February 28, 2011

Beyoncé Blackface For French Fashion Magazine L'Officiel Paris - I'm OK With It

I wasn't really going to talk about this, but I feel like it needs to be addressed. I'm not sure how I feel about Beyoncé going blackface. When people do things that are deemed as racist, I often look at it as a sign of deep ignorance and poor judgement. I know racism is real. I've witnessed it and experienced it. All I can really do is shake my head at the editorial. I don't think it's racist, because she was artistically painted, but I do think it was a bad idea to paint her face and neck a chocolately brown in a couple of the shots.

According to Daily News, the editorial is a tribute to Nigerian artist and human rights activist, Feli Kuti. I am Nigerian (shoutout to my fellow Yorubas) and I was very glad to see her in some of the traditional outfits. I wish people would stop talking about her blackface and start talking about what she is wearing. She is putting African-ware out there. The fabric and designs are so intriciate and carefully made and dyed and I'm super excited to see it in the spotlight! Albeit, Beyoncé's blackface. (P.S. similar fashions can be found here at Macy's.)

Tell me what you think!

I Wash My Face With Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide

Since 2000, I have been washing my face with Benzoyl Peroxide 4% Creamy Wash. Sounds worse than it actually is. The creamy wash has the key ingredient that the acne industry is going crazy with--Ha, you guessed it--Benzoyl peroxide. I ceased usage for about a year and a half because of insurance issues, and my face broke out like no other. Benzoyl peroxide is manufactured by Global Leader in Dermatology: Stiefel. Unless I am using a facial scrub (something like St. Ives Apricot Scrub), I will only wash my face with BP.

I am prescribed this creamy wash. Most of the things I use on my face are prescribed by my dermatologist. I have sensitive skin, so I have to be careful as to not use something that will irritate it *cough*PROACTIVE*cough*. If you can't afford to go to a dermatologist, look for a face wash whose active ingredient is Benzoyl peroxide. Just be careful when using the product. BP has a tendency to dry out your skin, so it's best to use it once a day at first. You want your skin to get used to the intense drying that will occur. Once your skin is used to it, then use the face wash twice a day.

What do you use to wash your face?

Products I Like: Sulfur 8

sulfur 8 anti dandruff hair and scalp conditioner
Around the age of 10, I began getting patches of dandruff on my scalp. My mother and I couldn't figure out why this was happening. She decided to invest in Sulfur 8 Anti-Dandruff Hair and Scalp Conditioner. I swear by it to keep my scalp hydrated and flake free. Because I get my hair relaxed, my scalp is prone to dryness. Sulfur 8 keeps it in check. I will say that Sulfur 8 does not smell very nice. I only place it on my scalp because if I rub it in my hair, I'll smell like I stepped out of some type of chemical plant.

What do you use for your scalp?

Cream vs Lotion

cetaphil moisturizing cream

I became curious. I became curious about moisturizing cream. All my life I've used lotion; Cetaphil to be exact. I decided to try Cetaphil's Moisturizing Cream to see which one was better. I've been using the cream for about 3 weeks now and I notice that it keeps my skin hydrated longer than lotion.

Hmm. What do you all use? Moisturizing cream or lotion?

Products I Like: VitaFusion Gummy Vitamins


So, my obsession with VitaFusion's gummy vitamins has gone a little out of control. I've thrown out my Centrum multi-vitamins for VitaFusion's MultiVites. When I used to take Centrum, I would often forget to take them because my morning often consist of me running out the door to my morning class. With my gummy vitamins, I grab, I chew, I'm done. The MultiVites aren't the only ones I take. I also ingest Power C to boost my immune system because everyone around me is getting ill, and I take Calcium to fight off osteoporosis :).

A friend of mine thinks I'm too old for gummy vitamins, but I say pish-posh! Whatever makes me get my nutrients is fine with me.

Hair: Relaxed, Weave, or Natural?

Me at 8 years old rocking my braid extensions.

A recent post on Fashion Bomb got me thinking about the idea of relaxed, weaves and natural. I think that there is nothing wrong with any of them, but it's just about keeping your hair healthy.

I personally REFUSE to wear a weave or go natural. Natural hair is not my style and weaves ruin hair if not properly taken care of. The truth is I really hate weaves. Throughout my youth, I went between weaves and relaxed hair. My choice of fake hair was braid extensions. I absolutely loved them because I could whip my hair back and forth! I eventually vowed them off when my sophomore year of high school, I tried a new hair stylist who braided in my extensions too tight. When it came time for me to take my braids out, 50% of my actual hair was in the garbage. My hair was ruined and my hair dresser Ron was not too happy. Him and I worked so hard to get my hair healthily relaxed and I had to go and ruin it by getting a weave.

