Tuesday, January 17, 2006

An insomniac writer talks to beauty-philes

Happy New Year Pretty Ladies,
I TURNED IT IN, I TURNED IT IN! Oh girls, I haven't been this relieved since Master P's ecstatically stonefaced quick-step routine finally came to a close. You all keep asking me when the book is coming out, and I think either Fall 2006 or Spring 2007. I know, I know, it seems like FOREVAH, but it usually takes about a year to publish a book. At least it'll give me enough time to think of a title (my editor didn't seem to enjoy my initial suggestion: HOPE THIS FIRST DRAFT ISN'T A HOT MESS). Oh, how I've missed my girls--woops, and Todd, my one straight male reader. So much so, that I've decided to devote an entire post to you! First, I've come up with a nifty little list of Shake Your Beauty New Year's Resolutions (and I better not catch any of you breaking them). Second, I've decided to forego my usual product roundup in favor of addressing a handful of the more memorable reader questions/comments (I always enjoy your pleas for beauty guidance, but since I was floundering in deadline hell, I had zero time to answer them). It's a veritable advice extravaganza!

But first, repeat after me:
In 2006, I will...
* NOT hang on to long hair for the sake of it being long. If your hair's down to your butt, but the last five inches are a split, busted mess, CUT IT.
* NOT trace my top lashes with a skinny line of pearly white eye pencil. Unless you're auditioning for a BET Uncut video.
* Pray that Tyra Banks loses those cotton-candy-fluffy, fuschia-tinted weaves. Loved her hustle in '05, though (Top Model, the talk show, Top Models visiting the talk show every other episode...).
* NOT attempt to administer my own Brazilian wax.
* Stop wasting my money on toners. They feel all tingly-good, but don't actually do a damn thing for oily, acne-prone skin. If you really want results, invest in a nightime acne lotion with 2% salicylic acid. .
* Do that thing the eight-year-old version of myself always dreamed I'd do when I grew up. Which means, in my case, that I better stop effing around and concentrate on becoming the brown Jackie Collins.
* Stop wasting my time daydreaming about being a gay cowboy.
* NOT think I can get away with no makeup. Instead, go for a no-makeup LOOK: concealer blended on eyes and on blemishes, bronzer-as-blush, blackest black mascara, and gloss.
* Stop being proud of being his "main girl." If you're not THE girl, drop him.

And now, an insomniac writer talks to beauty-philes (which reminds me of the book my mom thrust in my hands when I hit puberty, a threateningly humorless pamphlet entitled, A DOCTOR TALKS TO 9-12 YEAR OLDS).

Dear Mystique, Sunshine, Allie Gutman, LaToya and Alexandria Gill,
So you all wanna be beauty editors, huh? First of all, it's important to know that no matter your age, your number of post-graduate degrees, or your smoky eye-proficiency, the only way in is by accepting an entry-level positon...ie., beauty assistant. Here are a few ways to get there: First, try applying to one of the fabulous post-graduate summer publishing courses--both NYU and Columbia have fabulous ones (I went to NYU's the summer after I graduated from UVA). The location is great if you don't already live in Manhattan, as you'll be able to look for housing and get settled in the city before you find a job. The classes are taught by bonafide professionals in the magazine industry, so you can easily get your hustle on over the three months. And because of the networking opportunities and the job fairs, you're practically guaranteed an editorial assistant position at a magazine by the end of the summer. Secondly, find yourself a magazine internship! Check on invaluable websites like mediabistro.com or ed2010.com for internship opportunites...they also list job openings as soon as they are available. Remember: The important thing is getting your foot in the door, so even if there aren't any beauty positions open, don't hesitate to go for any entry-level positon that opens up (fashion, features, entertainment, etc.). Once you're in, you can always transfer to the beauty department when a position opens up. Good luck Cutie Pies, and hopefully I'll see you at the next over-the-top, stiltwalkers-and-fireeaters lipgloss launch party!

