Archive of ‘Beauty & Fashion’ category

Lipstick Noir: Lisa Jean-Francois

Lipstick Noir Lisa A La Mode Cover

Lipstick Noir Lisa A La Mode Cover
In honor of National Lipstick Day I am launching Lipstick Noir. Lipstick Noir is a project that celebrates the beauty of women of color and a love of lipstick. Each week I will feature a new woman of color rocking a shade of lipstick. I know when I want to buy a lipstick I like to see it swatched on a skin tone similar to mine, since that hot pink doesn’t look the same on me as it does on the white model in the picture. With your help I want to build a space for women of color to reference lip colors, find new ones, and celebrate how dope we can look in any shade under the sun.

The very first Lipstick Noir beauty is Lisa Jean-Francois of Lisa A La Mode.

 Lipstick Noir Lisa A La Mode

LISA JEAN-FRANCOIS

LIPSTICK: LA Splash Cosmetics Studio Shine Waterproof Lip Lustre in “Alice”

LIP LINER: No Liner

LIGHTING: Natural, No Flash

COMMENTS: According to Lisa this is a highly pigmented and well priced lipstick. While it may be hard to find in stores, it’s worth it to purchase.

FIND LISA:

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Want to be featured as a Lipstick Noir Beauty? Head over to the Lipstick Noir Page and send in your submission! Come be a part of a celebration!

Shopping Addict’s Guide To Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Guide

Amazon Prime Guide

I have a confession, I’m an Amazon addict. Anytime I even think I may want something I hop on Amazon and find it in minutes. Now I’m not just addicted to Amazon, I’m addicted to Amazon Prime, free two day shipping, product guarantee, unlimited music and movie streaming; I’ve essentially forgotten what it was like before I had prime, I’ve got pretty much everything I’ve wanted or needed right at my finger tips. I live for my prime membership and with Amazon Prime Day right around the corner I’m happy that I’ve got my Amazon Prime membership so I can hit up all these better than Black Friday deals. Not sure if Amazon Prime is worth it for you well here’s a few of the best ways to use it.

(Note: I’m not getting paid to say any of this about Amazon, I genuinely just love it and want you to benefit from Amazon Prime Day.)

Beauty supplies

Tony Moly Amazon Prime9 out of 10 times you can find your Sephora beauty staples on Amazon and usually for a better price. Take these Tony MOLY face masks (I swear by the red wine one!); at sephora a pack of 2 masks will cost you about $7.50, on Amazon Prime it costs you about $15 for 10 of them. Do the math on that, at Sephora that costs you $3.75 a mask and on Amazon Prime it costs you about $1.50, plus it’s delivered free to your door in 2 days and you didn’t even have to get out of bed.

Lingiere

Panache Bra Amazon PrimeNow I’m no tiny chick in any area but buying bras has always been an entire, stressful, event for me, that is until I discovered Amazon Prime. My bra size is hard to come by and I needed a good quality sports bra, so when I heard about the Panache sports bra I nearly flipped. After studying the site prices and shipping, I was getting stressed out all over again until Amazon Prime came to my rescue. Not only did they have the bra in my size but there were a ton of great colors, they were sold by Panache just through Amazon Prime which meant a slight discount and free 2 day shipping. Prime for the win again. Now that I know my favorite bra and bra size I just hop on Amazon Prime, order them off my wish list and wait for them to show up on my doorstep.

Accessories

Glasses Amazon PrimePeople always ask me about my glasses, I’m obsessed with having avant garde and funky frames on at all times, even though I have no prescription. Some sites that specialize in funky shades will charge you as much as $20 to $30 a pair. If you’re willing to do the search, you can find the same glasses for sometimes as little as $8, and the cheaper they are, the  more of them you can have. I own a few pairs of specs in every color thanks to Amazon Prime. Not to mention all the fun random hair pins and chains I’ve ordered over time.

