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October 17, 2015
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DIY Day: How to Glam Up Your Old Sweaters

July 22, 2015
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Do Brown Girls Tan?

Recently, I mentioned to two (very) different people that I use self tanner/bronzer and "lay out" in the summer. They responded in two (very) similar ways: "Aren't you dark ENOUGH?"

More amused than offended, I responded in the same exact way, "Dark skin is beautiful...plus, I'm all about an even skin tone.".

So, does the cheese stand alone? Do brown girls tan?

July 21, 2015
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Can You Be Too OLD to Wear a Headband?

Now that summer's heat is turned all the way up, I find myself reaching for a pretty headband to keep my curls in check. But every now and again, I wonder if headbands have an expiration date. Whatcha think?

July 19, 2015
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Lucy Liu Just Cycled My Soul + Top Active Picks

Even through the deafening SoulCycle music, I found myself unable to get Destiny's Child "Independent Women" out of my head. For once, it wasn't because I was reenacting a Kelly Rowland music video.

Oh no. Lucy Liu was on the bike in front of mine and at first sight, I was transported (in my mind) to the "Charlie's Angels" motocross scene pictured above. Lucy Liu and I were chasing down the bad guys in our sicker-than-your-average (R.I.P. Biggie) wheels. I mean work with me here; we were on stationary bikes peddling for our lives in a room with little ventilation. I'm allowed a bit of delusion.

That experience also taught me it's time to step up my active gear, "Charlie's Angels" style. 'Cause, you know a ratty tank and holey leggings are so not the move.

Ellie Inner Light Bra, $37

Joe Fresh Cropped Leggings, $34

Why settle for an ordinary hair tie, when you can wear a Jennifer Behr headband? Plus, it's all about the high-low, people!
Maye Bandeaux, $425

Apres class, don these Whatever Slides, $65 'cause you're cool like that.

Don't front...you know you want to sing it!

March 09, 2015
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BEAUTY ALERT: Givenchy Fall 2015 Runway

EDGES, LAID: Baby hair @ Givenchy Fall 2015 Runway! In case you were interested in reinvesting in the trend, don't forget the Let's Jam!

Oh yeah, check out the slideshow...there's a little something going on with the models' faces as well.

March 07, 2015
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Jada & Willow Smith: My Mother, Myself

I've finally released the delusion that my mom is Wonder Woman. No, not like a figurative my-mom's-a-superhero...like straight up my mom is Linda Carter.

Simultaneously, I believed she was Donna Summer. I truly thought that she didn't want me to behave like a superstar's child so she sorta' pulled a Clark Kent-Superman thang each day. Like she told me she was going to work in an office, but she was really selling out Madison Square Garden. 

So yeah, I'm finally seeing my mother for exactly who she is. She is a gorgeous, flawed, and loving human being that I'm  lucky to share genes with. Now she does drive me up the dayum wall, but I have learned how to paint over the shoe marks. You know, after she's driven me up the wall. C'mon...you get where I'm going.

And then there's my grandmother, who just celebrated her 93rd birthday. 

I relish sitting around with my grandmother and mom laughing, disagreeing, and talking. Talking about nothing. Talking about everything. I learn more about the timelessness of womanhood by simply being in their presence. 

It's sorta' like this Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett-Smith, her mom, and Willow Smith. Except during our "red tables" there's profanity. A lot of profanity.

September 23, 2014
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Bliss Multi-Face-Eted Mask Review

From the moment I slathered Palmolive dish soap on to my six-year old face, I was a facial mask devotee. You see, I had seen my mom use avocado masks. So when I saw that green dish detergent bottle staring at me from the kitchen sink, it all made sense.

Avocados are green. That stuff's green. Plus, it's gentle on hands and tough on dishes. As I luxuriated during my Palmolive facial, I had not a care in the world.

And then my mom caught me and started screaming bloody murder, "Oh. My. Gah. You'll. Get...PIMPLES!!"

Personally, I like to compare the moment to the "Mommie Dearest", wire hangers scene, but I guess it wasn't that deep.

My mom did make it crystal clear that acne was a potential pox upon our Manhattan apartment.

Palmolive-gate also taught me about the power of the facial mask.

Luckily as a beauty writer, I've been sent tons of facial masks. Though they've had differing ingredients and benefits, most of them have the same goal: healthy-looking skin. But yeah, I still hadn't found The One.

