Red Carpet Ready

by: Mz. Red Carpet
It’s that time again!!! The holidays are approaching and the festivities are beginning. The smell of chicken and dressing, mac & cheese and peach cobbler in the oven. Omg, is anybody else just as excited about Thanksgiving like I am? Christmas food, maybe? Okay, inner fat girl kicking in, #DontJudgeMe. Some of you may be attending holiday parties and want to step that makeup game up just a little bit more than normal.  Well, you’re in luck! I decided to give u a couple of makeup looks that you could recreate on your own. Let’s get started!
 Look #1
IMG_10821My brows were done using the Nyx pencil in “Dark Brown.” I used Mac’s NC40 concealer to sculpt my brow and it gave me a natural highlight. For my eyes I used the gold “get lucky” color from my friends over at Colourpop (www.colourpop.com) on my lid and in the crease (to smoke it out) I used color “straight Trippin” also from Colourpop. For the lashes I used the number 747M in the blue and clear case, you can purchase these from your local beauty supply. I primed my face with benefits “porefessional.” It helps to minimize those large pores. I also used my “calamine lotion” because it helps to keep my face matte. I have very oily skin and I hate looking like I just had someone pouring canola oil on me. As for my foundation, I used my Nars in “sheer glow” and for my highlight I simply used my favorite go to “Carnaval in Rio” by Fergie. That’s just to give me that dewey glow. When it comes to my lips I used Mac’s “Ruby Woo” partnered with Mac’s lip liner “Currant.” You can also change your lips to a nude color if you want depending on how festive you are feeling. I decided to go with the red for the holiday season. I topped off the look with my setting spray from Hard candy which can be found at your local Walmart. There you have it. Your day time holiday party look.

 Look #2

IMG_81181
For the night time look I switched it up a bit. As you can see I kept everything the same except my eyes, highlight and contour. Night time is a bit different. You want to stand out and make a statement, or maybe that’s just me.  On my eyes I used a “deep green” from my Bh Cosmetics 88 Matte Pallette. To give me a little shimmer I used my finger and dappled my “Get lucky” gold color from Colourpop in the middle of my lid. For my eyeliner I used “Stila,” nothing major, but it can be purchased from Sephora. I highlighted under my eye and down the bridge of my nose (to give me that sleek and chiseled look) using LA Girl pro concealer in “Fawn”. To contour my face I used Mac’s “Blunt” which is actually a blush but it’s great for contouring. To set my under eye concealer I mixed my Ben Nye’s “Banana Powder and Camel” together. I did this because it gives me just the right coverage without causing a dusty appearance as if I just left the morgue or something.  I let it ‘bake’ on my face for about 15-20 minutes. You don’t have to let it sit that long, ten minutes is enough time. Once the baking process completed I took my makeup brush and dusted the remaining powder away and used a bronzer to top it off. For my overall face setting powder I used Black Opal’s “Medium.” I sprayed my Fix Plus setting spray to top everything off and there you have it.

Blogger to Vlogger

by: Joi Divine

 

image1 (1)This season is all about family, friends, good food, and (just like every other season for us beauty junkies) makeup. I had the lovely opportunity of chatting with a fellow makeup lover, beauty blogger, and mommy named Shariece Turner-Solis (or Shariece Alisha on YouTube) out of El Paso, TX. I got to know Shariece through a hashtag on Instagram that was started by Shana Moore, another blogger on YouTube. Shana’s hashtag ThePaintedLipsProject came out of the desire to see more women of color represented in the mainstream beauty industry.

Shariece and I have both posted pictures of ourselves in our favorite lip color using the hashtag and we began following one another on Instagram. Soon after I began watching Shariece’s YouTube videos, drawn in by her humor and love for makeup, I realized I wanted to interview someone who is an everyday woman with a passion for beauty.

Joi Divine: How did you get your start on YouTube?

