Friday, June 30, 2006

Feelin' Frisky on the Fourth

Hey Girls,
Just a quick post to wish you all a fabulous, un-frizzy Fourth! I can't imagine my vacation to North Cackalacky's Hatteras beach being un-fabulous because I'm in SUCH a sweet mood. Why?

1.) THE BET AWARDS!! Omigod, I'm hyperventilating...I can't breathe...I'm getting all hot and bothered just thinking about the almost-obscenely historical moment that was PRINCE, STEVIE AND CHAKA. The second my Sacred Bizarre Purpleness played the opening chords of "Aint Nobody," I became a woman. It was just crazy. But the whole show was amazing, wasn't it? BEYONCE (uh, wait...I mean Sasha)?!! When she caught the Holy Ghost ("oooh, my new single is the ish!) and flung herself on the floor, writhing and shimmying about--well, I couldn't help but do the same (but my version, somehow, looked very different). The only moment that slightly disturbed me was the Jamie Foxx/Fantasia Barinno Tongue-Down. Gross, get a room.

2.) I'm having a hell of a media week! Check out my profile in the SAINT PETERSBURG TIMES--the writer made me sound a tad pissed-off, but I really wasn't. I just hadn't had sex in two weeks when we did the interview. What? I'm on deadline. Oh, and the fun thing is, the San Francisco Chronicle picked up the story, and they're running it in the Style Section this weekend. Fun times.

3.) YOU GUYS. Some quick shout-outs before we hop in our rental car and head down to NC (yay, Chick-fil-A!!):
* Everyone, join me in wishing Ms. Caliprynses a huge, sexy congratulations for being the first to correctly answer the June/July ACCIDENTAL DIVA trivia question! Yep, as many of you guessed, Billie's "most perfect novel, ever" is Their Eyes Were Watching God. And if you haven't read it, you officially have homework.
* Good luck on your dissertation, Fo'Real in Los Angeles! You wanna know what I've been doing recently, when I need to pull an all-nighter? I throw on Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous" and hop around the room for a couple minutes. Wiiide awake.
* Hey Miss Funkee--I'm so flattered that you got to p. 148 of THE ACCIDENTAL DIVA in one night! Here's hoping you'll be equally as into my second novel...I'm looking forward to giving the damn thing a title, so I'll no longer have to refer to it as "McBlankety Blank."
* CONGRATULATIONS, Zakiyyah, on your Fulbright grant to your thing, sugar!! Next week, I'll give you tips on what to bring with you. Yeah, I doubt Malaysians are real big on Miss Jessie's curl products.
* A huge gracias and a bigger MUAH to Cece and Bree for answering Anonymous' question about the best face exfoliator. Just so you all know, they respectively chose ST. IVES APRICOT SCRUB (so classic), and QUEEN HELENE COCOA BUTTER NATURAL FACIAL SCRUB (mmm...smells heavenly). You ladies make me fear for my job.
* Coco Fiere--You live for Donyelle on "So You Think You Can Dance?" Well, I live for Mousa. In fact, I'd like to impregnate him, as soon as possible. And I'm glad you revealed your dance background, because I will now exploit you to the fullest. The main character in my teen book--the one about the group of kids that go to New York's High School of Performing Arts--is also a dancer! What are some classic dance steps (ie, Russian leaps) I can throw around in my book, so I'll look authentic?
* Stay motivated to write your manuscript, Miss Bty In & Out (love the name), and always remember--writers write because we HAVE to. We have no choice. Think of it like this: What if a surgeon decided he didn't feel like going to work? Make it that important, Precious, and you'll have your manuscript finished in no time.

I love you guys! Really, thanks so much for reading my silly little beauty blog...I look forward every day to reading your delicious, brilliant comments! Stay beautiful over the holiday weekend, and I'll holler next week :-)


