Friday, October 30, 2009

Cocktails and Perfume...Happy Halloween to me!

Hola chicas,
Last night, me, my darling Karen from PurpleLab, and her incredibly game hubby, Todd, stormed a masquerade ball/launch party for YSL's new Parisienne fragrance...and it was very toot-toot-beep-beep! The invitation clearly stated "stylish attire and mask required," and we were thrilled to see that people really took it there (of course my Karen, who's truly NYC's original Carrie Bradshaw, shoes and all, ordered her mask from some chic fetish site). I mean, if you're thinking "Eyes Wide Shut," you're not far off. It was in this old synagogue on the lower east side, so it had that old-school, naughty-church, Limelight feel...the Misshapes deejayed, Alexandra Richards (spawn of Keith & Patti, don't get me started on the glamour) hosted, and I cocktailed. Too much. Not sure how I got home--and that apple pie ate itself, I swear--but I AM sure that YSL knows how to throw a delicious party. Oh, and fragrance lovers...Parisienne is truly a gorgeous scent. Have you seen the print ads? Kate Moss, darling. And apparently, the uncut commercial is only being shown in Europe; it's too hot for the US. Pout. Why does Europe get to have all the sexiness?

Happy Halloween, my pretties!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm SO In Style!

Well, well, well. Guess who's in the November issue of In Style? And guess who's so late to this particular party? I hadn't been on Twitter in awhile because of my eye sitch (I also hadn't read the November mags yet), and I just checked it and saw some super-sweet "congrats Tia on the In Style mention" tweets. I am so ashamed...please don't think I'm rude for not responding, my eye was the size of a pancreas!! In any event, I'm so excited I made their list of favorite blogs/inspirations. Thanks, Amy and Kahlana!!

MAC Glimmerglass Gets a Second Chance

Hey girls,
So, the other day my baby sister Lauren (of AOL Black Voices fame) came over to watch the premiere of So You Think You Can Dance. This show is very important in my family. Anyway, she pretended to come over to watch adorable Russell do NappyTabs' hiphop routine, but really, she wanted to plunder my makeup drawers (sounds dirty) for sparkly eyeliner befitting her Halloween costume. Williams Sister Fun!! So, as we were looking, we got distracted by the entire line of MAC's new Glimmerglass Glosses ($18, each). Have you SEEN this? Now, admittedly, I'd ignored them when they first launched because, I mean, it's a collection of three BLACK lipglosses--Blackfire, Blackware, and Blingblack--each spiked with different color shimmer. I thought, "Gross." But me and Lauren started trying them on, and we realized that they're gorgeously sheer, and meant to be layered over lipstick to give it a deeper, sexier color. Or, you can wear them alone for just a sheer hint of vampy-dusky color. So genius. And the shot of shimmer is just right for an after-work moment. Blackfire is shot through with pinky-purple glitter; Blackware is a shimmer-free, true black; and Blingblack has pale gold flecks. Stunning...and perf for Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Princess Tiana and Lina Bean

Hi ladies,
I feel SO much better! Thanks for your well-wishes and advice. Turns out, my swollen eye wasn't a reaction to cheap "papier m hygiénique" at all, it was some crazy infection (no doubt picked it up from those slobbery, germy kids at the child is obviously the exception). Oh, and speaking of my child, I'm up to my ears planning Lina Bean's first birthday party. Can you believe it? She's not a BABY anymore. I mean, that purple shirt-dress just screams "toddler." Sigh. Anyway, it's my understanding that the goody bags at these things are of the utmost importance. Now, I've gotten the requisite tiny, cheap party favors like yo-yo's and bubbles, but I wanted to include something that really spoke to who me and La Lina are. Something that reflected the essence of our humanity more than multi-colored plastic whistles. Then it hit me.

I'm sure by now, you guys have heard of Carol's Daughter brilliant Magical Beauty Collection, inspired by Princess Tiana of "The Princess and the Frog" (ie, Disney's first black princess). I thought it would be perfect to buy a couple sets of the Magical Beauty Collection--which includes Shampoo ($10), Conditioner ($10), Hair Detangler ($8) and Bubble Bath ($8)--and stick each bottle in a goody bag! So special, right? It's about beauty products and a black princess--if that combo doesn't scream Tia and her Bean, I don't know what does.

