Thursday, February 28, 2013

Silver Jeans Style Wars: Day 2

It's my second day rocking Silver Jeans as part of the Style Wars challenge, and I could really get used to this! Seriously, these jeans are so comfortable. For my second post I decided to style their Sam Boyfriend Jeans ($85.00) with a few new pieces in my wardrobe.

I had been looking for a mixed leather/cargo jacket since last season but couldn't find one just perfect for me, until I stumbled on this one at H&M a few week ago. I blogged about it here in my LBS in LA post as well. It's my new favorite piece of outerwear.

It goes really well with pretty much anything. I love how it looks with cropped boyfriend jeans and heels.

I scored these heels on sale at Zara about a month ago. Couldn't wait to put them on!

Can't wait to rock these in the spring with a super cute tailored dress. I love that they're neutrals with a pop of color.

For my handbag, I pulled out an oldie but a goodie. My vintage Coach Willis Bag ($298). I wore my street vendor bangles, my Michael Kors watch and Crown Midi Rings by TNEMNRODA ($30).

Ok guys, you know what to do! Head over to the Silver Jeans Facebook Page and vote for Team East Coast (including me!) Just 'like' our photos on the Facebook page to cast your vote. Also, stay tuned! Tomorrow I'm giving away a pair of Silver Jeans to one of you lovelies. Can't wait!
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Silver Jeans Style Wars: Day 1

Do you guys remember when I participated in the Silver Jeans Style Wars last year? Well they're back yet again! I have the honor of participating with a group of East Coast fashion bloggers as this year's theme is East vs. West! East-siiiideee *throws up the three-fingered E*

For this first post, I'm rocking a pair of their Suki Jeans in Rose. I've never rocked pink jeans before so this was different for me - and fun!

I didn't want to go with straight neutrals on top so I paired it with this fun Prabal for Target blouse, and my favorite vintage leather jacket.

I'm into hats this season. Especially the baseball caps with random words on them. I found this one at Buffalo Exchange and fell in love with it.

I finished off the look with my sneaker wedges and a powder blue satchel. I love mixing colors. Can you tell I'm feigning for spring to get here already?

Jeans c/o Silver Jeans Co | Top: Prabal for Target | Jacket: Vintage | Cap: Buffalo Exchange | Sneakers: Forever 21 | Bag c/o Handbag Heaven | Nameplate c/o Nameplate Depot | Cuff: House of Harlow | Watch c/o Caravelle by Bulova

Like what you see? Make sure to head over to the Silver Jeans Co Facebook page and vote for the East Coast team! This Friday I'll be giving one of you lucky readers a pair of your own Silver Jeans to rock around town in. Stay tuned for more deets!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Live From The Oscars 2013 Red Carpet

Similar to the 2013 Grammy's, we live-blogged our favorite looks from the 2013 Oscars red carpet as they came out. We had a blast chatting celeb red carpet looks with you guys last night on Facebook and Twitter. Here's a recap of some of our favorite looks. Let us know if you agree!

Kelly Rowland 

Kelly Rowland looks stunning in a Donna Karan Atelier black & white gown. Following the thigh-high split trend, she's rocking a gown that shows off her amazing legs and her toned arms. This look is a win in my book!

Robin Roberts

Can I say how happy I am to see Robin Roberts back on the red carpet? She's a Cancer survivor, she's back and she looks better than ever. Kudos to her. How awesome does she look in this blue velvet gown?

Jessica Chastain

I love how Jessica Chastain exudes Old Hollywood glamour in this Armani Prive gown. It would seem like the color would wash out her pale skin but her vibrant hair color and the red lip makes it all come together for me.

Overall I'm a fan of this dress silhouette for Zoe Saldana. I think it really accentuates her figure. My only qualm with this look is that there's quite alot going on. From the embellishment up top, to the belt to the colored tiers down below. I think she should've chose one embellishment and stuck with it.

Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer looked absolutely elegant in a Tadashi Shoji dress. I love how loyal she is to the brand. And she always looks phenomenal! You guys already know I love Tadashi Shoji. I rocked one of his looks for the Essence Black Women in Music event.

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence rocked a Dior Haute Couture dress for the big night. I do think this look is a little...bridal. I think the silhouette is beautiful but she might have benefited from a different color. Congrats to Jennifer on winning an Oscar for Best Actress!