And then Bliss sent me the Multi-Face-eted All-In-One Anti-Aging Clay Mask ($50). Launched this month, this clay mask is enriched with jojoba oil, detoxifying carbon, lemon, and exfoliating glycolic acid. Don't wince when you read "clay mask"; I'm not talking about that old school clay mask that hardened to the point of no return. Like you can barely move your face. This mask is flexible and there's no strange "clay smell".

The Dealio Multi-Face-Eted Mask is an all-in-one product that promises more youthful-looking skin using the following techniques:
*Reduces visible fine lines & wrinkles
*Fades discoloration & dark spots
*Unclogs pores & visibly diminishes the look of large pores
*Brightens skin & evens skin tone
*Nourishes & deeply moisturizes
*Smoothes rough texture for velvety soft skin

I'm using it once per week and I can attest to brighter, more moisturized skin. I didn't notice unclogged pores (renegade nose whiteheads), but maybe that will come with further usage. Look ma, no Palmolive!

And now, a word from our sponsors (circa 1986). I'm just sayin...

September 11, 2014
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Solitary Soul: Rodarte S/S 2015

Swarovski-illuminated designs, handkerchief hems and all, the Rodarte S/S 2015 offered whimsy and a mash up of textures and ethereal, cascading materials.

The life aquatic was also a more-than-seeming inspiration for the turquoise hues, sheer detailing, and ubiquitous shiny accents.

I'm not lying about the "aquatic' theme. Like seriously the sisters Mullevay were inspired by the tide as they waved good bye to fall (sorry).

Solitary Soul at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in New York City though somber and heartwrenching at times, offers a similarly optimistic fluid aesthetic via George Tooker's "Fountain" (1950). Its all-male, all-blonde figures revolve around the curvy, healing waters of the dove-hovering water fountain.

The Connection:
There's a magical, sparkling moment that Rodarte and Solitary Soul share, which awakens the possibility that only spring can bring.

June 02, 2014
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Bad Date Beauty: 5 Must Haves

Oft considered a dating guru, I've been commissioned to edit online dating profiles, consult on first-date outfits, and decode impossibly vague texts/emails. In short: I'm an expert, yo. Women get a pretty bad rap on show's like Online Dating Rituals of the American Male. Like guys aren't creepers at times? So yeah, consider these beauty must haves as our little way of leveling the playing field:

Peppermint Oil
If He's Dope: Place a dot on your tongue and lend a little minty sweetness to the convo.
If He's A Douche: I'm not recommending using it as a weapon, but if it made its way into a rude boy's eyes...

High Beam Highlighter

If He's Dope: Apply it to the bridge of your nose and cheekbones for a healthy shimmer.
If He's A Douche: If you dot the corners of your eyes with enough of it, you can fake conjunctivitis.

Jergens Shea Beauty Oil
This oil never leaves my shower.
If He's Dope: Apres shower, apply this drugstore find everywhere for a gorgeous, healthy glow.
If He's A Douche: Two words...faux drool.

Bright Lip Color
If He's Dope:  Fuschia is so first-date pretty and much less predictable than fiery red. 
If He's A Douche: Smear it on your teeth. Right in front of him. Then? Consider your number...deleted. 

Volumizing Mascara
If He's Dope: Let your lashes go aflutter as he tells you a fascinating story.
If He's A Douche: Pull out this massive wand & give yourself a makeshift moustache. Go big and go home!

Honorable Fashion Accessory Mention:
If your daytime date turns into a dud, rock sunnies
to distract him from your perpetual eye rolling.

April 04, 2014
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Congratulations, Lupita!

As soon as I heard Lupita Nyong'o is the new face of Lancome, I thought of her goosebump-inducing speech on perceptions of beauty.

March 13, 2014
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Overalls: Over 'Em or All Over 'Em?

As to be expected, the '90s are back and so are overalls.
Will YOU be rocking them this season?

March 12, 2014
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Russian Bath Beauty: Brooklyn Banya

I knew I'd be the wrong person to cover the Banya phenomenon since my only readily available Russian references are my first drink (White Russian) and the Russian boxer in one of the "Rocky" films. Oh and my Russian-American homeboy from undergrad. Cool dude.

So here's Shanna's take on Brooklyn Banya and its 10,000 sq. ft. of Russian Turkish awesomeness:

A Little Background

The focus of the banya is the sauna. Some banyas have moist heat and dry heat, but it’s not a banya without a sauna.

The heat can go up to 200 degrees…there’s a chance you’ll begin to molt like a snake. And that’s a good thing. I saw many women using exfoliating gloves outside of the banya to wash themselves thoroughly from head to toe.