Now with all those ideas, keep in mind that Amazon Prime Day promises to bring you deals as often as every 10 minutes all day on July 15th, and the only way to access them is through an Amazon Prime membership. A one year membership is $100 and a student one year prime membership is $50. The great thing about Amazon Prime is you get a free 30 day trial to give it a test run, which still qualifies you for all the perks of Amazon Prime Day. You can always cancel after the 30 days and you won’t be charged, but honestly Amazon Prime is a worthwhile investment.

As an added bonus, if you really don’t like online shopping, I will do it for you. If you fill out the form below I will do my best to find you exactly what you’re looking for within 24 hours. There’s no fee, I will send you the link to my Amazon store where I will put the time you requested and you just hit the link and purchase. I will get a tiny percent of the sale, but the cost of the item is not increased for you at all. How can you say no to a free personal shopper?

Keep an eye on the Facebook page for constant updates on the deals rolling in on Prime Day!

Want A Personal Amazon Shopper?







The Only Beauty Tutorial You’ll Ever Need

Best Beauty Tutorial

I decided to vlog this week. So I’m bringing you the only beauty tutorial you’ll ever need and I promise that it has all the tools you need for a flawless, everyday routine. Now you know I like to talk but hate to vlog so I kept it to 3 minutes for you guys! Enjoy and let me know what you think.

The Struggles of Having Eyebrows That Aren’t On Fleek

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I’m one of those girls who was not blessed with eyebrows that are on fleek or the ability to pencil them into a facial hair masterpiece. I happen to know I’m not the only girl out there who suffers from a lack of fleek, so I thought to take away some Monday blues I’d share my eyebrow struggles with you. Check out the BuzzFeed post for a good Monday laugh to take off the edge from those uneven brows on your forehead.

No You Can’t Have Nappy

Credit: OrganicBeautyTalk.com

When I was 8 years old I had a classmate who came from a mixed background, her mother was white and her father was Black. One day I was over her house when her mother called her over so she could braid her hair. I watched as she separated the mass of curly fluffy hair on her head and braided 4 pig tails. “My mom could never do that to my hair,” I commented as I touched the bo-bo secured around my tiny afro puff. To which her mother replied, “I don’t know how she manages to do anything with your hair, I would die if my daughter had nappy hair like that.” My feelings were hurt and I wasn’t even sure why, what was wrong with my nappy hair?

Nappy is not the same type of N-word as nigger is. Historically nappy was a means of spitting on the phenotypically African nature of our hair. It was a way of separating African Americans from Europeans and it was a means of shame that we connected back to being a slave. When we existed as a Black society obsessed with European features, when we lived by hot combs and created straightening creams and chemicals, nappy was a means of signifying that we had ugly, slave like hair.

Credit: OrganicBeautyTalk.com

Credit: OrganicBeautyTalk.com

Black Girl Long Hair came out with an article today pointing out that the hashtag nappy was hijacked by white girls with messy bed head and unwashed hair. It was so… infuriating. To think that something else from Black culture had been columbsed yet again. But unlike cornrows and baby hairs, the term nappy carries a history of self hate that was instilled in Black people by European culture. Even worse is that the white women using nappy to refer to their hair are not using it as the positive adjective that we’ve adopted into Black culture, but instead are choosing to use it to describe undesirable hair.

Taking back nappy was a means of reclaiming pride in a natural thing. By nature our hair is nappy, kinky, and full of life. It battles us because it grows however it feels, and it doesn’t like to be forced into unnatural states, and we work with it and love it because it’s beautiful. Nappy is a celebration of accepting the beauty of our own hair, it’s become a commonplace term in the Black community and even more so in the natural hair community. Nappy is a difficult term, it wasn’t quick to be picked up and accepted, but once it was embraced it was a positive norm.

As a kid, growing up in an all white school had me begging my mother to rid me of my kinks. I hated my hair, it didn’t hang or flip like all the white girl’s hair did. All the characters in our books at school had long silky locks, and even the girls younger than me, just had all of this “pretty hair”. Growing up with white people turned nappy into an ugly thing for me, until I was old enough to understand that my hair struggles were a part of my narrative, a part of finding and being me.

