Saturday, October 28, 2006

Don't you go changin'

Hello Hello Hello,
Join me in congratulating Miss Mika, the winner of the Oct./Nov. ACCIDENTAL DIVA trivia question! She was first to give the correct answer, which was that Billie's mom, Ms. Marie-Therese LeSeur, was from New Orleans, Louisiana. Contrary to what many of you lovelies believed, she WAS NOT from Shreveport...that's where the dance contest took place, the one where she met Billie's dad. My first trick question! So, yay to you, Miss Mika--and make sure you leave a comment with your email address, so I can contact you about sending out your prize, the Stila Product of the Month!

And now, for this week's topic. I've been thinking a lot about something. At the beginning of every new season, I'm always excited about figuring out my new look. I inhale the September and October issues of all the fashion magazines, absorbing as much "right-now" hotness as I can, totally prepared to apply it to my wardrobe. But no matter what, after I do all my shopping, I end up looking precisely the way I always look. For example, I've come to understand that this fall/winter season's all about masochistically high platforms (seriously, is Balenciaga on crack?), high-waisted wide-leg trousers, boxy cropped jackets and a moment called "haute grunge." I tried girls, really I did, but my fall closet looks the way it has since I was seven--cowl-necked sweaters, slinky jeans and tailored skirts, a good trench, a shot of bohemia here and there, and tons of brown. Isn't that funny? No matter how hard you try to change, I'm inclined to believe that the style you had as a little girl is the style you have as an adult. Don't agree? Check out this pic of me at seven years old, in my FAVORITE outfit (please ignore my ashy knees...I was years from discovering Kiehls Creme de Corps body lotion).

And now, dig if you will the picture of moi at Brownie's engagement party last year. Practically THE SAME Tia, no? It's almost eerie. The point is that we shouldn't fight our first insticts. I believe that as sophisticated, chic women of the world, we have the right not to wear "haute grunge" simply because Marc Jacobs believes it's a good idea. And so what if Adam thinks purses are a waste of money, I'm HELPLESS TO MY OBSESSION--I've loved bags since I was a toddler. So much so, that I began naming them at a very young age. My mom has in her possession a home video of me at thrteen, Christmas day, declaring with glee through my retainer that I'm naming my new Coach bag "Howie." Sounds a lot like me a couple of months ago, naming my new Isabella Fiore clutch "Freddie Brooks."

In honor of Freddie Brooks, I've rounded up some of the most divine purse-sized products you should be carrying in your bag. Not only will these portable goodies make your life so much easier, they're absolutely darling (isn't everything cuter in miniature?). Enjoy!



1.)BREATHE PALETTE WATER KIT MOUTHWASH-TO-GO IN SWEET TOOTH ($7): Two weeks ago, I had my wisdom teeth taken out. And, well, I was suffering from a mild case of dragon breath. So, so gross. Thank heaven for these adorable little single-dose mouthwash packets (they're made with all-natural ingredients, so they're easier on teeth!) Each kit comes with five packets in the kookiest favorite is the Sweet Tooth kit, which includes caramel, pumpkin pudding, coffee, sweet almond, and bitter chocolate. Delish.

2.)THE BODY SHOP CRANBERRY ATOMIZER ($6): Why did it take so long for this teeny-tiny perfume atomizer to be invented? Yeah, every popular fragrance line eventually comes out with a so-called "portable" travel-sized version, but they're always lunky and cumbersome. That's why this Body Shop thingie is so genius--just pour your favorite scent into the itty little spritzer, and you can take it with you everywhere. Love.

3.) MARK HOOKUPS ($5 for each compartment, the connector's free): Mark's fabulous hookup is the holy grail for the girl-on-the-go: You choose from a zillion tiny, interlocking gloss, lipstick, shadow, blush, liner, and mascara options to create your own custom dual-ended makeup stick. My favorite combo is the Glow Baby Glow Luxe Lipgloss in Sugar Luxe, a minty, sheer bronze, with the Winkstick Eyecolor in Demure, an iridescent taupe shadow stick. Really, what more do you need?

4.) LANCOME PRECISE MATCH WEIGHTLESS PORTABLE POWDER ($29): This powder-in-a-brush is SUCH a good idea--a silky, super-sheer finishing powder to whip out before that big meeting, or after-work date, or lunch with your ex. All that, and it fits in the palm of your hand. Plus it has special pigments that adjust to your natural complexion, so the last two shades (Dark NW and Dark NC) manage to magically flatter ALL brown skin tones. Yay, Lancome.

5.) TRUE BLUE SPA DISAPPEARING ACT INSTANT CUTICLE REMOVER ($8): I'm obsessed with pushing back my stubbornly awful cuticles. I don't know how, but hours after I've gone to work on them, they'll creep halfway up my nail bed--it's the worst. This itsy-bitsy piece of heaven totally saves the day! I don't know what's in it, but you just dab a bit onto your cuticles, wait 20 seconds, and then push them back with the special slanted applicator tip. Just the thing to whip out of your bag during mid-day work procrastination, or while you're waiting in line somewhere.


