Sunday, May 31, 2009

Black Beauty is Profitable : Essence Panel Explores Beauty Purchasing

(From left : Mikki Taylor (my fab former boss) , Same Fine (renowned makeup artist) , Candace Corlett, and Rosemarie Ingleton)

African-American women are vibrant shoppers of prestige beauty brands, but their biggest challenge is finding products that are effective and effectively marketed toward them. Such points were revealed last week at Essence’s Smart Beauty panel, which discussed the African-American woman’s shopping experience in the prestige beauty market.

Essence beauty and cover director Mikki Taylor led a discussion on the findings with celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine, dermatologist Rosemarie Ingleton and Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, at a breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan.

African-American women spend $7.5 billion annually on beauty products, but shell out 80 percent more money on cosmetics and twice as much on skin care products than the general market, according to the research. That difference comes as African-American women sample many more products to find the ones that are most effective on their skin.

“She spends a lot, but there’s little satisfaction. What keeps us buying is the hope that this product will do what it’s supposed to do,” said Fine.

The type of beauty goods she’s searching for, according to the findings, are brands she trusts, that reflect her personal style and offer high-quality ingredients. She’s also more likely to buy products from aspirational labels — Chanel lipsticks and Versace perfume, for example — than brands that are associated with celebrities.

Nevertheless, Fine said she believes African-American women are looking for affirmations of their own beauty through seeing spokespersons or models of color in ad campaigns for beauty products. One area that was void of faces of color were antiaging products, according to Fine.

“There’s no face of aging in the African-American community,” said Fine. “There’s Sharon Stone and Christie Brinkley, but no one who’s African-American.”

My Comments

As a self proclaimed Beauty Maven, I truly value and am inspired by black beauty and all that it defines. From the past entrepreneurs such as Madame CJ Walker, to the future - makeup artists and beauty editors that are the vehicles of getting the beautiful story out there to women in the black community.
I acknowledge that African American women are very beauty & hygiene conscious. We will have our hair done in the flyest lace front weave but can not afford to pay for rent. I have found myself in that predicament once or twice.
I do appreciate that many consumer brands have beautiful African American faces representing them. To name a few :
Beyonce : L'Oreal
Gabrielle Union : Neutrogena
Rihanna, Queen Latifah : Covergirl
Liya Kebede : Estee Lauder
Arlenis Sosa : Lancome
Angela Bassett : Olay

Nonetheless, there can never be too much representation of African American women in the cosmetic industry with the fact that it is known that we purchase 7.5 billion dollars worth annualy of cosmetics. I remember my dad taught me early, if there's not a black face on the magazine, why are you reading it? Of course I don't only read magazines that only feature African Americans, however I appreciate those more and will likely pay for subscription. Furthermore, many cosmetic lines have become diverse and feature more shades then the banal Ivory, Peach, and Beige. There are now Cocoa, Mocha, and Espresso shades. While we aren't where we should be with Black representation in the beauty industry, we are moving in the right direction and I intend on being a trail blazer to move this effort further.

Source : WWD

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fab idea: Better organize your job search

I know a lot of people that on the prowl and searching their hearts out for a job. Some of my friends have literally applied to so many jobs and they can't even keep track anymore. But I think this is where people falter in their job search, we focus so much on applying to as many jobs as possible, that we forget which ones we applied to and forget about the follow-up. Here's a really simple idea: keep track of the jobs you've applied to in an excel sheet. Create headers like 'Employer", "Position", "Contact", "Date Applied", "Did I follow-up?", and so on. Even if you don't hear back from an employer, send an email a week later to see if the position has been filled and tell them you are still interested in the position. Happy hunting, and don't get discouraged!

Fab Female: Sonia Sotomayor

I hope you've heard about President Obama's nomination for the next Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor. If she is confirmed, she will be the first Latina Supreme Court justice and only the third female in the Court's history!! A few more reasons why she so fab; she grew up in the Bronx, had humble beginnings, and went to Princeton undergrad and Yale Law. But my favorite fact about Judge Sonia Sotomayor is that she has spent most of her career in public service law. Talk about the epitome of paying it forward!

