Thursday, November 03, 2005

...or my name's not Shauntia Williams

**special double edition**
“I almost feel like the bubbles are owning you and you aren’t owning the bubbles.”
--Lisa, aka “Alcoholic Bitch"

“If anyone should understand a difference in gender expression, it should be Miss J. I mean, are you kidding?”
--Kim, aka “The Object of Tia’s Girl Crush” (her preppy-butch ensembles are the CUTEST)

Hola Homies!!
Mama’s back, y’all! Oh, I was getting so very distracted at home in BK (as Nas eloquently put it on Kany-eezy’s “We Major”…I heard the beat and I ain’t know what to write), but my little sabbatical worked wonders! Sometimes you just need to push pause on your immediate environment to drown out the noise and FOCUS, you know? I got tons done, my editor is feeling me again--and if I may say so myself, I think you’ll kinda like my new novel (even though its not technically a sequel, Billie and dem do make an appearance…you won’t believe what’s up with she and Jay five years later, tee-hee). No title yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all your adorable emails wishing me good luck! When I got stuck, you all made me smile (except, of course, for the nameless hater who wrote: “Shutup Bitch.” Omarosa, is that you?). And now, bear with me while I address a couple of you, directly:

So tickled you like THE BEAUTY OF COLOR! It’s only in English as of now, but I believe a Spanish translation is coming soon.

Dear MalcaJ,
Big congratulations on your baby girl coming on Feb. 20th!! And even though your family thinks you’re nuts, I enthusiastically agree that Billie is a FINE name.

Dear Dimon,
Don’t you know a true lady never reveals her age? Two hints:
1.) The year I graduated from high school, my favorite songs were: Rump Shaker, Nuthin But a G Thang, Dreamlover, Janet's If, and Jade’s Don’t Walk Away (damn, how hot was that one?).
2.) My birthday’s August 15th.
A special treat to whoever gets it right!!

Dear Anonymous,
I am, in fact, NOT Shauntia Williams from Hattiesburg. Though she sounds lovely.

Back to business. Even though no one saw me for the better part of a month, I never EVAH let my beauty game slip. Which just goes to show that makeup and stuff really isn’t about impressing other people, its about making yourself feel good. An example: I’m an insomniac, and inevitably wake up at 3:30 am every single night of my life. Unlike most people, who I assume would drink warm milk or something like jumping back in bed, I do things like practice my smoky eye technique, pluck my eyebrows, or trim my split ends. Yes, folks, its that deep. When I'm bored I play "Beauty Shop." And so when I was packing I made sure to include the following five gems—all of which kept me busy shaking my beauty in between writing, sleeping, and watching Making the Band 3 (“get gully!”).


If it weren't for my palm-sized palette of bronzey-neutral goodness, I'd have to travel with a steamer trunk full of makeup. This endlessly entertaining box o'beauty has three mini sliding shelves that hold everything you need to do your entire face: Three creamy lip glosses (a toffee, copper, and metallic coffee shade); three shadows (a pale peachy gold, copper, and deep shimmery bronze); a cinnamony blush; a blush brush; a lip brush and a double-sided eye shadow brush. Seriously, everyone must own this kit--and the price is SICK.

Eleven dollars might seem steep, but this isn't an emory board its an EXPERIENCE (its made up of four differently textured halves--a shaper, finisher, smoother and buffer). Every writer should keep this by her computer--I should know, its a tradition I've upheld for six years, since I was a nervous, nicotine-addicted assistant beauty editor at Elle. Every time I'm at a loss for words, creatively frustrated, or generally in need of a distraction, I reach for this four-way stick and frantically get to buffing until my muse returns.

Where to start, where to start? The Philosophy folks thought of everything when they put together this little skincare set, which includes a luxurious cleanser, an un-greasy moisturizer perfect for spots of cold weather dryness, an ingenious eye/lip cream, and the best invention ever--the Kiss Me Red Lip Balm, a pot of smoothing salve that leaves a hint of a tint on lips. Could they possibly have understood the joy I'd have playing with these lotions and potions for a good half hour of procastination?