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Straight, No Chaser

Hey Ladies,
I'm officially blown away by the number of deeply intriguing, totally universal beauty questions my Sexy Mamas have sent me over the past two weeks!! And I can't wait to get to them, but something so extraordinary just happened to me (well, to my hair) that I'd be a very sad Beauty Ho were I not to drop everything and share (I'd also be remiss in not mentioning probably the worst beauty offense of the week...Britney's slowly-coming-undone row of false lashes on that pitiable Dateline interview. Everyone was so preocuppied with the chewing of the gum, the cleavage, and the statement "funny people are hilarious," but was the glob of black glue hovering over her left eye any less horrific? What the Fantasia Barrino was her makeup artist thinking!!). Okay, so here's the fabulous thing. On Thursday, MIZANI HAIRCARE (one of the most kick-ass black haircare lines in creation) held a beauty editor event for their new in-salon service...and I must admit, I was highly skeptical when I found out what the deal was. In July, Mizani will debut their Thermasmooth system, a four-step professional regimen that'll revolutionize the way you straighten your hair. Supposedly, the products in the regimen--including a special Conditioning Shampoo, Strengthening Condiitoner, Smooth Guard heat-activated styling lotion, and Shine Extend finishing serum--all work together to straighten your hair so intensely THAT IT'LL EXTEND YOUR RELAXER AN EXTRA THREE WEEKS. Not only that, it can transform even the most tightly curled natural hair into such silky-straight smoothness, no one but your stylist and God will know you're chemical-free. Well, I refused to believe it. If I had a dime for every haircare line claiming God-like straightening powers, I would NOT be cleaning my own toilet. So, at the event, two models were set up in stylist's chairs--one with an almost-grown-out relaxer, and the other with enormous 'fro. And girls, as I live and breathe, the stylists applied all the special products and, with the help of a flatiron, the two chicas somehow magically ended up with almost-identical, glossy, my-pretty-pony locks. WHAT? Instantly, I threw 'bows at one of the models and plopped down in her chair, demanding to experience "the system" for myself (being a month overdue for a perm, I was a perfect subject, too). The stylist grabbed a section of hair from my bushy wash-and-go ponytail, and then assaulted it with all four products in the system. And SERIOUSLY, I had to laugh when I saw what looked like a clip-on extension sticking out of my frizzy-crazy ponytail. It really was jaw-droppingly amazing--I've never seen ANYTHING like this, ladies. Drop everything and get yourself to a Mizani salon, because these products aren't available on the market (for $20, though, the salons are selling a special ThermaSmooth Maintenace kit for touch-ups between appointments). To find a salon near you, click on the Salon Locator. Fabulous!

Okay ladies, back by popular demand is THE ACCIDENTAL DIVA trivia the first to get it right, and you'll win the Stila Product of the Month (check it out by scrolling down on the right). Good luck and here's the question:

What book does Billie say is the "most perfect novel ever?" Come on guys, this one's easy.

Love you! Keep writing in with your brilliant questions and I'll hit you back next week...

Miss Tia if You're Nasty

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Don't say cheap...INEXPENSIVE sounds prettier

Hey ladies,
I enjoy that Gnarls Barkley song, "Crazy." I enjoy the name Gnarls Barkley, even more. I enjoy the fact that i opened Us Weekly and learned that Halle Berry and I both own the same Diane Von Vurstenberg white eyelet sundress. I enjoyed my visit with RuPaul on CosmoRadio yesterday, because he revealed that his great, big, delicious hair is, in fact, the result of TWO wigs. I enjoy taking out the trash in my teeny-tiny terrycloth shorts and pretending to be outraged when the guys refacing the brownstone across the street get all saucy with me. I enjoy eating Doritos at 3am, naked, in my pitch-black kitchen. I enjoy the fact that it's balmy enough to have an outdoor cafe moment, and I enjoy my new highlights (mainly because, this time, I sought professional help rather than slapping them in myself and accidentally falling asleep while the dye slowly roasts my hair to death). I especially enjoy that TODAY I FINISHED MY TEEN NOVEL!!! WOO-HOO!! Girls, I'm having a damn good summer, how 'bout yourselves?!

So. let's get down to it, shall we? As I scanned your comments trying to pick the most pressing beauty dilemmas to solve this week, I stumbled upon an email from a blushing violet named Shimmerliciousdiva. If you missed her comment , here it is:

Hey Tia,
I was wondering if you could do a lot of us a huge favor. I would love to buy Dior, YSL, and all of these other high end beauty products, but for a chica on a student budget ($0), it is not possible. Could you pick your favorite drug store beauty products for brown girls? Maybe you could do something like "as a substitute for MAC blush in Raizin, use ...." Tia, if you could do this for the kinda broke girls trying to Shake our Beauties, I, as well as many others would greatly appreciate it (I know that I am not the only one in this situation).