Beyonce: Ego

Fab Friday video, this one is for all the Beyonce fans. She's at it again with the signature black & white video. She also has the 2 dancers theme she's been doing for the I Am...Sasha Fierce videos. All that big hair and sparkle is just fab! The song is a bit risque and definitely suggestive, but I love the remix with Kayne West because everyone knows that man has a big ego...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fashion Against AIDS

Fashion meeting compassion is on of my favorite things in the world! H&M is launching a their Fashion Fights Aids line May 28th (yes, that's tomorrow). This is the second year the line is being sold and this year's they will promote the message of safe sex and features prints designed by celebrities. You can purchase shirts, t-shirt dresses, and vest all in the name of saving lives and promoting a great message. 25% of the proceeds will fund projects by YouthAIDS, United Nations Population Fund, and MTV's staying alive foundation. The ad campaign features Estelle, Katy Perry, and Dita von Tesse and they also provided the prints for t-shirts in the collection.

Estelle's Shirt

Katy Perry

One of the shirts Katy Perry designed

Dita von Tesse

Dita's shirt

Make sure to get your shirt early, the collection sold out in 1 month last year.

Recession Wardrobe: The Right Whites for Summer

Memorial is the official start of summer and the official date of when you can wear white. OK, so not wearing white after Labor is kind of old school and you could wear white anytime of year. But it's nice to break out a white summer outfit for after Memorial Day. My only words of caution are to make sure you wear the proper under garments when you where white. Here are some recession friend white hot deals:

Forever 21, White distressed jeans; $27.80
Two trends in one piece; white jeans and they're worn. The jeans speak for themselves, so wear a simple top ( I would avoid anything print)

J.Crew, Linen seaside shorts; $19.99
Do not sleep on J.Crew's sale section, especially online. These linen shorts are only $20 and keep a look out for those special codes for additional discounts on clearance items

New York & Company, Belted skirt; $25
Perfect for a day at the beach or a sail on a yacht (only in my dreams!)

Gap, Canvas white tote; $34.99
Who doesn't need a big tote bag you can take on all your summer trips and adventures?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Busta Rhymes ft Wayne & Jadakiss: Respect my Conglomerate

Fab Friday videos! Busta is back in a big way, all the singles from his recently released album Back on My B.S. have been club bangers! And Respect My Conglomerate is no exception. I think I need a conglomerate...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Redefining Curves: Faith 21

Forever 21 has officially launched their Plus Size Clothing Line, Faith 21! Finally, an urban store that realizes, one size DOES NOT fit all!

Click the picture to visit the Faith 21 web page.

Get the Look!

Every true fashionista knows you don't have to spend big to look fab! This week's look: Gabrielle's Bohemian chic.

For a bolder fashion statement, add these:

Items available for purchase at

Economic Downturn Forces Young Adults to Forgo Healthcare

There’s a recession outside. Times are rough and people everywhere are looking to make sacrifices to make ends meet. Worst off, these sacrifices take place in one of the most significant aspect of our lives: health care.

Due to economic hardship, approximately 47 percent of Americans report cutting back on healthcare spending to loosen up on budget restrictions. This number demonstrates an increase from the 42 percent originally reported in an April 2009 Kaiser Family Foundation Consumer Poll. Young adults of college age are the largest and fastest growing population of uninsured in the U.S. residents, despite their generally good health and relatively inexpensive premiums. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the young adult population is approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population and of that number, 29 million (23.9 percent) young adults, between the ages of 18 to 24, are uninsured. This percentage is significantly higher than the national average of less than 20 percent for uninsured adults. Without health insurance, a disproportionate number of young adults lose access to health services, forcing them to rely on community health centers, abandoning preventive treatment and services, or paying high out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an emergent or unexpected injury or illness. In a failing economy young adults tend to forgo health care and use their meager resources for food.