Charlize Theron

Another gorgeous Dior gown on the red carpet. In my eyes Charlize Theron can do no wrong. She always looks absolutely flawless. She wore a strapless peplum gown in white, and her brand new pixie cut which flatters her beautiful features so well. Absolutely my favorite look of the night!

Naomi Watts

This assymetrical look on Naomi Watts was really breathtaking. Gunmetal sequins is not something you see often on the red carpet. This dress is by Armani and it fits her to a tee.

Sandra Bullock

See-through and mesh looks were another big trend this red carpet season. I think Sandra looks so sophisticated in this Elie Saab scalloped gown. I wish she had sprung for a bright-colored lip to compliment the look.

Halle Berry

"Halle Berrrryyyyy, Halle Berry!" Everybody sing along now. My jaw dropped to the ground when I saw Miss Halle in this gorgeous look. She's 40+??? I can't take. Somebody find out what she's doing. Because I need to know. This Versace gown is everything!

Jennifer Hudson

Following the thigh-high slit trend, JHud rocked a Roberto Cavalli brocade gown. I really love this dress I just think it's a little too snug around the waist. Either she needed a good pair of spanx or she needed a dress that had a little more room in the midsection. Other than that, she looks great!

Kerry Washington

Everyone's favorite Scandal girl, Olivia Po....I mean Kerry Washington...wore a super chic Miu Miu embellished gown. I love the bright color against her skin and the subtle detailing at the top.

Salma Hayek

I'm normally not a huge fan of velvet but Salma has me with a new frame of mind. She looks simply stunning in an embellished Alexander McQueen halter dress in black velvet. Beautiful.

Who were your favorites from the red carpet? Did we miss anyone? Soundoff below!

Photo Credits: E! Online

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kickin' It: Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Launch Event

Last night in NYC, natural hair blogger and enthusiast Curly Nikki and songwriter/songstress Marsha Ambrosius co-hosted the official launch event for Dark & Lovely's newest innovation - the Au Naturale styling and maintenance product line for curls.

Yes, it seems like every company under the sun is launching a new natural haircare line these days, but what I found so awesome about this launch was how adamantly natural hair icon Marsha Ambrosius felt about the line. That evening she was sporting her fierce mane in what looked like a textured bantu knot-out on blowout hair. She looked phenomenal. And she was as sweet as pie! She even remembered meeting me last June during the BET Awards (glad I have a memorable face!).

I chatted a bit with her about the new product line, her favorite beauty products, hair maintenance tips and what it means to be dark & lovely:

LoveBrownSugar: So I wanted to ask you about your natural hair! You're most definitely one of my natural hair icons. What do you do to maintain your style?
Marsha Ambrosius: What I must do, and it's imperative I do so, is brush it overnight, section it and bantu knot it. If I don't, when I wake up in the morning I'm not going to be able to comb through that thing! Even if I'm in the studio late, it's something I must do. The [Au Naturale] product line is great because it really infuses all the natural products that I use anyway into one thing. I have the mango oil, I have the bamboo milk, I put it in and it stays! I'm living proof that it works. My curls are absolutely temperamental. Sometimes they hate me, other times I think they're having a fight. So this product line - I really love it.

Is there one product out of the entire line that you can't live without?
The Au Naturale 10-ln-1 Styles Gelee. When I take the bantu-knots out, they'll be in my natural curl pattern anyway and I just take a dab of the Gelee and once I run that product through my hair, it stays. It's like a hair gel and an edge protector in one. Do you see these edges?! They never lay down like this!

Aside from natural hair, I really look at you as a beauty icon overall. Are there any beauty products that you swear by?
Drink lots of water! The simplest beauty products are the ones that God gave us. We overlook them sometimes. Like I exfoliate with honey sometimes, a little bit of natural oil, little things like that.

What do you think it means to be Dark & Lovely?
Dark & Lovely is empowering, it's invigorating, it's royal. I'm glad to be here to represent this brand.

After chatting it up with Marsha, I ran into co-host Curly Nikki and the fabulous Julee Wilson of Huffington Post Black Voices (remember her spotlight on LoveBrownSugar's Get Like Me series?). Two beautiful ladies indeed, with fierce natural curls.

Photo courtesy Dark & Lovely
The event was a blast. There were live hair demonstrations and tutorials. A super cute photo booth, where I took this goofy pic...

And of course there were amazing heads of natural hair at every turn! Kudos to Dark & Lovely for a successful launch event!