Indeed, you're so not the only one in this situation. I mean, please, I can barely afford the goodies I talk about. It's just that I suffer from a very peculiar sickness in which the afflicted value fancy eyeshadow packaging over things like, well, LUNCH. That's why, this week it's all about those high-quality/low-cost, chic-n-cheap, I-can't-believe-it's-not-Dior products. And they're by no means less glamorous than their flashier sisters, it's just that you won't have to take out a second mortgage to buy lipliner. The only thing about low-budget beauty is that there really are some things you just HAVE to spend money on--like foundation, concealer, and more often than not, fragrance. Those products are just too easy to get wrong, and no one wants a clown-like complexion or to smell like the fitting room at Contempo Casuals.

But first, it's time for TIA'S WEEKLY....WHY! Now, last week's WHY I was searching for an explanation as to why every grown-ass woman I know is counting the minutes until "Making the Band 3" comes on. Just to be clear, I AM ONE OF THESE WOMEN!! Most definitely. That's the problem (by the way, what do we think of Aubrey's new brunette situation?). Anyway, this week, the question is--why can't everybody just leave Britney Spears alone? Yeah, she's total trash and her taste in husbands is criminal, but what new mom who WOULDN'T come out looking like a thundering idiot if she were constantly being photographed? I shudder to think what the paparazzi would catch if they followed my ass around, 24/7. I mean, last night I bit my own toenails. How's that for a Star cover story? "Brooklyn Writer Bites Toenails; Is Shocked When Her Veneers Fall Out." Come on guys, leave her alone. Sean P. will be fine. He's gangsta. You can tell because he wears his baseball caps cocked-to-the-side, just so.



INSTEAD OF: Chanel Glossimer in Zanzibar ($24.50)
TRY: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Raisin Glaze ($6.19)
WHY: Seriously devoted Shake Your Beauty-istas will know that my love affair with Raisin Glaze is passionate and permanent. The rosy-golden-brown-ish sheen is so excellent that I keep five extras in my underwear drawer, just in case the shade's ever discontinued. Somehow, it manages to be everyday-natural, yet twinkly and shiny enough for cocktails and spicy dates.

INSTEAD OF: Shiseido The Makeup Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow in Goldlights ($28.82)
TRY: Mark I-Sheer Creamy Eye Shadow in Mousse ($5)
WHY: I adore Shiseido's and Mark's cream shadow for the same reason: Their super-light, whipped texture makes for the prettiest, most subtle golden glaze--it's not a heavy, opaque metallic. Also, the twinkly shade looks fabulous on all brown skin tones--from the fairest to the darkest--and whether you go high-priced or inexpensive, both products are equally as luxe!! Bonus: Both are totally crease-proof, which is genius in the summer.

INSTEAD OF: Shu Uemura Fiber Xtension Lengthening Mascara in Xtra Black ($23.00)
TRY: Jane Hi-Fiber Mascara ($3.99)
WHY: Fiber mascaras are the HUGEST trend in lash-love these days. Almost every brand has them, from MAC and Maybelline to Too-Faced and Lorac. Why so fab? They contain itsy micro-fibers that coat the lash and stick to the ends of your lashes, extending them out farther...thus, giving the illusion of lush, sexy, false lashes. It's insane, the difference between fiber mascaras and regular ones. Most of them are dual-ended, with the fiber solution on one end (you put in on first), and the mascara on the other. But both Shu Uemura and Jane blend the fibers into the formula, which takes out a step (yay!) and gives the sickest lashes, ever. You'd think that for 4 bucks the Jane one must be tacky, or clumpy, or wrong somehow--but let me tell you, beauty editors are obsessed with it, and these folks have access to the best of everything. If I rave any more I'll have to ask Jane for commission, so here's where it ends.

INSTEAD OF: MAC Powder Blush in Raizin ($17.50)
TRY: Iman Luxury Blushing Powder in Cinnamon ($9.99)
WHY: MAC Raizin is so popular because the sheer fig-rust shade gives an incredibly natural flush to medium to dark brown skin (it's lovely on fairer skin too, just with a lighter hand). Iman's version is equally as warm and toasty and flattering--somehow, it even gives your skin a sexy, outdoorsy radiance, like you've just played volleyball or something outside all day. If you hate to sweat as much as I do, this illusion is especially seductive.