Nappy means kinky and coily, and natural, and when used to refer to hair as such, it is a celebrated word. When nappy is used as a negative connotation by anyone it’s an issue, regardless of race. When you try to take something we fought to accept and make positive and use it as a negative, in a pejorative nature, or in reference to something undesirable you are making an effort to look down on and disrespect a part of a culture. Ignorance is not an excuse, just like ignorance of the history of black face is not an excuse for its use. If your hair is unwashed and unkempt, then those are the words to use when you want to describe it. Nappy is not dirty, it is not ugly, and it is not bed head. It is not the ugly insult Europeans leveraged against us as slaves and it is not a word to be claimed by those who don’t understand it’s meaning. So no you may not have nappy, the Santa Maria can sail right on by.

Bye FeliciaDon’t forget to like the Facebook page for more and follow me on Twitter for some good ole’ rants.

I Hate My Natural Hair… But I Won’t Quit On It

You know the girls you see in the Ms. Jessie’s and Shea Moisture ads, the ones with big smiles as tons of bushy curls come falling down around their faces? Or how about the dark chocolate girl whose perfect white teeth beam up at you from the magazine ad as she rocks a thick kinky type 4 afro? Yea those girls… they are not me. My natural hair doesn’t make me smile or want to pose for pictures or even run my hands through it. On the daily I consider if I should just chop it all off and go bald. I’m one of those 4c hair texture girls; defined as tight kinky texture with a minimal curl pattern. Now what the real definition of 4c is: ” Oh you thought you were gonna get a comb through that? You wanted to use curl cream and denman brushes you say?….NOPE!”

Transitioning

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Invisible Extensions

Almost 4 years ago I stopped perming my hair and let me tell you it has given me hell every step of the way. I left it in twisted extensions for the first year, then cut off the permed ends and started to wear it out. I was so excited. I combed the natural hair blogs and watched hundreds of youtube tutorials, to help me decide what creams I would use for all these amazing styles I would be doing, it was like an awesome dream. For a while things were okay, my hair was still in that “in-between” phase so it held onto twist outs pretty well but I was still itching for some length! I figured if I gave my hair time to grow it would work out better for me. So I put in an invisible (tiny braided extensions) and I left my hair alone to grow.

Fast Forward

Whenever I would take out my invisible I was excited to see what kind of hair growth I had acquired. I attempted wash and gos and was horrified by the results. My hair in actuality was about 2 inches short of being shoulder length and when I washed it the shrinkage was horrible. I would attack my head with curlformers, denman brushes, afro picks, Shea Moisturizer, Ms. Jessies, Carol’s Daughter, I mean if you named it I promised you I tried it; many of these products at the recommendation of natural hair dressers I visited and consulted. No matter what I did my hair would shrink up into a dry not so fluffy little afro. It made me miserable. I would literally sit in the mirror, stare at my hair, and cry. I had heard that it was a little rougher for type 4 textures, but I felt helpless, I just wanted to hide all my hair.

Twist Out On Blown Out Hair

Twist Out On Blown Out Hair

A Little Heat Lightning 

I decided that maybe if I stretched my hair a little bit it would cooperate with me and boy was I right. I got my hair professionally blown out and then went home and did a twist out on it. It was the most beautiful result I had ever seen and for the short time that I wore it I was absolutely ecstatic about my hair. I snapped photos everyday and made excuses to go out just so I could walk around with it. But as soon as I wet my hair again it reverted to it’s awful, annoying state. I was depressed again and back under an invisible it went.