The Rundown

You’ll want to take the banya in doses; thankfully there are cold showers and a cold dunking pool, which are so refreshing after the heat.

The banya is a social scene. In between trips to the saunas groups of friends or family lounge in the restaurant over traditional food and beer.

It really was an escape where time slowed down. I saw very few people on their phones and I didn’t even miss mine.

By the time we left, I felt more relaxed and serene than I had felt in a while. Plus my skin was scarily smooth and every one kept commenting on how I was glowing. I'm hooked.

March 10, 2014
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Jergens Shea Butter Oil Review

Needless to say, but I will anyway, Jean-Michel Basquiat imagery has become ubiquitous these days. And considering his desire for art world recognition and obsession with pop culture, I guess that works.

Like many people though, I feel like Basquiat "speaks to me" in a very special way.

So yeah, I get a little pissed when I see someone rocking a Basquiat tee and I assume they don't have the "relationship" that I have with him. The irony is, I'm more than a little enamored with this tee.

My feelings of "proprietary" grew even stronger as I heard about the turf war of sorts happening regarding Christie's now-controversial Basquiat auction. Google that ish.

At least I saw authentic (?) Basquiat items in person that I'd once seen in books. That's pretty dope. Unless they're fake...then that's wiggety wack.

As I viewed Olive Oyl (pic below), it reminded me of the dewy satisfaction that Jergens Shea Butter Oil ($8.99) gave me the other day.

A) You already know how I feel about the restorative powers of shea butter

B) This oil shaved off 3 minutes from my get-dressed-for-work routine*

C) It has a light fragrance (very light...you know I can't stand an oppressive perfume)

*How did it do so? While still in the shower, I applied it to my damp skin and then blotted my skin with the towel. Et voile...moisturized for the day.

The Inspiration

March 05, 2014
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2014 Glam Oscar Viewing Party

Perhaps you've heard my rants on the Academy Awards being inferior to the Tony Awards.
You haven't though because I tend to keep my non-sensical biases to myself. Er...most of the time. This year, I embraced my hypocrisy and joined the mass hysteria that was Oscars anticipation.

So I joined my Glam brethren (sistren) at Soho House for an Oscars viewing party. I had a blast watching sitting in big, fluffy screening chairs with a drink in hand and snacks galore.

Here I am with the lovely Ehmonie from WhatsHaute.com & Brooklyn's-own Chris from SimplyDapper.com:

March 05, 2014
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Get The Look: Idina Menzel 2014 Oscars

As we Travoltify our names for the gazillionth time, let's take a moment to discuss Idina Menzel's super-sleek hair.

I gotta tell you I was so impressed to see what celebrity hairstylist Roque did to keep Menzel's famously curled tresses straight (even in LA rain). Impressed? Yes. Surprised? No. The master of curlery, John Frieda, was of course at the root (sorry) of Menzel's gorgeously retro sleek waves. Wait? That was an oxymoron...but you know what I mean!

Here's how Roque created Menzel's look:

  •  To begin styling, Roque created a cocktail of John Frieda Frizz Ease Straight Fixation Styling Crème and two drops of Frizz Ease Extra Strength Six Effects + Serum and applied throughout Idina’s clean, wet hair.

  • Next, Roque gave Idina a low side part over her left eye before blow-drying her hair straight using a Mason Pearson Brush. “I believe it’s important part the hair before you begin heat styling.”

  • To prep Idina’s hair for the flat iron, Roque spritzed John Frieda Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray throughout to protect Amy’s hair from the heat of the iron as well as guarantee a smooth, straight look.

  • After flat ironing in sections, Rogue tucked the remainder of Idina’s hair on the left side gently behind her ear and sprayed John Frieda Luxurious Volume All Day Hold Hair Spray for a flawless finish.
March 04, 2014
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Get The Look: Julia Roberts @ 2014 Oscars

March 02, 2014
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Get The Look: Naomi Watts' Oscars 2014

Naomi Watts gave amazing face tonight at the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Wanna know the beauty deets?


For a modern take on classic, makeup artist Matthew VanLeeuwen created a pearlescent, lilac eye and a sultry, plum lip to complement Naomi's light pearl Calvin Klein Collection gown.