Friday, October 23, 2009

First Family Fierceness

Hi SYB Babes,
Okay, I'm weeping uncontrollably. My goopy eye medicine is all over my face (FYI, the doc prescribed this topical antiobotic, Ciloxan, that's kind of working but is totally gross). I'm not supposed to be doing "laptop work" until my eye heals, but I had to show you guys this. Just this morning, the White House released the official portrait of the First Family, taken by fancy photographer Annie Leibowitz. Is it not the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen? My Lina Bean will never know a world where the Obamas couldn't happen!! Wheee!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Eye-yai-yai Part Deux

Um, I can barely get my eye open, so anything I write will be a foggy, unfocused mess. I went to my primary care physician yesterday, and she demanded that I see (haha, yeah right, "see") a proper eye doctor today. Hopefully he will not prescribe me an eye patch. But if he does, I'll bedazzle it with purple sequins. When life gives you lemons, and all that. I'll be back in a couple days, girls!!

Monday, October 19, 2009


This is what happens when you're cheap, and opt to wipe off your mascara with eye makeup remover-soaked TOILET PAPER, and not a fluffy cotton pad or cotton ball. My right eye is totally swollen and I can barely open it. Here's what I'm thinking. I discovered that, once I started wiping, the wet toilet paper started tearing off in these tiny rolls. I think I got a piece in my eye and slept the whole night with it in there. I know, I know. But I ran out of my favorite cotton pads, and even thought they're cheap, the $$ adds up, so I just thought...

That's what I get for thinking, right?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zahara, French Vogue, & the Controversial World of Black Beauty

Hey ladies,
So, there's a bunch of interesting stuff happening in the world of black beauty. Did you guys read Newsweek's editorial on Zahara's 'do, "Zahara Jolie-Pitt and the Politics of Uncombed Hair?" The writer is furious with Angelina for letting Zahara leave the house with "unstyled" hair. Very interesting. Even more interesting is genius beauty blogger Afrobella's retort on AOL Black Voices, "I'm on Team Zahara!" Okay, so I'm dying to hear what my SYB Babes think of the ZaharaGate. Do you approve of her let-it-all-hang-out locks, or do you think she could benefit from a couple barrettes and a deep conditioner? And is it appropriate for us to even be analyzing an innocent first grader's hair?

And hot on the heels of that supremely weird Australian blackface moment with Harry Connick Jr., we've got French Vogue's "Supermodel" issue, featuring a spread with Dutch model Lara Stone in blackface. Yep, full-on blackface. Um, instead of painting Lara brown, why couldn't French Vogue editrix Carine Roitfeld have hired Jourdan or Chanel or Arlenis? Oh, and FYI, not a single black, Asian or Latina model was included in the issue. I know it's France, and they have a totally different history than Americans, but this is so not okay. See, this is when I start to chafe at the notion that because Obama is president, we somehow live in a "post-racial" world. Nope, we don't. Ladies, I'd love your thoughts on this spread. Hit me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Anjel Salon, PS

Girls! Remember when I went to the fabulous new Anjels Salon last week, after the screening of Good Hair? I just got a pic of my it is! Shiny, bouncy, glossy-good times! Cannot gush enough about the service, too. Here's the info, if you're ever in NYC:
Anjels Salon
37 W. 46th St.
New York, NY 10036
(888) 804-6947