This is embarassing, but sometimes during those bouts of middle-of-the-night boredom, I'd obsessively curl my lashes, over and over. I just can't get over how something so itsy-bitsy--no bigger than a matchbook--can make my lashes fan out in such a deeply dramatic, Ava Gardner-way. And the soft pad prevents lash breakage, which can sometime happen with those clunky, complicated, medieval-looking curlers.

Okay, I've become addicted to washing my hair so I can play with this thing. You know how, despite how mean you are with a blowdryer, you MUST follow up with a flatiron if you really want that supernaturally straight look? Which sucks, because doubling up on heated appliances virtually murders your hair (and wears out your arm). Well, this multi-tasking, two-in-one flatiron manages to dry wet hair AND straighten it--at the same damn time!!!!! It has something to do with special built-in outlets that allow water to evaporate, and high, constant heat. Hot stuff.


Anonymous CousinKuka said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you Miss Tia, for the list of "gems". I whipped out my Visa, and bought every single item mentioned, and then some! Thanks to your blog, I have become an absolute makeup/haircare/fashion-eesta! Now if you would only give us a recap each week of our fave reality tv shows,(Malika- ya gotta harmonize, girl!)
:)Thanks again Ms Beauty Shaker!

1:22 PM  
Blogger bree! said...

Hey Tia! We're so glad to hear from you...and most importantly, you sound REFRESHED! The minute the book is out, I am off and running to the store! I feel you on the twilight tweezer action. I was raised by a man and still couldn't have been more avid in my eyebrow grooming...
P.S.:(so excited about the Vidal Sassoon Wet to Dry straightening iron!)

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Tami said...

let's see I'm thinking 1994 I remember dancing to rumpshaker in the 9th grade..:-) but anyway I am so excited to see your new post and am wasting away waiting for the new book to come out !! and I think I will get me and my girls that make-up kit for christmas you suggested.. thanks a million Tia

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Tia..I was at your lecture today at the University of Maryland, and i thought you were fabulous! I'm a journalism major and i have been having trouble deciding what path to take within the field, after you talk today i was inspired and i decided that i want to try to pursue a career like yours. I have always loved to write and i am extremely girly and into fashion and beauty as well, so i think that it would be perfect for me. I just wanted to say thank you for all of your advice and inspiration, you've really helped me a lot. I was looking online after your talk to try to find internships and i was having trouble figuring out where to find them...if possible, i know you're really busy, but if you could email me at, and give me some tips about websites or who to contact to get them that would be extremely helpful.

Thanks again,

Allie Gutman

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad to see that you have progressed so well on your next great novel. I can't wait to see what happened with Billie and Jay.
As a journalist I know that writer's block can be crazy, especially when you are on a deadline.
Right now I'm really loving your blog because I just don't know anything about make-up.
So thanks for the advice, insight and inspiration.



8:31 PM  
Blogger LUXE_DivaSoulSistaHuneyChil said...

Rumpshaker came out in 1993,and if you were 17 or 18 when you graduated that would mean you were born in 1975 which would make you 30 years young. Am I right? YOU WERE HERE at UM? I would have come to see you! I go to Howard and our magazine club, Cover to Cover, wants you to speak at a panel that they are hosting. If your interested Please let me know.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Shelia said...

Welcome back Tia!!! I will have to try #5...might save me a few trips to the beauty shop :)

7:33 PM  
Blogger Shelia said...

P.S. - Can you give us a hint on when the next book will be out?

7:34 PM  
Blogger Karmen said...

Welcome back Tia! You were missed dearly. I can't wait for the new book.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Schanina said...

"January, February, March, April, May..." Man, It's November already! Welcome Back Tia! I managed NOT to turn into a hot mess while you were gone, and I bought some cute shoes...LOL. The Nordstrom’s Half Yearly sale is abosolute bliss! Anyways, thanks for the teaser about your book! Ooh-La-Jay and Billie. Glad they are back.

Also that Vidal Sassoon Professional Wet to Dry Straightener looks like a super fun toy! (Or should I say a must-have-better-than-a-blowout-straightening-machine?)

9:20 AM  
Blogger MalcaJ said...