My Sad Revelation

This summer I wore some Senegalese twists and when i took them out I went to get my hair blown out once more, I did a beautiful twist out and the very next day the heat and humidity destroyed it. By 5 pm my hair had no shape it was just a tangled mess on on my head. I was back to square one, because clearly the summer wasn’t going to allow me my heat straightened freedom. I’ve pretty much given up on my hair for the moment. Even though I have friends with type 4 hair texture none of them seem to have hair that’s anywhere similar to mine and I feel deeply alone in this struggle. I wash my hair and attempt to pick it out with my black power fist afro pick and it just sits there. I still look in the mirror and want to cry but when I walk out the door I hold my head up high and act as if my hair looks amazing. I don’t even have recent pictures of my hair to post because I have essentially refused to be photographed. I have hair envy for other naturals, especially the one’s with big fluffy fros’ but aside from all of that I have alot of self-hair hate. Since my natural hair causes me so much trouble the smartest thing to do would just be to give up on being natural but something in me refuses to allow it. I don’t want to go back to being a slave to my perm just like I don’t want to be a slave to my blow dryer.

Picked Out Afro

Picked Out Afro

Honestly right now I’m just biding my time, covering my hair in pretty scarves, until I can put in my next invisible. But I write this post for all of my other natural hair girls who feel just as miserable and hopeless as I do. I refuse to give up, no matter how much trouble and stress my hair gives me. I cannot change my hair texture, it’s mine and that was the point of being natural, to embrace who I was. It’s not about the fad its about being free from a bond to a conformist habit. Even though I want to stop trying, I know I won’t. I think I’m secretly hoping that one day when it comes out of an invisible it will spring into a huge fluffy fro and my problems will be solved. I know it won’t happen, but a girl can dream and the point is that you should too. I hate my natural hair and I’m okay with that, I just have to keep trying.

Holiday Fashion Cheer

Greetings Readers! It’s finally December which means it’s the holiday season, and of course that means holiday parties! Christmas is my holiday of choice but no matter which winter celebration you’re taking part in you can take all of this year’s trends and use them  to look super fierce for every holiday party! So I’ve taken the liberty of throwing together a couple of looks via Polyvore to help spice up your holidays!

Forget LBD Think LGDLittle Gold Dress

Everyone knows the easiest go to piece for any sophisticated party is the little black dress but this season it’s still all about the gold so let’s think little gold dress instead! A simple elegant gold sheath dress is a perfect piece to pair with some simple pumps and some stellar accessories. This Diane Von Furstenberg  dress is one of my favorites. It’s an elegant way to play up sequins without looking tacky. A statement necklace piece in contrasting colors and a showstopping dark ruby lip will make you the center of attention at any holiday function .

Peplum Christmas Angel

One of this yAngelic Gold Vintage Peplumears most popular trends has been the return of the peplum fringe. From dresses to fitted tops, peplum is a fun flirty trend that can really add flare to any outfit. I personally only like peplum when it’s structured, otherwise it flops everywhere and just looks unflattering for any body shape. But when it’s done right peplum gives the appearance of hips and slims your middle. This dress is another way to embrace the gold trend and throws peplum into the mix. The white paired with the glittery gold gives a soft angelic

 

Glitter In Gold Like Studio 54

So readers if you haven’t already guessed I was pleasantly smacked upside the head by hurricane Sandy and have been knocked offline for quite sometime. I’m currently fighting off suburban, mini van driving, diaper bag toting mothers in the only Starbucks with electricity for a 10 mile radius. It’s been a rough 3 days, no electricity, no heat but my family & I are managing. I pray that you are all safe and keeping warm.
But in an effort to chase away the cold Sandy blues I thought I would cheer you all up with a fun fashion trend that’s been frequenting the runways. Gold is back people! Back in a big flashy manner and I suggest you hop on this fun trend. The fall runway has been full of shimmery gold glamour and it can easily translate from runway to everyday.