Shariece Turner-Solis: I started my YouTube channel in 2010. I recently bigchopped and wanted to share my hair journey. I took a hiatus for 3 1/2 years. For the past year I’ve been actively posting makeup related videos.
JD: How do you find balance between your family and your YouTube career?
STS: Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out the whole balance thing. If you’ve ever seen my videos you know my dog and child are in the background 99.9% of the time. I TRY to film while my daughter is asleep but we all know how naptime goes.
JD: How would you describe your channel?
STS: Currently, my channel is concentrated on all things beauty. I do makeup tutorials, product reviews, lipstick swatches and more.
JD: What is your favorite makeup item to wear around the holidays?>
STS:
My favorite thing to wear during the holidays and year round is a good, long lasting liquid lipstick. My favorite formula is Kat Von D’s Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick. You can find them at Sephora. I plan on having a swatch video up.
JD: Do you plan to purchase any of the new holiday sets? If so, what has caught your eye?
STS: I’m trying to be good this year and not go crazy with holiday sets. If I were to cave in I’d get the Sephora Favorites: SoKo to Tokyo skincare set, Glamglow Giftsexy Dazzling Hydration set, and the Stila Eternally Yours Liquid Lipstick Set.
JD: Are the festivities more important than your makeup look around the holidays, or do you go all-out?
STS: For me festivities trump a beat face. I most likely will stick to brows, foundation and lipstick.
JD: What’s your favorite look to rock for the holiday season?
STS: If I decide to go all out for a party or other event, I think I’ll go with the classic holiday look, gold eyes and red lip.
JD: Does anyone in your family share your love for makeup?
STS: My daughter loves playing with my makeup. Her current faves to play with are KVD Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw, NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair, all my Becca highlights, any brush she can get her hands on and my beautyblender.  Other than that none of my family is into makeup. I’ve been lucky enough to make a lot of friends with makeup lovers via social media.

Proverbs 31 featuring Chereal J. Wynn Murray

IMG_1990Chereal J. Wynn Murray is the founder and CEO of the School of Esther. The School of Esther is a bible based charm school located on the west coast of the United States. Upon the opportunity to speak with her the editor wants to share a little of the conversation with you, our readers.

 

Editor: Where did the desire come from to have the school of Esther?
CWM: The desire came from growing up in the church and seeing a lot of people who did not have the guidance of their grandmother and the guidance of their mom on how to carry themselves and how to love themselves. They should also know how to speak to people and how to allow other people to speak to them.
Editor: Who were the people who taught you over the years?
CWM: My mom has seven sisters who all individually have given me something. They hold me accountable. They talk to me and tell me how to carry myself as a wife and a mother. My mom’s favorite saying is keep it sweet, keep smiling and keep stepping. I try to live by that.
Editor: How long has this been a dream in the making for you?
CWM: I am a mover and a shaker. So I can think something up and pretty much move on it right then and there. This, I will say, has been in the process for a while. I couldn’t put my finger on how I wanted to do it. I didn’t know if I wanted to do the school or classes. Earlier this year I was just watching t.v. with my husband and God just dropped it in my spirit to do the school of Esther. I didn’t have a name. The name was more so birthed out of the qualities of Esther. Every quality that I was trying to go after and had been passionate about just so happened to be Esther in the bible. This year was when I finally put everything together but the passion behind it has been there for years.
Editor: What steps have you taken this year to have the school of Esther?
CWM: Right now I am in the process of getting my 501c3 because my ultimate goal is to be a non-profit organization so we can partner with schools, partner with churches and give back to our community. I am also in the process of writing my curriculum. I am reaching out to others who want to help and partner with me.
Editor: Did you know all of the details that were involved or did you learn it as you went along?
CWM: I had no idea to the extent I was going to have to learn things . I am doing a lot of this on my own. If anything I have learned that you can not start a business on passion alone. You have to work, you have to research, you have to look. Sometimes we think that our passion is going to get us there alone. Well, no. Your passion is what’s going to get you there even when you don’t want to work. Even when you feel like no one is there in your corner.
Editor: Where would you say you gain your inspiration on a daily basis?
CWM: Reading God’s word and listening to gospel music and praying has been an eye opener to me and given me strength. I have many favorite scriptures. My ultimate favorite scripture is Jeremiah 1:, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” My favorite song is Comforter by CeCe Winans. It just reminds me that he [God] is my comforter.
Editor: What message do you want to leave with our readers?
CWM: Passion can bring beautiful things if it’s paired with work. Take that thing that you’re passionate about and put it together with God given purpose; you can be and do so many things.