The increase of the uninsured among the young adult population raises concerns regarding the long-term impact of no coverage on the overall population and the potential rise of chronic disease of insolvency continues. Furthermore, the impact of embarrassment and stigma placed on young people seeking subsidies for access to health care serves as another barrier for young adults to facilitate ongoing utilization and participation in managing their health care. As Americans continue to experience tougher economic times, the health care system must come up with effective strategies that provide affordability and accessibility to medical services among the young adult population.

Effective strategies to address the difficulties of health care access will require the health care system to adopt a social perspective on health which includes providing a variety of interventions that are more youth and economically friendly, in addition to flexible. Partnerships with community health centers and young adult advocacy groups may prove valuable in outreach efforts to highlight the importance of having health care services. Advocating to state human services departments to provide subsidized funding, on a sliding scale, to those young adults who are unable to afford the entire cost of a premium may also assist in providing greater affordability amongst members of this promotion.

Additionally, there is a dire need to dispel the stigmas associated with attending health services or seeking federal/state subsidization to gain access to such services. Balanced health education and promotion programs are necessary to address the young adult population. Posters and other resources which promote relevant health services and programs can be instrumental in conveying to the young adult population that health care needs are a normal good and deemed significant among health care providers and health services.

Seeking to increase access and utilization of the health care system by young people requires an in-depth look at the poverty issues challenging a rising number of young people and their families. As the number of safety-net providers and clinic services continue to decline, disadvantaged young people will continue to forgo access to health care.

It is important that programs such as Medicaid and Medicare expand their eligibility criteria to meet the financial constraints confronting the young adult population. Also, state human services departments and various advocacy groups should develop policy recommendations that would alleviate some of the antiquated eligibility requirements that are necessary to participate in federal or state benefit programs.

Health care is not a privilege, it is a right. If the number of uninsured young adults continues to rise, long term cost on our health care system could be beyond devastating.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Michelle Obama's commencement speech: Unbelievably Inspiring

Michelle Obama gave the commencement speech at University of California-Merced. This speech was so powerful, it bordered on the line of a sermon. She has really been focusing on the call for America's recent college graduates to serve and make a difference in their communities. The highlight of the speech comes when she reminds us young (but sometimes stubborn and hard-headed) people about all those in our lives that have sacrificed to help us get to where we are today. Yes, Mrs. Obama, we are truly blessed.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Go on a Work Out Date

I was talking to some girlfriends the other day and one said that she had gained weight when she had a boyfriend because they would go out to eat so much and just stay in the house. I see this issue arising in several relationships and I think it’s time people started going out on “work out” dates. If you’re like me, and don’t actually like going to the gym there are several alternatives:

Run outside: Get up on Saturday morning and take a run outside. And definitely take a scenic route through a park, by a lake, on a trail, or on the beach. Each other's presence will motivate you both to push yourselves. But if you're having trouble getting motivated, walk for a cause and sign-up for "The Race for the Cure" or "AIDS Walk." After you’re done running, have a healthy breakfast at home; oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, or a veggie omelet.

Go dancing:
Whether its salsa, meringue, hip-hop, or even line dancing; just dance. If your beau doesn’t like to dance, bribe him with a little incentive. No guy really wants his girl going out and dancing with other dudes, so tell him he gets you all to himself the entire night. Salsa lessons at bars and restaurants are really popular and tell him salsa is a very sensual form of dancing.

Play a game of one-on-one: Hit up a local gym or outdoor court and hoop it up. Or you can keep it your house and play "Love and Basketball, I think we all know the scene I'm talking about. And neither of you have to be good at ball, just have fun.

Go to the golfing range:
I have always wanted to date a guy that plays golf, so we can go to the golfing range and he can show me how to sink a whole in one. This is also a really time to talk with each other while you're playing. Oh, and you get to wear one of those cute skirts and sweater vest outfits.