INSTEAD OF: Kiehl's Basics Kit ($66)
TRY: Burt's Bees Head-to-Toe Starter Kit ($11)
WHY: Kiehl's Basics Kit is totally legendary! You get all their classics--stuff like Mango Bath & Shower Cleanser, Creme de Corps Body Cream and the coconut-scented Amino Acid Shampoo--in the cutest little case (its a great gift, but even greater to receive). Love, love, love, but the price is kind of crazy if you're on a budget. Good thing Burt's Bees, the yummy homeopathic line that manages to be both boutique-y and budget at the same time, invented their Starter Kit. Believe it or not, their bath-and-body kit is equally as decadent as Kiehls', and it comes with TONS more stuff! Just a sampler: you get their famous Beeswax Lip Blam, Orange Essence Facial Cleanser, Avocado Butter Hair Treatment (fab for dry ends), Citrus Facial Scrub, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Milk & Honey Body Lotion, Peppermint Body Soap and Banana Hand Creme...and soooo much more. It's boggles my mind that such luxury is available for the price of chicken fingers at Friday's, but there you go.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Aint nothin' goin' on but the rent

Hola, all you terribly ambitious future PR Gals,
I just heard about two delicious public relations job openings! The first is a paid internship with ESSENCE's Public Relations Department, and the second is an Associate Publicist position with D2 Publicity, one of the hottest beauty/fashion p.r. firms on the planet! Here's all the info and a big MWAH on both cheeks for good luck.
Miss Tia

The Public Relations department of ESSENCE, the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women is seeking a bright, energetic summer intern with a desire to work in magazine PR. This lucky intern will work side-by side with the PR team as we prepare for several of our most exciting signature events, including Smart Beauty III, The Essence Music Festival and more. This paid internship starts ASAP!
· Knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook
· Excellent communication skills
· Great writing skills
· Detail-oriented
· Internet competency (research savvy)
Please send a resume and cover letter to

D2 Publicity is currently looking to hire a new associate publicist! The position is based in our NY office, however we are also open to receiving resumes for our LA office.
We are looking for a go-getter who has some experience/knowledge in PR.
Please forward your resume and cover letter to either Ereka (ereka@d2publicity) or Kathy (

Friday, June 02, 2006

Summer, summer, summer-time (ooh, summertime)

Hola ladies,

Girls, I have had an extremely literary couple of weeks. It seems that everywhere I turn, gorgeous, talented, charismatic ladies are writing fantastic books...and throwing equally entertaining book PARTIES. And as every published author knows, half of the pleasure in turning in your book is planning the soiree...(what do I wear? what do I write? which will read better in pictures, the paris-hilton-over-the-shoulder stance or the halle-berry-butt-first pose?). Ahh yes, I remember THE ACCIDENTAL DIVA party fondly. I was wearing blood-red Viktor & Rolf stilettoes and a fluffy Tracey Feith minidress that I can no longer pull past my thighs. My friend Lyah Beth Leflore, co-author of THE COSMOPOLITAN GIRLS, has fabulous thighs. She also had a fabulous party at The Harlem Tea Room to celebrate her new chick lit tome, LAST NIGHT A DJ SAVED MY LIFE (a totally delicious read, it's about a fancy Manhattan party promoter who falls in love at one of her glittering, celebrity-studded events--so sexy!). The party was teeming with eclectic publishing personalities, including her agent,Marie Brown, aka the Godmommy of the Black Literati (that's her in the photo in-between me and her client-of-the-hour, Lyah). When I was just a wee, terrified suburban twenty-one-year old getting her feet wet as an editorial assistant, clutching my purse to my chest as I walked home from the subway because I lived in "the hood," Marie took me under her wing. Back then, her Soho offices were mecca to a slew of journalists, performance artists, bestselling novelists, book editors, music reporters. We'd hang out there after work, get wasted, and talk, talk, talk. Some of us fell in love, some fought bitterly, and some are best friends to this day. It was like the Paris Cafe Society of the twenties, but with less alcoholics (actually, that's not even true). If any of you are thinking of writing a novel--submit to Marie, she'll take care of you. This woman discovered Terry McMillan, okay?