I know you're thinking I'm doing damage to my hair as well by getting a relaxer. When I go see Ron, he always does just a touch-up. He only places the relaxer on my roots so the rest of my hair does not get over-processed. Ron is also the only person who will ever do my perms because he knows all my diva-esque tendencies about the whole process; I have sensitive areas on my scalp that he knows to watch out for, I use a base cream before relaxing, I don't like the relaxer on my ears, nor do I like my hair touching my ears. I also only go for a perm almost every 2 - 3 months. It's not a frequent thing of mine. I don't care if my new growth is ever showing. I just care about being able to comb through my hair.

Needles to say, I'm curious. It's always interesting to find out how other black girls take care of their hair. What do you do?

Nails: Poppy Frock Star


I tried out the Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish stickers. Applying them is rather easy, but on my first attempt, I screwed up my forefinger nail. I'm heavy-handed, so I had to be very delicate going forward. I decided to leave one nail painted on each hand because I actually enjoy painting my nails. It's therapeutic for me and serves as a creative release.

1. Frock Star by Sally Hansen Salon Effects
2. Poppy by American Apparel
3. I Juggle... Men by OPI

February 22, 2011

Taking My Allergy Pills NOW!


According to TIME, the upcoming allergy season is going to be brutal and long. GREAT. I am allergic to the normal stuff such as dust, pollen, etc., etc. When the first spec of pollen falls, my eyes start to itch and my nose starts to drip. I get my allergies from my father. Him and I are allergic to the same stuff, but, I'm on a milder level.

Back in high school, I went to an allergist and got tested for all types of allergens. The allergist told me the best way to avoid the run-of-the-mill allergy symptoms is to start taking my medicine months before the season commences. This way, my system is fully prepared for what is to come; nonetheless, that is what I'm doing.

Nails: Glitter Shatter Shower


OK, OK. I promise this is my last Black Shatter related nail post for a while. I kind of regret the top glitter coat because I think it is glitter OVERLOAD. But you know what? You can NEVER have too much glitter!

I've grown quite a love for American Apparel's nail lacquers. Thanks to a friend who works at AA, I never have to pay for a bottle. And since I'm not a fan of their clothes, except their leggings, I think splurging on their nail polish is something I wouldn't mind doing. The polishes are thick and the colors are rich. One coat and you're done. But if you're a perfectionist like me, then, two coats and you're done. HA!

1. Rouge by American Apparel
3. Black Shatter by OPI
4. Sprinkle of Twinkle from Nicole by OPI

Products I Like: EOS Smooth Sphere

Photo: eos products
Move over chapstick! I've got a new lip balm obsession and it's the Smooth Sphere by EOS. This lip balm ball by Evolution of Smooth can be found at your local drug store and is just so freakin' cute. I'm a proud owner of Medicated Tangerine and will no longer be using my go-to lip product of choice, Chapstick.

February 19, 2011

Being healthy is a constant struggle...

Currently, I am dealing with the death of my best friend; and, you can say that I haven't really been handling it too well. Sure I look at life differently now and want to seize the day, everyday. But emotionally, I am still in a place of mourning, while having to care about school and work. A part of me is gone and I will never get it back.

I've been doing the unhealthy thing and binge eating. I go days with eating one big meal a day, but then stuff my face with all types of carb confections on the weekend as I lay in bed watching Law & Order: SVU reruns. Too bad that's not how it should be. Life has to go on.

My poor eating habits and poor exercise routine is contributing to my low energy, but really, I don't feel like doing anything anyway. I'm numb and I have lost interest in all the things I love. Having to pretend to care about certain aspects of my life (school, fashion) that play a GIANT role in it is exhausting, because I am not very good at faking emotions.

So, starting tomorrow I am going to channel my sadness into healthy habits like yoga and nutritious meals.

I need to feel better and this is the first step.

February 17, 2011

How do you groom your eyebrows?

Photo: tweezerman.com
I love my eyebrows. Every time I go to the salon, the lady doing my brow takes her sweet time saying, "Your eyebrow's so thick and nice. I'm jealous."