On the Bright Side featuring LaTosha Johnson

Patty Maxine owner on finding the bright side.
Patty Maxine owner on finding the bright side.

Meet LaTosha Johnson. She has her master’s degree in health administration and never thought about becoming a seamstress. But, life changes. Through the changes of her life she has an online boutique, Patty Maxine. It started as an addition to her career but she has recently found herself doing this full time since the summer. LaTosha has rolled with the currents on the river of life. Find out what she has to say about this new venture.

Editor: Can you tell me what inspired you to start Patty Maxine?
LJ: Patty and Maxine are both real people. They are my grandmothers. Patty is my dad’s mom. Maxine is my great-grandmother on my mom’s side. They are both fashionistas. It originally started out with thrifting. My grandmothers
would always go and find things and I would go with them. My sister said I always go and find the cutest stuff and I should do it for other people. It was a couple of years ago in 2013 when I started. That December of 2012 social media sort of popped off and everyone was a fashion designer. I kind of have this attitude like, “I can do that.” I was following a lady who was a seamstress and followed her blog on patterns and found things on YouTube and taught myself how to sew. At first it started with re-purposing items that I found in the thrift store. Then I went to shoes. I created Patty Maxine on social media to gain an audience. I then found a retailer and started selling retail. From there I went one by one creating my own  pieces for a line. I am still working to have a full blown collection. Up until now I have just been making things for myself or friends. It’s not my money maker at all even though that’s the direction I am going.
Editor: Have you taken any courses for sewing or self teaching?
LJ: Yes, just self taught. I try to practice sewing as much as I can. I watch a lot of YouTube. I read books about the production process. I have met a lot of people who did go to school for merchandising. They give me tips. Other than that it is trial and error.
Editor: Were you fearful to begin this journey?
LJ: Yes. I know if I do put this out into the universe and it expands I am mostly fearful of meeting the demand. Not necessarily fearful of trying it. It’s a little bit of fear and a little bit of excitement. I try to choose excitement as much as I can.

Fit is the New It!

Yes, Honey! Fit IS the new it! I’m sure it’s the same for all of us… The winter season is the most difficult time of the year to stay #Snatched! This time of year beholds Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day with all that good ‘ol cooking and baking from granny and mama’s kitchen. Not to mention, all the holiday parties at school, work, church and within your acquaintance circles. With all these opportunities to indulge in holiday cheer, its no wonder staying fit during the winter is a task!  Let’s discuss a few ways to enjoy the holiday season and stay on top of your fitness game!

 

1. Moderation: Sure! Have a great meal with the family, but keep in mind that having a well-balanced meal is key. Sometimes I like to fix my plate using “The Plate Method.” It’s the way those living with diabetes are taught to fix their plates to reduce their carbohydrates or sugar intake. I must mention, starchy, sugar and carbohydrate filled foods are the ones that are stored as fat if we don’t burn them when we eat them. Here’s how the plate method works:

 

a. ½ the plate should be non-starchy vegetables (Greens, green beans, asparagus, carrots, salad, peppers, onions, etc)
b. ¼ of the plate should be protein (Chicken, beef, pork, fish, etc). To decrease the amount of fatty foods, it’s best to bake, grill or broil your meat. *Note: If you use beans as your protein, since they are a starch, you’ll have to take away from the starchy food allowance (see below)
c. ¼ of the plate should be carbs, starches or breads (Corn, potatoes, mac and cheese, pasta, rolls, etc)
d. For more information about the Diabetic diet and the plate method, check out my short 3 minute video here: https://youtu.be/b0qGAmv4v58