Dear PR@TheGarnierCircle,
How exciting your job is, working at a celebrity giftbagging company! So, you want to know what products most appeal to black women? Am I safe in assuming we're talking about the likes of Halle, Jada, Beyonce, Joy B., and Al Reynolds (sorry, that last one was just mean-spirited, wasn't it?)? In any event, here are some brands that cater to the beauty whims of not only black babes, but also Latina, East Indian, Asian, and Native American chicks:
1.) IMAN COSMETICS: As you know, my Fairy Supermodel's line is probably the last word in cosmetics for brown beauties. My favorite thing is the bronzers, which work just as well on the apples of the cheeks as blush.
2.) REAL COSMETICS: Founded by Lubna Khalid, a gorgeous Palestenian-American social activist and ex-model, this line is a must if you can never find anything to match your skin. Real Cosmetics is totally revolutionary in that its the first collection to recognize that "warm" and "cool" aren't the only skin undertones that exist--instead, they formulate makeup (foundation, powders, lipstick, blush, etc.) to flatter olive, golden, red-gold, or red-brown tones. Brilliant.
3.) PRESCRIPTIVES CUSTOM BLEND LIP GLOSS: Prescriptives has long been worshipped for their custom-blend foundations and powders, but now they've come out with a personalized lip gloss--FABULOUS for brown girls with two-toned lips (like me) who have serious issues finding the right gloss. Now, at most every counter, the Prescriptives geniuses can whip up your very own lip gloss based on your favorite color, finish, coverage level, and flavor.
4.) COVER GIRL QUEEN COLLECTION: U.N.I.T.Y...that's unity! Brand-new from Cover Girl is a line of sixty new powder, lipstick, gloss, eyeshadow quads and eye pencil shades for all women with brown skin...developed by Queen Latifah, herself.
5.) PANTENE RELAXED & NATURAL: We've always loved Pantene anyway--they're super-moisturizing shampoos and conditioners leave our naturally dry hair feeling ridiculously soft--but their line of shampoos, conditioners, wrap & set lotions, styling creams, and more formulated for both relaxed and natural hair takes it to a whole other level. It's funny, when I got the invite for their launch party two years ago, I thought it was for some new yoga center or something...you know, "relaxed" and "natural?" Perhaps you had to be there.

Dear Anonymous Oily Skin Sufferer,
Oh honey, you're not the only one looking for a good foundation for oily skin. I'm here to sing the praises of CLINIQUE CLARIFYING MAKEUP SKIN CLEAR FORMULA, an ultra-lightweight, oil-control foundation that gives oily skin a matte (but not dry) finish all day long. Promise.

Dear LuxeDiva,
When you hurt, I hurt! I hate that you've given up on getting glowy, radiant skin smack in the middle of winter after trying a steady stream of exfoliators and bronzers. Mama's here to make it all better--first, wash with a shower gel containing glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids (chemical exfoliants work better and more gently than scrubs). I'm obsessed with PETER THOMAS ROTH GLYCOLIC ACID 3% SHOWER & BODY CLEANSING GEL, which is spiked with both glycolic and alpha hydroxy acid, and leaves the roughest, ashiest skin baby's-butt-soft. Follow up with a liquid, NOT POWDER, body bronzer like TARTE MOISTURIZING DRY OIL SHIMMER SPRAY...it not only gives pale cold-weather-skin a summery glow, but the dry oil leaves a fabulous, ungreasy sheen. Behold, skin glowy enough to make a Jessica Alba/J. Lo/Beyonce-sandwich wail with envy.