And as I lay flat on my back, close to a slumber, the beautician waxes and plucks away. I can feel her thin fingers slide over my eyebrows slowly. She is very precise with the stray hairs she pulls out post-waxing. She is the artist and I am her muse.

But in an effort to save money, I decided to tweeze the furry caterpillars myself. I didn't just pick up my tweezers and tug at my hairs. I used a trick my mom taught me; Vaseline.

When I was young, mama told me to dab some Vaseline on my eyebrows. It prevents me from accidentally nipping myself with my super sharp tweezers. Thus, I'm left with perfectly plucked AND thick eyebrows.

So, I'm curious. How do YOU groom your eyebrows?

February 16, 2011

No Longer Using Essie

essie nail polish

I'm getting rid of all my Essie nail lacquers because they are too quick to chip (Read: annoying). It's not you Essie, it's me. OK, it really is you.

UPDATE: Sorry guys, I gave them to a friend. I have other nail polishes I'll probably give away in the near future.

NYFW Makeup: Au Naturale at Rodarte Fall 2011

Photo: style.com
The vibe I get from Rodarte's beauty look for their Fall 2011 collections is one of "au naturale."

The lips had a brownish tint and the eyes had that same color around them, with eye lashes that looked like they were mascaraed with a cream-colored brush.

I can't say I am a total fan of the look. It's very safari meets concrete jungle. On Jourdan Dunn, the lips blend in with her face, but in kind of a good way. It looks like she's not wearing anything on her lips. Pretty cool.

February 15, 2011

NYFW Hair: Marc Jacobs Fall 2011

Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 RTW
Photo: Style.com
Jourdan Dunn dons a slicked-back pony tail backstage at the Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 show and I LOVE it. I really adore hair when it is pushed away from the face. Features are accentuated and the world can see your true beauty!

February 14, 2011

Nails: My Bloody Valentine

Photo by Brian Marquis

I'm still on a kick with OPI's Black Shatter. I decided to go girly this week with my nails by adding glitter, which you can't really see in the photo above. I did this subconsciously, but my nails coincide with Valentine's Day and my life. I have no Valentine. Never have. He's out there, so I'll just keep waiting. But in the meantime, I'll be a single bitter gal and wave my left hand in the air (all the single ladies!), showing off My Bloody Valentine nails.

1. Summer Peach, American Apparel
2. Chocolate Oasis, SpaRitual
3. Black Shatter, OPI
4. Some Enchanted Evening, Deborah Lippmann


February 13, 2011

All Hot & Bothered: Bikram Yoga

yoga mat

Tonight I made my return to Bikram Yoga (hot yoga). The last time I went to a Bikram Yoga class was 2 years ago. Craziness. I decided to go back because when I started Bikram my freshman year of college (circa 2008), I noticed results in my body I loved. My posture was better and my stubborn pockets of fat melted away; I was in the best shape of my life. My super hectic and broke college life hindered me from continuing my classes. But no more excuses! I am taking my health in my own hands and doing what I need to do to not only lose weight but be healthier. The yoga place near by posted a deal of unlimited monthly classes for only $40! The normal rate for unlimited monthly classes is $180. A total steal.

Do you take exercise classes? I found that Bikram is really the only group exercise class I like. I tried cycling and I hate it. The bicycle seat hurts my girl area, a lot.

NYFW Makeup: Berry lips at Lela Rose Fall 2011

Lela rose
Photo: style.com
Berry lips were featured on the models at Lela Rose. I think that a deep red/purple is perfect for any skin tone. It's definitely a color that should be worn at night, but as we've seen with the revival of the everyday bold lip, it can be worn during the day.


February 12, 2011

NYFW: THICK Eyebrows at Alexander Wang

Photo: style.com
The models at AWang had thick eyebrows. Penciled in or natural, I LOVE this look.

I don't think I'd ever pencil in my eyebrows though. Looks too fake.

February 7, 2011

McCrackle Nail Edition

Photo taken by Brian Marquis

This week's nails are a little on the McDonald's meets cheetah side.

1. Butter by American Apparel
2. Poppy by American Apparel
3. Black Shatter by OPI


February 6, 2011

Tip From My Hair Dresser: Blow Dry Your Hair Until it Shines!

blow dryer
I use a Gold 'N Hot blow dryer. I love it because it has the ion button.
What do you use?

Yesterday I trekked all the way from Long Island to New Jersey to visit my hair dresser, who I think is the crème de la crème when it comes to doing black hair. Lord knows I'm a diva, and I don't trust just anyone when it comes to pampering me. It's not only his skills that are impeccable, but his knowledge when it comes to hair care.