Lancôme Color Design 5 Pan Eyeshadow Palette in Plum Splendor - Matthew applied the base shade all over, then layered the palest lilac on top, blending the beige and lilac shades to create a pale lid. He then dotted the dark plum liner in between each lash to add depth. Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in Black Coffee Lancôme Cils Booster XL Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara

Matthew prepped Naomi's skin with Giorgio Armani Crema Nera Extrema Serum NEW Lancôme Le Correcteur Pro in 300 Bisque Giorgio Armani Maestro Cream Compact Foundation #4 Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush #10

Giorgio Armani #7 Smooth Silk Lip Pencil Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in #502 Scarlatto

March 01, 2014
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Oscars Gowns 1929 to Now!

As we not-so-patiently await everyone's new girl crush, Lupita Nyong'o, her assumingly stunning Oscars gown (and dope 'fro remix) tomorrow, check out the Best Actress Oscar Gowns Since 1929 & choose your favorite!

Barbara Streisand in Arnold Scassi (1969) steals my sartorial heart. I love boy-meets-girl style!

Follow me on Twitter & get ready to rap "red carpet" with me tomorrow starting at 6PM.

February 19, 2014
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Biore Self Heating Mask Review:
Tweet, Tweet This Heat!

One of the easiest things to do as an East Coaster is complain about winter weather.

The work week mantra was "Is it Friday yet?". That has been replaced with "Is it April yet?".

We're grumpier. We're more tense. Our senses of humor are gone with the mind-numbing wind. Plus, it wrecks havoc on our skin.

Biore Self Heating Mask ($6.49) is the arctic-tundra-turned-spring (*fingers crossed*) antidote.

As charcoal sucks out impurities, the mask heats up and offers tingling coolness simultaneously. I warn you: you will be in awe and want to investigate this skincare sorcery.

Unfortunately, you won't have enough time to crack the code...the mask takes only ONE MINUTE to do its thing. And it removes 2.5 time more oil and dirt than typical cleansers!
You'll want to sing. You'll want to make you leap. You'll want to tweet tweet this heat.

Thank you for my new favorite catchphrase, Nick Cannon!

October 18, 2013
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Fresh Honey Mask Review: Ooo Baby I Like It Raw

As pitches to ghost write my blog roll in, mama (um, me) realized she needed to make a Jay-Z-style comeback.

The word "raw" conjures references aplenty (like my new raw oyster addiction and Eddie Murphy's "Raw" comedy concert), but for now let's focus on "raw" beauty.

My latest crush is on CRÈME ANCIENNE ULTIMATE NOURISHING HONEY MASK ($130) from Fresh. You can use it up to four times a week on cleansed skin to lend lubrication to the skin. Sure, I could've used another word there, but that one was much more satisfying.

It is made from hydrating shea butter, Vitamin E, and pure honey to help attract and seal in moisture. I used it once this week and my skin (prone to dryness as soon as summer's humidity dissipates) looked moisturized even without moisturizer. Old dirty dog ain't no liar!

True dat: It's pricey, but you honestly only need to apply a thin layer to your grillpiece. Until next time, I leave you with this ditty...from Dirty:

May 09, 2013
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Apparently It's the NBA Finals: What To Wear

Curiously my TV has seen quite a bit of the NBA Finals. My sofa has experienced impassioned yelps and abundant profanity.

In short, my apartment is experiencing an NBA takeover; so maybe it's time for my NBA makeover. See what I did there?

Fact: I am a native New Yorker
A) Despite that, I anticipate a Spike Lee sighting more than an actual Knicks' game
B) The above statement leads me to...

Fact: I have no allegiance to any team. I base my cheers purely on...
A) The team who is working together ("hustling"?) better
B) The player that I find most attractive

As you can imagine, those facts brought me nowhere closer to my NBA Finals makeover; but this NBA Fashion page did! I think of my friend Crystal and her penchant for off-the-shoulder sweatshirts when I see this Knicks Andrews Top ($44.99). She of course, would rock her home team, the 76ers.