Dear Anonymous Nawlins Creole,
I'm so loving a fellow Creole chick with a beauty fetish! Wanna know what makeup works for a green-eyed, auburn-haired, light-skinned vixen like yourself? Don't you DARE listen to the beauty counter philistines steering you towards purple eyeshadow; you need to avoid cool, blue-based shades as if your life depended on it. With your coloring, you should quickly run towards warm, sunny colors--think pale shimmery peaches and golds for eyes, like POUT EYESHADOW DUO IN MISS OCTOBER, sheer orangey blush like NARS BLUSH IN EXHIBIT A (it seems harsh in the packaging, but trust...Crayola-orange blush brightens up every complexion, especially ones with yellow-undertones like yourself), and bronzey-red lip gloss like MAC LUSTREGLASS IN ORNAMENTAL.

Dear Tisha,
I'm quite flattered that you admire my blindingly white teeth in my wedding pics, but I have a confession. A month before the Big Day, I went to the illustrious Dr. Rosenthal (the genius responsible for most of Hollywood's chiclet-smiles) and bought myself a set of bridal-worthy porcelain veneers. Short of this extravagance, I'd suggest springing for the brilliantly priced, cult-favorite GO SMILE DAILY COMPACT. This sleek, silver compact comes with seven daily vials filled with an award-winning serum that promises to brighten your smile up to ten shades in a week. The best part? It doesn't weaken enamel or make your teeth sensitive, like some of those drugstore situations. And its the first over-the-counter whitening product that also lifts stains off of veneers, crowns or bonded teeth. All this, at only $28.

Folks, I hope my little bit of advice has set you off on the right foot in '06! Also, wanted you to know that, for the new year, I've decided to institue some changes around here. First, due to popular demand, I'll be updating my picture page in the next week...and I'll try to go easy on the petrosexual shots of my dog. Second, your computer-illiterate beauty shaker is investigating how to download pictures of the products she raves so wildly about. Won't that be nice? So stay tuned and stay beautiful!

Kiss Kiss Mwah Mwah,
Your Tia


Anonymous Fo'Real in LA said...

I've lurked for nearly a month but am glad to hear you've finished the book. I love this site! I'll be visiting the Clinique counter soon - thanks!

10:03 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Tia, so glad you are back! Love, love, loved the new year advice. I

1:30 AM  
Blogger Mystie said...

Quick question: I'm a actress/model and I have a delicious cocoa-brown complexion but it's attached to combination skin, Are there any natural looking foundations you could recommend that would possibly cater to maintianing healthy skin at the same time for when I go out on my auditions?
Also, I absoultely adore your site! Thank you so much for all the beauty-full advice :)

11:33 AM  
Blogger Cece said...

Hey Tia,
Thanks so much for the realistic advice and for actually taking the time to answer crazy dreamers like myself. Who knows in a few years maybe we will collaborate on something?? Until then keep the good stuff coming!!
CeCe Style aka LaToya

12:35 PM  
Blogger princessdominique said...

Congrats Tia! I know how it is to get a manuscript off your chest.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Suezette b.k.a. Mz.Black Geisha said...

LMAO@ Master P's quick step...that was such a hot mess!

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Tia,

Thanks for the post today... it was well worth the wait. I am looking forward to purchasing the hardcover edition of your book because I cannot wait for the trade paperback to come out.

Do you have any tips for dry lips? I drink water, but I live in a state with harsh winters... please oh please advise....

8:08 PM  
Blogger Karmen said...

I can't wait for the new book to hit the shelves! And I'm definitely glad that you are back. Loved the SYB New Year's Resolutions.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Toi said...

coming our of lurkville to tell you that I'm reading Accidental Diva for the 5th time, I luv it! Congrats on turning in your manuscript and I'm so glad you are back.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Glam Mama said...

Me being a Shake Your Beauty Addict, I am so relieved that you have turned in your manuscript (Thank God!) and treated us with a super long post. Also, I am happy to hear that you will be adding more pictures to the site. After reading Accidental Diva, I found your site and have been a faithful reader ever since. I feel like I have enhanced my inner Glam Girl with the help of my Fairy Glam-mama!
On that note... Thank you for all that you do, I appreciate you taking the time out to love your SYBs as much as they love you!! Kisses Ashley

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Funkee said...