I was 13 when I started going to Ron (that's his name). Afraid of the hot curler, and constantly flinching, Ron flipped the curler in the air and caught it with one hand to prove to me that I would not get burned. He puts up with my crying fits, indecisiveness when it comes to how my hair should be styled, and is part of the reason I decided to cut my hair.

Bottom line, a good hair dresser is hard to come by, so I never get a perm from anyone but him. I also only go to him for hair advice. If I ever have a question about something I heard about hair, I ask him, he explains, and then it all makes sense to me.

So yesterday while he was blow drying my hair, he said, "Wow, your hair retains a lot of water."

"Oh, it does?"

It must have been at least 15 minutes. "Yeah, I can't believe I'm still blow drying."

"Hm. Well, I never dry my hair fully. I get lazy and just dry it for like 5 minutes and go on my day with moist hair."

"Well, you really shouldn't. You should dry your hair until it shines. Once it shines, you'll know your cuticles are closed. If your cuticles are open, your hair is dull."

No one wants dull hair, right?

February 3, 2011

My Nails Are On Crack!

Photo taken by Brian Marquis

Photo taken by Brian Marquis

1. Lifesaver by Justin Bieber (HAHA) for OPI
2. Black Shatter by OPI

I managed to get my hands of the cracked nail polish, Black Shatter by OPI, and I am addicted. For the next couple months, I guarantee you all I will be experimenting with different base colors and designs involving Black Shatter.

Beauty Starts From Within (DUH!)

vitamins i take every morning

A recent trip to my physician provoked me to try being healthier. Being in college, I've not only gained a ton of weight, but some physical ailments as well, which I think may be due to my poor diet and lack of regular exercise (DUH!). I'm really trying to get back on that good-health train and I'm starting with my supplements.

Growing up, I ALWAYS took my vitamins. If I didn't, I would have hell to pay from my father (Read: strict, but loving, Nigerian dad). I'm glad my dad instilled in me the importance of taking my multi-vitamins every morning; taking a multi everyday helped me start my day right. I knew if I took my Flintstones chewable tablets--which then became Centrum pills--that morning, I'd have a healthy day. Healthy days made make me happy.

That being said, I introduced additional supplements into my life to take daily along side my multi-vitamin.

Right now I am taking Centrum Performance Multivitamin, but I will eventually switch over to VitaFusion's Multi Vites Gummy Vitamins because I am a kid at heart. I also found that the Centrum multies sometimes give me a tummy ache :(.

I also take VitaFusion Calcium Gummy Vitamins because calcium is especially important for women as we get older. Calcium supplements can help prevent osteoporosis later on in life. It is important you take the right calcium supplements. Find the one that is right for you. I used to take Caltrate, but I hated how huge the pill was. Also, make sure you take a calcium supplement that has Vitamin D or Magnesium. If you can find one that has both, then extra points for you! Vitamin D helps your bones absorb the Calcium and Magnesium stops the calcium from making you constipated. However, constipation is not a problem of mine because I love fiber-HA!

Lastly, I take two low-dose "baby" aspirin daily as well. I take the chewable ones, so they are super yummy. According to Dr. Oz, taking two baby aspirin daily can prevent cancer, make your skin look better and thin your blood to prevent inflammation.

Now that I'm taking all the proper supplements, I just need to make that extra step to eat right and drink more water because beauty truly starts from within.

Acne Scars Sucks

Acne scar removal products

Acne scars suck. Seriously.

During the prime of my pimply stage, Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Acne Mark Fading Peel was my go-to product to get rid of my acne scars. That product vanished from the shelves soon after I started using it and I had to find something else to hide the fact I love picking my pimples.

I discovered Bio Oil and it worked great! Slow, but great. I briefly tried Hydroquinone (a skin bleacher), but stopped after one day. The idea of BLEACH on my skin freaked me out. I then went back to Bio Oil, but ceased my usage of the product when I saw my friend Chelsea do a post on her blog, Dear Winnie, about Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight & Fade Gel. I knew I had to try it. Homegirl is my bff, so I trust her word. And you know what? I really like it! I've been using it for a while now and I notice change whenever I apply it twice a day as directed.

Every now and then, I use Freeman's Cucumber Face Peel to give me that extra oomph I need to remove my scars.

I'm curious, what do you use? Seriously. I'm open to any formula that will make the marks go away quicker!
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