Rihanna & the Best Eyeliner Evah

Hey girls,
As you all know, Rihanna killed at Paris fashion week. Completely. And when she wasn't darting in and out of shows in a pair of the darkest, shadiest sunglasses you've ever seen, she was all about an EYE. Whether it was a skinny line along the inner rims or a major cat-eye situation, she was definitely loving some eyeliner. Inspired by Princess RiRi, I recently challenged myself to find the hands-down best eye pencil out there for under $10. My criteria included depth of blackness (this is a pigment issue, not a "how DOWN is the eyeliner?" issue), smoothness of application, and the non-smudge factor. Girls, I stumbled upon a winner. Without a doubt, Max Factor MAXeye Eyeliner Pencil in 100 Night Club ($6.89) is the hottest liner to ever line!! I wore it to my girlfriend Trenesa's super-fancy birthday fete over the weekend, and four girls demanded to know what liquid liner I was wearing (disclaimer: this was a party full of beauty editors, so this is what we talk about). I was so excited that my drugstore eye pencil looked like liquid liner! And can I just tell you, it stayed on until 3am. Oh, it's just the inkiest, sootiest black ever, and the application is smoother than smooth. You barely need to touch your lid and it gives such full-pigmented color! Go get it, before the stores run out of Max Factor. Sadly, the brand is no longer being produced in the States. All good things they say, never last.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Talkin' 'Bout Good & Bad Hair

Hey muchachas,
News flash: Tito and Miko Branch, owners of Miss Jessie's curly girl hair products, are teaming up with to sponsor the first ever 2009 Grow Out Challenge! How much do I LOVE this? From October 5th to March 31st, Miss Jessie’s will award over $3,600 worth of products to the participants who show the most spunk and determination as they embark on the life-changing journey of "transitioning," ie, growing out their perm and embracing their natural hair (lest you thought I was referring to gender reassignment surgery). As many of you know, transitioning starts when you A.) snip off your relaxed ends little by little, or B.) chop off the relaxed hair in one fell swoop (the gangsta option). This is a HUGE deal for most women, so having the support of your curly community is totally empowering! To start the process, register on, create your first blog post and begin uploading pics of your transition. Each month, four winners will be selected to receive a personal hair prescription and products from Miss Jessie’s valued at approximately $150.00!

Cute, right? And somebody involved is a marketing genius, because the contest coincides with the premiere of Chris Rock's buzzy new documentary, "Good Hair." Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of seeing a screening of the film with my dear friend and creator, Marcia Cole, as well as a brilliant bunch of girls from the site's blogger network (and after the movie, we had a blowout party at the hottest new black salon in Manhattan, Anjels' Salon, on 37 W. 46th Street. Just so you know, my hair is still looking glossy and sexy and bouncy, SIX DAYS LATER. Ask for Brenda, she's the truth). I wish I could say that I loved the film. I mean, in terms of the business of weaves of relaxers, it was definitely eye-opening. I certainly didn't realize that most black haircare companies are white or Asian-owned. The global implications of the weave trade never really hit me, either (not to give it all away, but most of the hair used for weaves comes from Indian men and women who've chopped off their hair during sacred religious ceremonies--and who have no idea that it's being sold for gazillions). And the commentary for actresses like Lauren London, Megan Good, and Nia Long (WHY doesn't Hollywood come up with great roles for the sexy, smart lady?) was hilarious and truthful and refreshing. But I really wanted Rock to touch on the reasons WHY black women feel the way we do about our hair. You know, the social history of the whole thing. The centuries-old notions about "good" and "bad" hair that are ingrained in us, passed down from our great-great grandmas. That's what's truly interesting to me about the whole debate. But baby steps, I guess.

Definitely see it, though! If for nothing else, to come full circle from the barbed hilarity of the "Good and Bad Hair" scene from School Daze. In any event, I love us...and all of our hair, in every incarnation!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sonia K, All Day!

Hey mujeres,
I went to such a fun event last week for Sonia Kashuk's fall line! For the uninitiated, Sonia Kashuk is a legendary celebrity makeup artist who, for the last ten years, has designed her BRILLIANT, eponymous makeup and skincare line for Target (and her makeup book, Real Beauty, is a true classic). Ms. Kashuk was also the very first famous makeup artist I ever met...when I was a wee beauty editor at Glamour, she did the faces for my first big photo shoot! We've been friends, ever since.