2 things I am angry at:

"NOT think I can get away with no makeup. Instead, go for a no-makeup LOOK: concealer blended on eyes and on blemishes, bronzer-as-blush, blackest black mascara, and gloss.' LOL

AND You called the makeup counter ladies philistines!

I am dead over here! hahahahahahaha

I am so glad you're back!

I could never write, but praise baby Jesus that you had the kindness to give tips and such to all the ladies here. :) and the one straight guy :)

4:51 PM  
Blogger MsTyque said...

So I log on to check if you're back and not only are you back, but you answered my 'how to be a beauty editor' question! You are fabulous. Thank you! Can't wait to read the new book. BTW, did you catch the Golden Globes Fashion Police special the two Jays and Nole from ANTM? Hilarious....

12:40 AM  
Blogger MalcaJ said...

Heyyyy girlll, it is so good to see ya back. The post was a nice surprise to a otherwise dull day within these drap cubicle walls. I can't wait for the book to come out congrats on finishing and please tell me who told Master P ahem my bad...P MILLER it was ok to go on that show...u would think that somebody in those huge rapstar entourages would discourage bad career moves like that...gotta go back to work see ya lata

11:56 AM  
Blogger Glam Mama said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Glam Mama said...

Hey Tia, one more thing, I wanted to pick your brain about a couple of things if I could get an email from you that would be great! How did you end up in NYC and as a beauty editor? What qualifications would I need to be a successful beauty editor? Lastly, I am a marketing major, can that work in the beauty world? My wmail address is Pinkdepaul@yahoo.com .

Luv Ya,

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you've been nominated in our best dressed/most stylish blogger contest.

go figure


12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


At the risk of sounding like a groupie, I am a HUGE fan. I really admire your work and being a young, black woman trying to make it as a writer isn't easy. Because you are literally living the life I dream about, I would really love to hear from you. Can you please send me an email off the blog so that I can respond with more specific questions? Thanks! poplr0001@aol.com

4:49 PM  
Blogger SilverGirl said...

OMG! I love this blog! I am a relative newbie here and now I am hooked! When are you going to post again? I'll be looking forward to it. Congrats on your book and may I also say that "The Beauty of Color" is a fabulous must-have book for women of color. It's like the beauty-bible! On another note, and at the risk of sounding like I'm jumping on the bandwagon - I would love to hear from you personally about getting into the beauty business. I have a huge obstacle that I would have to overcome in order to get there and I am wondering if you can give me some advice on my personal situation. I would love to hear from you when you get some time. My email is misha902@yahoo.com. Thanks, and keep up the fabulous work!

11:38 AM  
Blogger LUXE_DivaSoulSistaHuneyChil said...

Thank you Tia for the advice I will make sure to purchase those products. I was wondering whether or not My group has contacted you yet about the panel? I am so happy you posted about how to become a beauty editor (which is what I would like to pursue after college.) Right now my major is PR (sux!) minor in english. I am totally stuck doing hardcore newspaper work though, which is driving me nuts. How did you deal with writing with the newspaper part before you got into magazines?

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Tisha said...

Hey Tia!
Thx for the advice!! just one thing, do u have any idea if Go Smile can be purchased in Europe? (yup i'm a lil european girl) This product seems to be sooo perfect, i really hope i can buy it over here!!

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Alexandria Gill said...

I know I am so super late, but I just wanted to say thank you for writting me back about how to become a beauty editor. The advice was just what I needed and coming from you, someone who I have basically come to know and love from you blog!, means sooooo much. Remember me because i'm so on my way to the top!!!! See ya there!!! ~Alexandria Gill

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Esthti V said...

I am currently an Esthetician and I LOVE the beauty and fasion industry. I'm soooo glad you wrote some tips about becoming an editor. I'm 26 years old and sometimes feel too wierd about going back to school because I feel like it will take forever! I'm just going to go for it and not look back!! Thanks!

12:33 AM  
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