 

2.  Get Moving!!! What we eat is a large part of the battle, but exercise is definitely a part of the equation.

 

a. It is recommended that we exercise 150 minutes per week. We can break that up however we’d like.
b. A few ideas:
i. Go for a walk or jog on a trail outside
ii. Hit the gym and do some cardio and weights
iii. Go to a class in the community or at the gym
1. I love to dance and I’m an athlete so Zumba and hardcore circuit training classes like Boot Camp are my favorites.
iv. Get a group of friends together and come up with an exercise challenge. Here are some things I’ve done:
1. Some co-workers and I did a 25 minute cardio and strength circuit (squats, jumping jacks, crunches, lunges, etc) between our patient care activities one day.
2. Squat challenge: Do 25 squats each time we go to the restroom. It’s simple, but it keeps us active.
v. Go salsa dancing
vi. Search YouTube for exercise routines. Here’s the link to to one I’ve done:https://youtu.be/ehMxsnh6muo
vii. Join a gym
1. Some gyms have holiday specials. Keep your ear to the ground to see what’s available in your area. I understand that memberships can be quite costly, but keep in mind that some gyms offer financial assistance, like YMCA.
3. Search for  healthy takes on your favorite goodies. When you go to a holiday party, challenge yourself to contribute a healthy dish to share. Here’s a delicious recipe for chocolate chip peanut butter cookies that I’ve tried:
a. Only 4 Ingredients:
i. 2 very ripe bananas,
ii. 1½  cup of quick oats
iii. 1/3 cup of peanut butter
iv. ¼ cup of chocolate chips (or mix-ins of your choice- nuts, raisins, etc)
b. Once you mix it all together place tablespoon sized portions on a cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350F.
i. Recipe from mydarlingvegan.com

 

Holiday Chronicles

by: Brittny Loss

 

The Holidays are quickly approaching and we single women may start feeling the “blahs” and not even knowing why. Media and television portray a perfect holiday by spending it with that someone special… “every kiss begins with Kay’s Jewelers”. We often get caught up in what our friends talk about when going to spend time with their special man, meeting his family for the first time and what gifts they might be buying each other. Without even knowing it we allow the feeling of loneliness and emptiness to enter our lives. Lets take those feelings and replace them with family, love, and new experiences.

In this season I often think about the holiday traditions that comes into play. Even though we are single it doesn’t mean we have to spend the holidays alone. This is the time we surround ourselves with the ones that we love. Does your family have any traditions? I always know when I walk into my parents home on Thanksgiving that my mom will be busy cooking the turkey and the guys will be watching the football game. We even started a new tradition a few years back, playing the white elephant game, SO MUCH FUN. I know one thing I want to start having and that’s a Girls Paint Night. You get a group of friends and have a few hours to laugh, relax and paint one amazing picture together. Sounds fun right? Try to find creative ways to get everyone together in a positive loving environment.

Memories and traditions are great to have but a change can be good too. This holiday season you should try to make some new memories or even start a new tradition with your loved ones. Each of us has a memory, during the Holidays, and as we get older things start to change. We move away for college, experience the loss of a loved one, babies are now in the picture or family members move too far away to come home. Remember that during the season of change you still have to get out there and have some fun! Keep your family and friends close to you and enjoy them, and do not spend the holiday nights alone. God places people in your life for a reason even if it’s only for a season. “A happy heart is a good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.

Being a single woman of God during the holidays how can we do it? Keep the Bible, His word close to your heart, surround yourself with the people who love you, create new ways to bring Joy to your life and remember that this is just a season! I pray that you have a blessed and wonderful Holiday season and continue to let your light shine! Stand in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am a daughter of royal birth, My father is king of heaven and earth. My spirit was born in the courts on high. A child beloved, a princess am I.” YOU are a princess and a child of the most high! Never forget that!