Across the city, at a sneaky little lounge in Union Square, my mentor and the most legendary magazine editor in the history of mascara, Lucky's beauty director,Jean Godfrey June, was hosting a party for FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE: MY IMPROBABLE LIFE IN MAGAZINES AND MAKEUP. Now, Jean and I go waaay back. She hired me at Elle to be her beauty assistant, and proceeded to pass on to me all the secrets that made her the most lauded--and most awkwardly imitated--beauty writer in the biz. The most important secret? Lazy, cliche'd beauty writing is for losers! For example, instead of saying something inane, like, "Pucker up with this pout-prettifying rosy gloss," she forced me to be creative, clever, REAL, ie: "This rosy gloss--the exact shade of the crushed rose petals thrown at your bossy cousin's wedding--makes lips look so insanely luscious that Melanie Griffith will instantly demand to know your plastic surgeon's number." See the diff? Basically, anytime you think to yourself, "that Tia, she sure knows her way around a lip liner!" know that you're actually thanking MIss JGJ! She's so major that, four years later, when she asked me to return from my Spanish sabbatical to work with her at Lucky, I dropped my paella to the floor and booked the next ticket. This woman is the ultimate beauty diva, and her memoir about her life at the tippy-top of the industry is a hilarious, insidery, must-read for any and all makeup junkies...especially if you're considering a career in beauty!

Flipping the script dramatically, I've gotta say that I'm DESTROYED to hear that the Bliss Resurfacing Peel was a tad too intense for some of my SYB's. It's all my fault (waaah). It totallly worked for me and my girls, but maybe my skin's not as sensitive? If you're breaking out or getting really dry, STOP using it. Waaah! So bummed. Speaking of bummed, it's time for TIA'S WEEKLY...WHY? My question this week is, why is every grown-ass woman I know (meaning, let's say, twenty-seven-and-up) ridiculously obsessed with silly, teenyboppery shows like "Laguna Beach," "So You Think You Can Dance," and "My Super-Sweet Sixteen?" If anyone knows the answer, please let me know. It's a sickness. We are women with mortgages to pay, several degrees, and in some cases, little bambinas to feed. We should not be counting down the days till "Making The Band: 3" returns. If anyone can explain this phenomenon to mama, please drop me a comment--I think the whole Bliss Peel thing proves that I don't have all the answers :-)

And FINALLY, on to what counts! After some PAIN-STAKINGLY careful editing, I've assembled the most delicous, most urgently spectactular beauty offerings for summer '06!! I get all tingly just thinking about this stuff! Enjoy...



1.) YSL HORIZON PALETTE-FOR THE EYES ($55): Why? Just LOOK at it. Inspired from one of the 2006 Yves Saint Laurent collection fabrics, this relentlessly chic palette combines all the hottest summertime eye shades--bronze, golden-yellow, turquoise and navy--in one vibrant mosaic. The eyeshadows are out-with-the-girls sexy, but I just kind of get a high just whipping out the compact.

2.) CREATIVE NAIL DESIGN POLISH IN TROPINKAL ($5.95): Yesterday, while I was on air doing the "Wake Up With Cosmo" show, I gave myself the most heart-stoppingly summery mani/pedi with this shade. See the vivid, juicy fuschia blob to the left? The polish is just as intense on your nails...and last night at dinner I was stopped three times by girls just wanting a second glance at my almost-flourescent tootsies. Very why-am-I-stuck-in-rainy-Brooklyn-instead-of-San-Tropez.

3.) DIOR SUNSHINE BLUSH IN SUNSET FIESTA ($41): A tad pricy for blush, but sooo necesssary (and, I mean, it's DIOR, dammit!). For an instant sunny flush, swirl your brush over this bronze, watermelon, peach, and pale rosy-gold combo--the orangey shades wake up brown skin, and the gold shimmer gives a sexy, twinkly glow. Quite possibly my favorite new summer staple.

4.) LANCOME STAR BRONZER GLOSSY LIP NECTAR ($18): The best part about this gloss isn't the sparkly, shiny, looks-good-alone-or-over-lipstick's the fact that it's infused with special moisturizing ingredients that repair super-chapped, dry lips. Chic and functional (kind of like those Spanx girdles everyone's wearing).

5.) ELIZABETH ARDEN GREEN TEA HONEY DROPS BODY CREAM ($15): Storytime: The night of the famous Northeastern blackout two summers ago, Elizabeth Arden was hosting an event at the Four Season, where beauty editors were invited to spend the night (plus a guest!). Of course, Adam was my plus-one. And of course, I assumed that the event was canceled due to the blackout, and I set off on a HELLISH, four-hour walk home from midtown Manhattan. Meanwhile, Adam spent a luxurious night at the Four Seasons, pretending to be worried about where I was...but in reality, slathering his body with the Green Tea products stocked in the bathroom (the bastard). Ever since that night, he's been OBSESSED with this body cream, and now I am too. The cool, minty-sweet scent is so clean, so summery, and its blended with drops of real honey to smooth rough skin. If you love it, try the shower gel, bath soak, fragrance, and shampoo, too--so luxe!