As high-top fades and Gumbys are in full effect (again), wouldn't you say it's time for a little '80s-inspired sweatshirt action? Speaking of action, if my crew were challenged to a b-ball game, I’d totally wear the Andrews Top. I'm pretty sure we'd look like the clip below (because I’m b-ball challenged):

March 08, 2013
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Alter Ego: eShakti Review

During a particularly cathartic " Buddha" moment, I gave away one of my mom's amazing '70s hand-me-downs. It was an indigo-denim dress with a fitted top, long sleeves and an amazing flared skirt. It also happened to be the maternity dress she wore with ME in her belly. As much as I try to "que sera sera" that decision, it truly is a "que pena" moment (shout out to my Spanish teacher, Ms. Gliatta). So yeah, I have tacitly vowed to replicate the flyness that was that dress for the past 15 years. Seemingly impossible (it was dope plus it had sentimental value), I found my faith renewed when eShakti contacted me.

eShakti has a website chock full of styles to satisfy even the most finicky palates. How? You find a design you like and make it one you love (by altering aspects like the neckline, sleeves, length, and pockets even!); the cost to make changes is only $7.95. For the Queen of Picky Eaters (er, me), it was a movable feast of fashion once I picked my complimentary design.

I chose the Retro Chambray Shirtdress ($64.95). I shortened it to knee length and changed the sleeves from three-quarter to long. The neckline was perfect as is and of course, I kept the pockets intact; mama needs a place to put her hands. Its structured shoulders and soft chambray fabrication were chic edits to my mom's dress.

Until March 25th, Temple of Glam readers will receive $25 off orders with promo code TEMPLEFGLM46.

As you'll see below, I completed my homage to '70s glamour with my brown knee-high boots (I forget the designer, but they're beyond) and my new fluffy hair:

January 31, 2013
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Valentine's Day Gifts: Let 'Em Eat Petits Fours

Raise your hand if you had the pleasure of gaining the "Freshman 15". Never the bandwagon-jumper, I gained the lbs. during my senior year. Blimey, I'm a rebel!

I went through the obligatory emotions: denial, bewilderment, and full-blown obsession about the new-found junk in my very-spacious trunk.

What does that have to do with Valentine's Day? No idea. I consider this a safe space so don't mess that up by judging me now.

As my co-workers discuss taking the entire week off this year to avoid the mushy-lovie-dovieness of Valentine's Day, I thought about a perfect gift for gals in and out of coupledom.

The Petit Four Lip Balm Set ($14) offers four (obvi) plastic petits four, which hold a lip-smoothing balm. So yeah, whether you're puckering up to your loved one or giving yourself an arm hickey, your lips will be soft.

And honestly, isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about...arm hickeys?

January 23, 2013
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Flawless Find: L'Oreal The Super Slim by Infallible

Look. I keep my makeup pretty simple on most days: mascara, lip gloss, and blush. Sometimes though, especially if I'm working a more androgynous outfit, I turn it up with a winged liner or heap on a massive amount of blush for a babydoll effect

The other day I worked my "Annie Hall"-inspired look so I decided to turn up my eyes with some liner. I did this ignoring the fact that I had an eye doctor appointment: dilated pupils, glaucoma test, teary eyes. Let's just say I lack far sight and foresight from time to time.

Luckily, L'Oreal sent me the new The Super-Slim by Infallible ($8.99). First, it goes so close to the lash line! Second, as I found myself wiping away black makeup throughout the multiple eye-ball, my mascara was gone and my liner was still intact. As I felt my way around the city (you know, dilated pupils and all), I knew my lids were covered...infallibly. Not sold yet? J-Lo wore Super-Slim at this year's Golden Globes...BOOM.

January 22, 2013
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Exclusive Giveaway: PopChips/Jillian Michaels!

One Temple of Glam reader will win a signed copy of Jillian Michaels' new book, Slim for Life & a month's supply of popchips (including the delish new tortilla chips)! Just "Like" Temple of Glam on Facebook to be automatically entered...easy peasy!

Make A Resolution…And Keep It
Resolutions don't have to begin and end at the start of a new year; resolve to do it and start now!
It’s All About Balance
Eat three balanced meals (every four hours) with a snack between lunch and dinner. That's key! Reach for a healthful snack like carrot sticks and hummus, fresh fruit, or almonds and dried cranberries.

Just Because It’s Not Fried Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Delicious
When you're in the mood to nosh, replace fried potato chips with a more healthful alternative that satisfies your salty craving. popchips are a great and my favorite snack option! They're delicious and one single-serving bag has less than half the fat of fried chips (and only 100 calories)!

Cook Healthful Alternatives
Opt for cooking methods that use little or no fat such as steaming, grilling, baking, popping, broiling or roasting. Have a weakness for fried chicken? Instead take skinless chicken breast cutlets, cover them in egg whites and a crushed up cereal like cornflakes and bake. You'll get the same great taste and more than half the calories and fat!

Grab A Buddy
You will achieve greater success when you have support. So get your friends together. Here's to a healthier you in 2013!

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