Blogger Schanina said...

I swear you have some sort of psychic ability. All this week I was freakin’ out about how boring my style was becoming...and then I went shopping and picked out some of the same ol' things. And now with this somewhat 80's revolution...I too have been turning to comfort pieces that remind me of my childhood. Oh, how I live for a fabulous purple hue...I can't help it. I just bought purple suede boots from Urban Outfitters to go with my new ecru sweater dress! We like what we like!

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Fo'Real in LA said...

Ugh . . . wiping the egg off of my face. I am also attempting to polish my luck but it's so hard. I wear stylish clothes but I need a little more excitement. My question is: Should I use a personal shopper?

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Porsche said...

Tia, at 1st glance, I thought the picture of you when you were younger was a runway shot. ;o)

Anyway, love this entry...I think I'll treat myself to a # 2 and a #3.

Much Love.

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Fo'Real in LA said...

BTW I did try the mouthwash packages about a year ago (I bought the exotic fruit mix and the toothpaste package). I absolutely fell in love w/the fresh and natural taste. I am sooo a Tom's or Burt Bee's natural toothpaste kinda girl.

1:56 AM  
Blogger Brittney said...

I am also suffering from the style much so, that I recently spent fifty dollars on Virginia Commonwealth University T-shirts to wear on my bum days (and this is one of them). But I definitely look to stars like Joy Bryant for that effortless yet gorgeous, love, love! And I will definitely keep those beauty products in mind, cookie. You have done it for me once again, Miss Tia!

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freddie Brooks?? Wasn't that the name of Cree Summer's character on A Different World?? I LOVED that show BTW!

Thanks for the fab product suggestions, I've added them to my BF.


6:54 PM  
Blogger 1969 said... look exactly the same. How cute are you?

I tend to look the same too. Classic pieces, skirts, a great pair of boots. Jeans and a crisp white shirt or a black or grey turtleneck. Splashes of color here and there. We are who we are.

10:31 AM  
Blogger rebelleBAP said...

What a paparazzi ready pose in your first pic! Knee slightly bent, foot forward, Head with slight tilt...That's so true about reverting back to what you know best. I tried Diva Fabulous, you know tight boot cuts, stilletto heels, baby tees, very Kimora. But I was never comfortable,literally my feet hurt and I was always pulling my shirt down:) Now I'm back to that neutral palette with a very great jewelry choices and what I call the "Power" bag.

BTW the Mark hookups are so serious! I have about twenty of these and allof the Glow Baby Glow and Glow Baby Glow Luxe glosses. I should invest stock in Avon!

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Traci said...


You know that saying about how everyone in the world has a twin? Well, although sadly I can only hope to attain even a modicum of your flyness, you are a doppleganger for my seven year old self -- it's uncanny!

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Tami said...

Thanks Tia that Lancome powder will be such a treat !

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Julia said...

I am definitely getting the atomizer. Keep the great beauty products coming. You can also tell you were born with style. It's evident from your childhood picture.

6:27 PM  
Blogger foxyhustle said... are so adorable!
I've been busy, busy this semester or I would have answered your trivia questions...the next question you post I am sure to win.

Tia...this is kind of off subject but how did you maintain your image while in college...
I just find it hard to look cute while going to classes and walkling on campus.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!

I love your blog!

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am from a small rural town called Lavonia, GA. I read your book "Accidental Diva" and I loved it! I am anxiously awaiting your new novel! I work at a book distribution company and I use your book as a sample when sending prototypes to customers and I recommend it to all of my friends. Keep up the good work.

Georgia Girl

9:50 PM  
Blogger africanprincess said...

Handbags/Purses are the best; They had the juicy bag on sale at netaporter; almost pushed me over the edge

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tia,

I love your blog! I’ve just ordered your book. I can’t wait to read it! I need your help… it’s a FASHION EMERGENCY. I am an elementary school teacher and fallen into the trap of khakis, sweaters, flats and tennis shoes. I want to update my wardrobe and not look like I’m a 65 year old teacher! Since, I’ve fallen into this fashion rut, I rarely go out and when I do. I don’t’ have anything to wear – I look plain and I want to look FABULOUS! Any
suggestions. Secondly, could you recommend jeans for my body type. I am 4”11, but I have a pear shaped (junk in the trunk). Boot leg jeans don’t work anymore they just show they I have a big booty and thighs…. Please help.


8:39 PM  
Anonymous melonie said...

Hey Tia!! I love the blog and I can definitely relate to the style rut. I have a closet full of black and cream that seems to be never ending!

I also wanted to recommend another blog to

I love how all these fabulous women of color are doing their thing on blogs!

10:26 AM  
Anonymous LovelyL said...

Hi Tia,
Let me first say I love your blog. Now on with the realness. With Christmas time coming around, I have set a budget for $10 for each gift to my friends. I was wondering if you have a "Tia's Favorite Things" list like Oprah's, but moderately priced. I would appreciate any advise you can provide. Thanks a bunch!