Play Wii: The Wii is addicting! My favorites are boxing and tennis. I have worked up a sweat playing that boxing game against another person. Technically, you don't have to put in all your effort while punching, but where's the fun in that?

Go to the Gym: But take the best of both of your work-outs and combine them. Or take a class that both of you would like together; I recommend a boot camp class!

Guess Who Made Maxim Magazine's Hot 100?

The annual "Hot 100" list was released last week and our very own First Lady, Michelle Obama made the list. She better do it! She came in at #93 and its the first time a First Lady has made the list. The magazine named her the "hottest First Lady in the history of the United States." Nice how they used her Official White House photo in Maxim, I'm sure that's a first too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fab Deal: Sephora Body Scrub on sale for $8

The winter was harsh and the weather is warm, so you need to exfoliate all those dry layers of skin off your body. That's right, its time to reveal that sexy summer glow. You could spend lots of money on an expensive brand of body scrub or you could do the smart thing and get Sephora Brand body scrub. Right now a 6.7oz bottle is on sale for $8 and if you use body scrub the right way, the bottle should last long enough. But my motto is; if something you use often is on a great sale, you should probably stock up. The Guava Passion, Coconut Cream, Tropical Passion, and Apple Pomegranate fragrances are perfect fresh summer scents.

Fab Idea: Job Journal

I've been trying to update my resume, but I was having a difficult time reflecting on all my work experience and actually remembering my accomplishments. Then I thought, this would be really easy if I had a job journal. Not a portfolio or collection of your work, but a journal where you keep track of your accomplishments. We get caught up in the day-to-day mundane tasks and we sometimes forget the great things and meaningful change we bring to our jobs. Keep post-its near you at all times so you can quickly write accomplishments down and save congratulatory emails. In fact, print the emails out (as long as they don't contain confidential information) and keep them folded in your journal.

So, the next time you want to update your resume, you'll have a great go-to place that houses all the wonderful things you've done during work experiences. And get creative with your journal, decorate the cover with inspirational people and pictures of your goals (like that house in the Hamptons you're going to buy once you make it!)

Ne-Yo:Part of the List

Ok, I couldn't resist another Fab Friday video. I guess its male R&B singers Fab Friday. I am a big fan of Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman because he went back to the basics of good ol' R&B music. His latest single Part of the List spells out how I really think guys feel after ending a relationship with a great girl (but they don't want to admit it). Thank you Ne-Yo for being a gentleman.

Trey Songz: I Need a Girl

Fab Friday videos! Trey Songz is back with another one of his smooth R&B ballads. I have to admit, this song had to grow on me, but now I love it. The scenery of the video is amazing and Trey is pretty easy on the eyes too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Recession Wardrobe: Sandals

We all love a great summer sandal and we love buying designer sandals because they last longer than cheaper ones. Well look, times are tough and people need to save money. But you still want to look good, so you should shop for sandals that look like you spent a lot of money but didn't. It's really easy; you just need to have a good eye for essentials for high-end staples. Look for vibrant colors, faux (but real looking) leather, and embellishments.

Old Navy; $19.50
The jeweled embellishment and faux snake skin make these look like you spent more than $20. Old Navy is great from sandals and flats, and try to go in the middle of summer when they're on clearance.

Charlotte Russe; $16.99
Once again the faux snake skin in a vibrant color really makes these look high-end. And that cuff in the back is great

Target; $14.99
These have 2 of the makings expensive looking shoes; vibrant colors and faux (but real looking) leather||B001PIDGTS&CPNG=women&ref=tgt_adv_XSC10001

New York & Company
; $14
Take your pick, they all look great!

All maxed out: Maxi Dresses

Get the best dress for warm but not too hot weather! I love maxi dresses because they are so easy to wear and accessorize; you can just throw one on, wear some flats, and add a couple bangles to one arm. Make sure you get at least one in bright color!