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Photo Credit: article.wn.co

The key to gold is to remember that it is a statement color all it’s own, it needs nothing to enhance it. Gold looks amazing on everyone, from the deepest chocolate skin to the frailest pink tones, so no one should be afraid of it. Embrace the studio 54 glitter goddess inside you and find your gold statement piece. A pure gold sheath or wrap dress would be amazing with a neutral face and the fiercest black pumps you can find. Or you could pair an angelic white top with a fierce gold skirt and cinch that bad boy with the meanest vintage belt you can find. I really want to stress that my plus sized ladies should not fear the bold nature of gold. If you’re looking to wear an all gold dress an empire waist is your best bet to be the most stunning gold statue in the room.
Gold is amazing. It’s a great feel good piece because it has the potential to just make you feel so pretty. Just remember to not overdo it. Too much gold and you can look tacky and clownish. There’s no need for any gold jewelry with an all gold outfit & please leave the gold nails for the little black dress. If you rock gold let your one piece stand all on its own. Stay warm my beauties and be fabulous.

3 Reasons Thick Girls Love Fall

The leaves are changing colors and the Uggs are making more frequent appearances, we know that it all means one thing.. Fall is rearing its beautiful breezy head. It seems like the in between seasons always treat us thicker ladies kindly.. well that’s an understatement. Lets be honest. for all my chubby girls out there we adore fall for a wide range of reasons, but these are my favorite.

Goodbye Summer Stress Im sure you’ve heard the joke that the heat doesn’t agree with larger people but I assure you this is no joke. I don’t think I’m the only thick woman who will tell you I hate the summer. But what’s worse is summer fashion! I hate GETTING DRESSED in the summer! I know there are some plus sized ladies out there who can attest to the horrors of keeping your body cool and still covering up those little nooks and crannies we don’t love quite so much. Now if you’re a fly lady you will be fly no matter the season but theres not quite a guarantee on comfort. Something about summer fashion is never quite the nicest to our kind, but fall fashion…. Oh honey you better watch out! Sweater tights, and boots, and scarves oh my! It’s a plus size girls heaven to dress up for the fall!

Cuddling As the temperatures get colder and the clothes begin to appear it seems like skinny girls loose a little of their edge. Everyone knows deep down in his heart of hearts every man wants some thick lovin’ & the cold weather creates the perfect opportunity for them to start seeking out a full figured and warm bodied cuddle buddy. It’s cuffing season ladies time to break out your fiercest fall looks because you should best believe that the boys are watching the way those sweater tights are hugging every god blessed curve. 😉

Color Love Another beautiful thing about fall fashion for us thick ladies is the announcement of fall colors. It seems that it’s impossible for the colors introduced in autumn to disagree with us! This year we have oxblood, black, mustard, & navy. Score! How amazing are we going to look in these colors ladies! Say goodbye to those horrid muumuu summer prints that they plaster across the plus size corner and embrace some fierce fall color blocking!

If you’re looking for some fall inspiration check out Bloomingdales Style Guide: The Plus Edition.

Mammy Made It To Fashion Week

Photo Credit Sinuous Magazine

There’s been a pleasantly disgusting history of the disrespect of black women in fashion over the years but the most recent installment is just especially…”rousing”. Dolce & Gabbana has released their highly anticipated 2013 Spring collection and I’ll disregard the fact that it leaves much to be desired and instead focus on their grave misuse of images of black women. What style.com has called a hail to Sicilian roots, I call an awful reversion to black face mockery. The new line features images of what have been called “street puppets” from the Caltagirone region of Italy. To me these puppets look eerily similar to the toys and images from the days of black face but more specifically they remind me of the idea of mammy. I’m not sure if I’m overreacting or reading to deep into it but honestly I feel offended. How many black women does Dolce & Gabbana feature in their clothing? So what on earth makes them think its okay to put these mammy, Aunt Jemima like figures of women on their 2013 dresses or hang them from the ears of their porcelain white models? If there’s one thing I hate it’s the exploitation of black women in media, fashion, and pop culture. It’s bad enough that we do it to ourselves sometimes but honestly we’re going to allow white people to so casually disrespect us? What the hell is going on Italy; first the Slave earring debacle and now this? I don’t really care how dark a Sicilian may sometimes look, this is an insult. If you want to see pictures of the entire collection checkout style.com’s slideshow. So tell me readers are you offended or do you side with the artistic license of fashion?

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