2:08 PM  
Blogger MalcaJ said...

O I love the pic..yah u were even fly back then girl. I know I already said this but I still looove the olive oil sheen spray. It smells wonderful and it gives my hair the best shine even on bad hair days. I have to try the Marc hookups, I've been thinking about trying them for awhile but never was quite sure...byeeee

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Nydyva83 said...


I love, love LOVe the Accidental Diva. I actually just finished reading it again. Thanks for all of the great beauty tips!

Oh- I thought Billie's parents met in DC, after her mom won the dance contest in Shreveport and was sent to DC?

**Billie's mom was prob my favorite

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Porsche said...

Hey Tia--I have a question:

I do my own manicures but after only a couple of days of doing dishes & taking polish (& nails) are already chipping. I put on a waterproof nail protector (Sally Hensen) before and after I apply my color polish but still no change. Is there any tricks I should know about or do I need to let the dishes pile up and cut back on my showers? ;o)

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sephora has this amazingly colorful case called the Blockbuster Palette ( Can woman of color benefit from anything in this case?


11:16 PM  
Blogger Jen Jen said...


I go to FIT and have to do a feature story for my journalism class. I would love to do it on you, so if you are willing to answer some questions let me know!


3:24 PM  
Anonymous Danielle said...

I love that you give product recommendations. Can you help me out with a request? I love the way that Thandie Newton looks. She's like the black Michelle Pfeiffer. Any tips on how to get that look?

9:43 PM  
Anonymous India-Jewel said...

I could have SWORN I answered the question correctly first --

India-Jewel said...

I thought it was New Orleans, LA. But then again I haven't read the book in over 2 years.

5:19 PM
But whatever, enjoy your prize Miss Mika!

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about buying Hylexin, do you know of anything that's effective for undereye circles (for a lot cheaper)?

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not in anyway trying to be Tia, but I love helping out my fellow SYB’ers so:

Fo’real in LA – I definitely recommend the personal shopper route. Especially at stores such as Nordstrom’s and Macy’s. Not only are the services free but once you go a second time they take you to a private room and offer champagne. Its amazing!! But remember they almost always expect you to buy something, but you can be upfront about your budget. I have a girl at nordstroms who will put things aside for me when they go on sale. I love her. She’s even on my Christmas gift list.

FoxyHustle: I just graduated from college last year and let me tell you I know exactly what you mean. For me personally I looked cute by keeping a few go-to things in my beauty/fashion arsenal. Tinted Moisturizer, Mascara, Cheek Stain and Lip gloss are great for a 2 minute makeup look. As for dressing I have a ton of wrap dresses and wedges. Not the sky-high ones more like 1-2 inches high. And jeans. Jeans and cute top will keep you feeling comfortable yet stylish. Hope this helped!!
Teacher-Anonymous- I guess the same can be said for you. Walmart had great wrap dresses for under $20.00, that were featured in Lucky Magazine.

Lovelyl: Tia did a post of inexpensive things a few months ago. It’s in the June archives.
Personally my go-to cheap, ahem, inexpensive gift is a mani-pedi set. Get together a bunch of the dollar section items from Target or Walmart, put in a cute bag and there you go.

Ok so now that I have clogged up the comment section I’ll shut it. ;-)
Schanina, you always have great advice- jump in here girl!

9:36 AM  
Blogger Schanina said...

Now that we have collected such a great assortment of beauty must haves over the last year. I would love for you to share some tips about keeping it all organized. From shoes to lip gloss to the latest "it bag" of the season, I'm running out of space. How do you keep all your goodies tidy?

8:46 PM  
Blogger Schanina said...

My two cents..

Fo'Real...Cece was right on about personal shoppers, Macy's and Nordstorms have won awards for great service. However, if you are like me, you aren't going to find everything you need for a complete style makeover in one store. There are several small businesses popping up that are owned by stylish and inexpensive consultants. I advise you to do a quick search. I know there is a woman in LA that was featured in Essence that holds personal shopping events. Another idea would be to build relationships with boutique owners. I have a shoe guy in NYC and lingerie expert in KC (classy not trashy), they have started to get a feel for what I like. I also suggest attending fashion events where you live and start knowing the designers and styles. They'll start to help you out with your style.

Foxy Hustle- I know this may sound..well, we're all addicts here...but keep a fashion log of the looks you like. And when you go shopping take the pics you cutout from magazines or print off of the Internet with you. My sister and I play "The Look For Less" a lot (yeah too much tv). It's as easy as making a grocery list!

I am the queen of making baskets and cute gift box sets. And with holiday shopping season fast approaching now is the time to get started. Bath and Body Works, Macy's, and those little boutiques you may frequent will start having major sales on potions and lotions, candles and treatments. Stock up! But make sure you know who you are shopping for in advance. Pick the right scents and products for the right person. Don't just buy stuff to buy it..every gift should be personal.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:26 AM  

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