For more information about Dark & Lovely's Au Naturale product line, head to their website or become a fan of Dark & Lovely on Facebook for updates!

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Friday, February 15, 2013

LBS Beauty: Rihanna's Red Carpet Look at the Grammy's

Pop songstress and style icon Rihanna was arguably one of the best-dressed on the red carpet at this year’s Grammy Awards. She showed up rocking a long goddess-like red gown, and a complimentary beauty look that made heads turn. Instead of her edgy rocker cut, she sported long, wavy locks, paired with a bold red lip, red nails, and a sultry cat eye.

There were so many beautiful elements to her look. With a little effort and the proper technique, you can pull this look off at home using the following tips:

The Flawless Face

The key to achieving a flawless, blemish-free face like Rihanna’s is to take time correcting for any redness, covering up blotchiness, and evening out the complexion. Start with a great concealer that’s just a shade or two lighter than your complexion. Work the concealer in the under-eye area to get rid of dark circles and to even out fine lines, and use it to spot-correct blemishes. Next, apply a primer to the face. Primer helps not only keep your makeup in place, but negates shine so you have a matte finish. Finally, smooth on the foundation of your choice, making sure it’s evenly spread across the face. For a little highlight and a sun-kissed look, dust a golden bronzer on the cheeks. Finish with a powder to set!

The Cat Eye

There are quite a few ways to achieve the cat's eye look. Advanced makeup users may spring for a liquid liner to get the look. If you’re a novice like myself, spring for either a cream shadow in black that you can apply with an eye brush, or an eye pencil in black. Using a cream shadow with a brush allows you more control (and less mistakes!) because you can smooth it on gradually, as opposed to using liquid, which only gives you one swoop to get it right. Start at the inner corner of the eye, bring the liner all the way across the lid, then bring it up into a wing at the crease of the eye. Do this for both the top and the bottom for a sultry, picture-perfect cat's eye look. Finish the eye look with a neutral shadow with a little shimmer on the lids.

The Matte Red Lip

You guys know I’m all about a red lip! Celebrity makeup artist Mylah Morales, who did Rihanna’s makeup for the red carpet, used a combination of two lipsticks and a liner to achieve this look. Rihanna’s red lip is a matte red with a hint of orange.
The key to getting the perfect red lip? Start with a matching liner! Red is such a bright color on any complexion, and you need to start with a liner if you want the color to stay in place. Next, choose your favorite bright red or a combination of two similar colors, like Rihanna did. You can either use a lipstick that goes on matte, or use one that doesn’t and lightly dust it with powder for a matte effect.

The Glossy Red Nails

Red nails are a classic, and so easy to achieve. The key to getting nails like Rihanna, sans a fancy manicurist, is to choose a lacquer with great color payoff. This means that what you see in the bottle is what you get on your nails. Spring for a color that’s fairly opaque and bright. Don’t forget to start with a base coat and finish with a top coat to seal in the color.

The Romantic Waves

Rihanna’s new ‘do was the talk of the town after the Grammys. Instead of going with her edgy cropped look, she sprung for long romantic waves. To achieve this look start with a center part that’s just slightly off-center. If you have thick or curly hair, you;ll want to make sure your hair is sleek to start, so either blow-dry or flat-iron the hair for optimal sleekness. Prep the hair with a heat protectant product and a holding spray of your choice. In workable sections, curl the hair around a 1 1/2 inch barrel iron or a curling wand. Finish the look with a shine serum and a final blast of hairspray so your curls stay in place.

There you have the steps to Rihanna's red-carpet ready hair and makeup. Would you try this look at home?

This post is part of BlogHer's Celebrity Beauty Trends editorial series, made possible by Olay.
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

LBS Backstage Beauty: Butter London for Libertine Fall 2013

For the Libertine Fall 2013 collection, Butter London lead artist Katie Hughes customized a special crystallized golden nail look. The vintage-like gold is new shade from Butter London that will be available this upcoming Summer 2013. Here's what she had to say about the look:

About the application: "You start off by inserting the toothpick in lip balm, then pre-glue the nail and just paste it right on. No particular pattern for the jewels, we just kept them heavily encrusted by the cuticle and brought it down from there," said Katie Hughes.

"Every single nail is different and unique, that’s the most important thing. The crystals are actually used in his clothes so he gave us three sheets of these stones to work with. I added a lot of Swarovski [crystals] so I could get that pop of sparkle so it’s really fun."