Welcome back Tia! Thanks for the shout out, I am still considering names but I have some time. Congrats on the book I can't wait to read it!
Now are u sure your not Shauntia Williams from around the way?Pookie's lil sister j/k I am heading to Target for the make up kit...good looking out thats a great buy and the Vidal Sassoon iron is revolutionary, I wear my hair curly because I simply don't have the time to go through the pain of straightening it but this sounds wonderful..see ya Tia

7:52 PM  
Blogger princessdominique said...

Tia, I may have missed it but what do you recommend for winter dry skin. I get dry patches when it gets cold. I'd like for my skin to keep that summer glow...

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tia, I really enjoy your site, glad to see that you are back and rejuvenated. Thanks to you I'm wanting to "Shake my beauty" too. See I'm 21 and I'm really trying to get in to the makeup scene. I have a limited budget (you know how it is... just finished big buck just yet). What would you say is essential for a brown girl just starting out.. trying to figure stuff out makeup wise (judging from your pictures, I'm somewhere between your sisters' complexion and your friend Lola's complexion) I'd greatly appreciate your help.
Thanks Tia

12:56 PM  
Anonymous CeCe Style said...

So Tia I hope you have an unemployment fund set up because if my boss catches me reading this one more time I will officially have problems. I actually let out a little yelp and giggle when I realized you were back!!! Please make up for lost time with 2 blogs a week and a big section on holiday gifts.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Tia --
I first heard about your book at the Harlem Book Fair this summer, when you sat on a panel with Iman and another of my favorite authors, Benilde Little.
I picked up 'Accidental Diva' the following weekend and finished it in ONE day. Seriously, girl, your skills are like that...and I loved your quote about how the Black women you know aren't trying to keep up with the Joneses, that they ARE the Joneses. Thank you so much for writing a book that (finally) shows us that way, with honesty and humor.
Can't wait for the next book and thanks for this blog, cause Lord knows I can use these makeup tips, haa.
Keep up the good work!!

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Quel said...

Welcome back, Tia!

Glad to hear that Billie and Jay made it 5 years.:)

#5 is looking very cute. These days I'm in between maybe growing out my relaxer and maybe falling deeper in love with it and continuing my 12 month old affair.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Funkeedva said...

I was doing drive by blogs and I's NOVEMBER Tia's back :) hehehehhe

Glad you got a lot accomplished! You'll be proud of me...I am the chief makeup artist at a local theater down the block ;) 1954 Marilyn Monroe this time around....Can't wait!

:) Happy to see ya again

2:19 PM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

Hey there Ms Tia! I'm brand new to your site and I'm so luving it girl!!!! I've worked on the sales side of cosmetics for years and in doing so I discovered it's one of of my life's passions. I LUV me some make-up and beauty products. Anyway I know i'm late but I finished up Accidental Diva last week and absolutely adored it! Can't wait to read the new book. I'm thinking your were born in 1974 since Rump shaker hit the airwaves in 1992. I was an HU student at the time so I remember that year well. Ok this post is already too long just wanted to holla at you and send some LUV. I know I use that word alot but I think the world needs so more much of it. Love that is...

Smooches sistah and keep it moving!


PS: When ever you get a chance I was wondering what your thoughts on a mid 30's something
chica (like myself) trying to break into magazine publishing and pursue a beauty editor career like you and Ms Billie? Please give me your honest opinion. Thanks

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, those wet-to-straight things really work? Because I see them and wish, but don't believe it. And lemme tell ya, I can do a mean-a$$ blowout, but it takes me an hour. Do you swear on the Bible (for me, Lucky) and all that's holy (this blog) and my iPod, Baby, that this will work? Reallyreally? LOL


7:33 PM  
Blogger rlgirl said...

About this SONIA KASHUK SLIDING MAKEUP KIT IN SPICE IT UP ($19.99) - I have had this for a few months now and it's wonderful! As Tia says in her posting...."
This endlessly entertaining box o'beauty has three mini sliding shelves that hold everything you need to do your entire face"... I found out about it on the Beauty Product Review site

Bye the way Tia- I LOVE your ANTP (America's Next Top Model) recaps and quotes from Miss Tyra and the gang!

1:44 PM  
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