Spring Maxi dresses

Express, Ruffle tube; $79.50
This is a perfect dress to just throw on and go run some errands. No need to over accessorize because the ruffles and print give the dress enough character

Old Navy, Town Gown; $25
I'm sure you've seen the hilarious commercial when the mannequins are at a pool party and one gets proposed to because she looks so great in her "town gown." Well all jokes aside, this is great dress and the price is perfection!

Nordstrom, Twist strap; $118
Wear it with flats during the day or heels for an evening look

Forever 21, Paisley v-neck; $34.80
All eyes will be on you when you wear this during and evening outing weather you're with your girlfriends or your beau. Definitely wear a long necklace and a few bangles

Arden B., Color-block; $58
Transition this dress from daytime to nighttime. Wear a cropped jacket over it for a day look and wear it without the jacket and a statement necklace during the night.

Monday, May 11, 2009

White House Correspondent's Dinner

The White House Correspondent's Dinner was this past Saturday. The dinner is basically a big party for members of the media that work for newspapers, magazines, radio, television, or other forms of media and regularly report about the White House. The Who's Who of the political, journalism, and celebrity world all come out to celebrate the White House Correspondent Assocation. But becoming a member of the WHCA isn't as easy as it sounds, you definitely have to apply and be accepted. Perhaps I'll get an invite to this dinner one day; I would love it.

Wanda Skyes was HILARIOUS!

Barack was getting it too

Michelle was oh so pretty in pink

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Wherever she might be; call her, visit her, pray for her, and love her. Happy Mother's Day to hardest working and most caring people in the world.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Night: (Black) Chick Flick Night

Sometimes my work week wears me down to the last drop of energy I have, and I am super tired by Friday. When you're that tired you don't fell like going out. But we're also young and don't want to be anti-social by staying the the house. Here's a fab Friday idea that combines being social and staying in; host a (Black) Chick Flick night at your place. Invite a few of your girlfriends over and watch your favorite movies. Pretty much anything with Sanaa Lathan in it is a go. In my opinion, a few essentials are Brown Sugar, Love & Basketball, Waiting to Exhale, Love Jones, and Dream Girls. I'm sure any of the movies you select will generate great conversions before, during (you know you have girlfriends that talk during movies), and after you watch.

And feeding people shouldn't be too expensive. Try Asian food snacks; get a couple boxes of egg rolls and pot stickers. Lettuce wraps are also really easy to make; get a head of lettuce, a package of chicken breast and marinate them in mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar mixed with water, hot mustard, maybe some ginger, and chopped onions, carrots, etc (get creative!). Shimmer the chicken in a frying, cut it up, top with some crushed peanuts, and have people fill their lettuce cups themselves. See, that was easy! Have a Fab Friday Night!

Rihanna Pure Fabness

1. The new hair do is so hot! The cut, the highlights, and the style are the perfect combination to complement her face.

2. Her skin and make-up is flawless; the nude lip trend looks great on her.

3. I'm not a big fan of the outfit, but her confidence makes the ensemble look impeccable.

4. Her shoes don't take away from the dramatic effect of her blazer.

5. Most importantly, she looks happy and is back on her "A" game.

picture via Zimbio

Chrisette Michele "Epiphany"

Fab Friday calls for fab videos. Chrisette Michele is back and released her second album this Tuesday. Her first single "Epiphany" has the perfect tempo and catchy beat that makes a song easy to put on repeat. I suggest listening to this when you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed. And check out Mr. Drake Drizzy of Young Money making a cameo in the video as her boyfriend (he'll always be Jimmy from Degressi to me!).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Most Influential People in the World

First Lady Michelle Obama and Talk Show Host, Oprah Winfrey are pictured with one another at Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala. The event took place at the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle and was hosted by talk show host Jimmy Fallon. Both Barack and Michelle Obama were selected as two of the world's 100 most influential people.