About the crystallized nail trend:

"I do think it’s going to be big this season. I always talk about the grown up nail art trend, and when I say grown-up nail art I mean half-moon manicures, graphic strips down the nail, color-blocking tips, etc. I think this is still within that because it’s an embellishment as opposed to smiley faces or crazy little things that a kid would do. I think this is still acceptable for grown-ups. Color-wise, embellishment is going to be heavily within that trend. There's alot of texture coming out in nail polish and it’s just going to a whole other place. You can really feel the glitter in a nail lacquer now. It’s all about texture."

About the nail color: "This color we custom created for the Libertine Fall 2013 collection. We already have a gold in the collection so we said ‘Can we make it more vintage-looking?’. More like jewelry you’d find at a market in the middle east or something - really, really gold. So I created it for him, for the show. It’s not out yet, but it should be out in May - during the next collection launch."

Would you try this nail trend at home?
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LBS in LA (Part 2): Essence Black Women in Music Red Carpet

7:30PM We arrive on the purple carpet at the Essence Black Women in Music event sponsored by Lincoln. Like I mentioned in my Prepping post, I went with the Tadashi Shoji lace peplum dress in Sand. I'm really happy with my choice, I feel comfortable and confident.

I'm wearing gold-studded stilettos from Steve Madden.

8:00PM The celebrities start to arrive. First beauty I spot on the red carpet is Sharon Leal who looks amazing with her short cropped cut and flowing cream gown.

I loved her eye makeup!

Goapele was there, looking stunning in a bright red lip and side-swept bangs.

Jennifer Williams of Basketball Wives was in attendance. She gave me the scoop on her outfit, and it was mostly Zara! Gotta love celebs who shop at the same stores we do.

Estelle looked beautiful with her cascading curls, deep berry lip and bold lashes. She wore a suit by Eugene Lim suit.

Denise Vasi of VH1's Single Ladies was in attendance. She's so gorgeous! Her red pout and green jewels were the perfect compliment to her Peter Hidalgo outfit.

My twin Jill Scott was there! She's so beautiful, even more so in person.

Jurnee Smollet rocking a Trina Turk dress, with her date. Can't wait for the newest Tyler Perry film featuring her and Kim Kardashian. Should be quite interesting!

Lisa Rae, also of VH1's Single Ladies, was in attendance. She was a joy to talk to. She rocked a white Tadashi Shoji dress, and we gushed over wearing the same designer to the event. She has good taste! 

Keke Palmer was there sporting new, luxurious locks. Love her curls! She was "big hair don't care" like me that night. I just had a styling session with her hairstylist Cynthia Alvarez recently. She does a fab job.

Yes y'all, I ran into the one and only Nene Leakes of Real Housewives of Atlanta fame! I told her she's my favorite. She chatted me up about some of her favorite designers, who include Christian Louboutin and Dolce & Gabbana.

Naturi Naughton posing in front of the 2013 Lincoln MKX. She wore a blue lace dress from an independent designer called Mignon.

I met new R&B artist Sevyn Streeter. I LOVE her single "I Like It" so I couldn't wait to chat with her. She's penned songs for top songstresses like Alicia Keys, Brandy, Fantasia, Kelly Rowland, Mary J. Blige and more. She's so pretty! And her outfit was on point.

9:30PM Right before I head in for the event, I spy Ford Motors' Shawn Lollie, honoree of the evening Solange, and President of Essence Communications, Michelle Eubanks.

Once inside, it's time to enjoy the performances. First up is the lovely Lianne La Havas who woos the crowd with songs off of her album "Is Your Love Big Enough".

I spied Lianne chatting it up with Jill Scott after her performance. Two of my favorites!

Next up was Solange! She sung my favorite "Losing You" and I went wild. Love that song!

Jill and Solange posing for the cameras right after her performance. I felt so blessed to be in presence of women like them. Real musicians.

11:00PM The event is nearly over but I CAN'T leave before grabbing a picture with my favorite Amber Riley! One of my style stars, she always looks flawless. Loving her new short hair.

And that's the perfect end to my evening with the stars courtesy Lincoln Motors. I had a fantastic time out in LA for the Essence Black Women in Music event! Special thanks to Lincoln for sending me, to Essence for having me, and to Tadashi Shoji for helping me look my best! 

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