiful in your own skin?

This post is part of BlogHer's My Beautiful Moment series, made possible by Olay.
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