Damn, running the country and still shutting sh!t down-- 'gotta love my black folks.

Also in attendance were John Legend, MIA, Gayle King, and stupid ass Tavis Smiley. Footage from the evening's events are posted below!

Swine Flu Claims the Life of an American: 33 year old mother from TX

Even though folks are telling you not to believe the hype, Swine Flu is real and it has claimed the life of an American-- a 33 yr. old school teacher, from Texas, who just gave birth to a newborn!

This week should have been a joyous time for Judy Trunnell, a 33-year-old schoolteacher who had just given birth to a healthy baby girl.

But the friends and relatives whose cars lined the quiet street in front of her home in a quiet subdivision Tuesday instead were mourning her, the first American with swine flu to die.

“We’re grieving now,” said a woman with tear-streaked eyes who declined to give her name.

In Maryland, her cousin told WMAR-TV in Baltimore that Trunnell had died after spending two weeks in the hospital. She slipped into a coma, and her baby was delivered by Cesarean section, Mario Zamora said.

Read more about it here.

Ish is real, cover your mouths, wash your hands, and stay home if you suspect you are experiencing flu like symptoms

A Fear of Survival

Creative Thoughts, Profound Poetry, and Critical Thinking--- A Fear of Survival!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kentucky Grilled Chicken: Oprah is Buying your Lunch

Everybody and their cousin is talking about this new Kentucky Grilled Chicken at KFC. Earlier this week, I was listening to Tigger on PGC talk about how KFC had a promotion for the KGC (Kentucky Grilled Chicken acronym) and everywhere he went, the restaurants were out of chicken. Usually, I'm not a fan of KFC but this grilled chicken looks delicious and healthier than a regular KFC meal. Well our favorite gal Oprah must be a fan too, because her website is offering a coupon to get 2 pieces, 2 sides, and a biscuit for FREE! That’s right for FREE and it doesn’t expire until 5/19!

Download your coupon before 9 PM tomorrow:

!Feliz Cinco de Mayo!: Have a Mango Margarita

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Enjoy Mexican culture and food today. Here's a recipe for a yummy Mango Margarita (make mine non-alcoholic please!):

For the Mango Margarita Mix:

* 1 1/4 pounds fresh mangoes (it's warm now, so they should be cheap)
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup sugar
* Gray salt

For the drink:

* 3 cups ice
* 1 1/2 cups Mango Margarita Mix
* 4 ounces tequila (skip the tequila if you're making it non-alcoholic)
* 2 ounces triple sec (skip the triple sec too and substitute diluted pineapple juice, yum!)
* Lime wedges
* Mint Salt, recipe follow
o 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
o 1 cup of gray or course sea salt


For the drink:

* Peel the mangoes and cut them into large chunks
* Place cut mangoes in a blender with the water and sugar and blend until smooth
* Then, fill the blender with the ice, mango mix, tequila, and triple sec; blend until smooth

For the mint salt:

* Clean and dry the mint leaves
* Chop the mint leaves up
* Mix chopped leaves with the salt and use a big spoon to grind it all together
* Rim your glass edge with lime wedges and dip into the Mint Salt

Recipe from The Food Network online:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Michelle's 1st 100 days: Community involvement

Lots of newspapers and magazines are talking about Michelle Obama's first 100 days as First Lady. Many are focusing on the inspiration she has provided to women around the world, the historical impact of her reign as First Lady, or how wonderful she has dressed and looked.All the reasons are significant and completely valid, but I want to focus on what she has done in community service. And how her actions have basically made the White House, the People's House.

Even before she was officially First Lady, she was serving military families meals at "Operation Gratitude" on MLK Day of Service

She invited 6th and 7th graders from a DC school to perform in the White House during Black History Month

Serving meals at Miriam's Kitchen

Helping YouthBuild Americorp put the finishing touches on their energy-efficient home construction project

The White House Garden, she decided to start the garden and work with a class of 5th graders to show them the importance of healthy eating.