Anyway, she invited the beauty press down to her offices right across from Ground Zero (the sadness never ebbs, no matter how many times I've been down there). Her office was a beauty girl's dream...shelves and shelves of the most exquisitely packaged little gems, each one fancier and smarter than the last (honestly, Target really has cornered the market on high-quality, budget-friendly products. I just bought an Anna Sui for Target dress that deserves a spot on Barney's 8th floor). As Sonia walked us through her fall offerings, I spotted a cluster of the most gorge blush tints on a shelf across the room. I demanded an explanation, so Sonia pulled one down--now, it's important to remember that it was a random shade--and blended the lightweight, subtle shimmery, hint-of-a-tint liquid on the back of my hand. Girls, it was sooo pretty. Obviously, we all know that brown girls have to be very strategic about makeup shades; it's almost impossible to just throw on any blush and have it look great. But this tint was so sheer, so soft and natural-looking, that it truly just looked like me, blushing. FYI, the shade was Rose, but I tried on the rest of them, and they're all super-gorge. Sonia Kashuk Super Sheer Liquid Tints are available in Peony, Poppy, and Rose ($9.99 each, at Target stores).

Oh, and just so you know, Sonia Kashuk's range of makeup brushes ($9.99-$21.99) are insane. Cannot believe they're sold at Target...the woman could sell the at Bendel's for a zillion dollars and no one would bat an eyelash (I spot them backstage at fashion shows all the time). Anyway, they're ridiculously soft, and last forever. Sonia was sort of grossed-out to find out that I've been using the same blush brush for five years.

Don't judge me!!

PS...thanks to Daphne Youree for the shot of me and Sonia!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Vaseline is the New Black

Hey ladies,
Lately, I feel like
Vaseline is everywhere. Do you feel this, too? Walk with me, friends, walk with me...

1.) It all started about a month ago, during the episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta called "Home is Where the Heartbreak Is." You know the one, right? Where Lisa's 62-year-old-looking, 90-year-old Korean grandma said she owed her youthful visage to Vaseline? Apparently, she'd been slathering the classic petroleum jelly all over her face for years! I mean, her complexion really was amazing. Suddenly, everyone was talking about Grandma Wu and her hotness. Including my friend Selene, who mentioned that the trick was absolutely NOT news to her, since she'd been using Vaseline to take off her eye makeup since before Lisa Lisa met Full Force. I loved this tip, and immediately tried it out. SO GENTLE. SO GETS-IT-ALL-OFF-IN-ONE-SWIPE. Why have I been spending good manicure money on fancy eye makeup removers all these years? Bad beauty junkie, bad beauty junkie!

2.) Secondly, I've been having some dry skin issues. Have I mentioned this? Every year, at the dawn of Fall, I get these weird, flaky spots on my arms and legs. The only thing that works is...wait for it (Glee!)...Vaseline Cocoa Butter Vitalizing Gel Body Oil ($7.49). It's a gel-based body oil that I slather all over when I first get out of the shower and my skin's still wet. Then, after I towel off, my skin is totally moisturized and supple and flake-free...AND all sheen-y and glowy (it's the combo of Brazilian Nut Oil and Almond Oil). I don't even need to put on lotion. I swear. All this gloriousness, for under ten bucks.

3.) Okay, so the third and final reason Vaseline is on fire? This month marks the launch of one of the biggest breakthroughs in body lotions in a decade, Vaseline Sheer Infusion Body Lotion (which comes in Botanical Blend, Mineral Renewal and Vitamin Burst, from $7.99 to $9.99). Why are they so fancy? The lotions are spiked with a completely groundbreaking new moisturizing complex, Stratys 3, that actually suspends (this is the key word, "suspends") moisture across the skin's top, middle, and deep down layers. Basically, ash is no match for Vaseline Sheer Infusion. And the texture! Honey, it feels like heaven. Okay, but that's not even the best part. Remember the key word? Well, to celebrate the launch of Sheer Infusion, Vaseline invited beauty bloggers to TRAPEZE LESSONS, so that we could do a little "suspending" of our own! Those of you who know me well know that I don't like to move or break a sweat. I don't work out, I don't run...I even avoid breaking into a swift walk if I can help it. But on the trapeze, I was MADE of awesomeness! If I'm lyin,' I'm flyin.' But it was terrifying at first (that's me, up on that ridiculously high platform, about to do my first swing). Of course, I wouldn't have done something so momentous without taping it for my SYB Babes. Check out the video, HERE.

Are you proud of me? Have a great week, miladies!