Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Goodbye to Be Beautiful

Well that was the month that was and the Be Beautiful series is over. We saw the event that I helped to organise, You're Beautiful, Woman which was a tremendous success come and go. One thing that Be Beautiful has allowed me to do is get to know the beauty bloggers a lot better. I finally got to feature Erin Scandalous as Blogger of the Month as well as other great beauty bloggers. All in all I have had a ball and I hope you have too. I would like to take this time out to thank you for your support.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Be Beautiful: My Space featuring The Makeup Queen

The first thing I notice about The Makeup Queen is how pretty it looks. Fettered in fushias, pink, coral and crimson, The Makeup Queen is about as girly girly as it can get which is just as well considering that it is a make up blog. The blog was set up in December 2009 to cover the beauty industry from an insider's perspective. Topics such as new make up collections, new fragrances, make up look and cool hairstyles are covered. I caught up with The Makeup Queen to discuss where she blogs.

Describe the concept of your blog. 
Reviews and the like from a beauty insider's "point of view."

Where do you scribe? 
At my desk.

Why that place? 
I feel that I'm able to accomplish more when I'm sitting at my desk.
What is on your desk at the moment? 
My stack of mags, nail polishes, hand cream, and my MAC Barbie Doll for "inspiration!"

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall?
I don't have my inspirations on the wall, yet. I just moved my desk into an empty room in my house. I'm going to redecorate soon.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker? 
Although, my desk is a little untidy now, I like order. I can't concentrate in clutter.

You can read MUQ's blog here.

You can follow her on Twiiter.

If You Want to Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone

Apart from my Mum there are not many women who I look up to. There are women who I like a lit and admire such as Michelle Obama, Stephanie Savage, Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers. Mara Brock Ali. Well you can add Kelly Cutrone to that list: the no nonsense taking entrepreneur is a real role model for ladies. If You Want to Cry, Go Outside contains personal and professional stories from Kelly about her secrets to success without compromising your soul and values. She draws on her vast experience in mentoring women on how to make it in fashion to create a modern lady's guide. If you do not have the 'perfect' life ie hubby, kids, career and home then this book will most definitely talk to you. Kelly's main mantra is that you should create the perfect life for you by finding out what it is that you want and what makes you happy. She also advises that you stick to this philosophy and do not let anyone steer you away. She points out that today's society teaches us to ignore our inner voice and follow the crowd but in this book Kelly enables us to stop pretending and start living.

I normally do not do self help or how to books as I find them to be cheesy and frankly only produced to make a fast buck or two. I picked up this book because after been made redundant I have reached a bit of a crisis in terms of my career plans. Also I am fascinated about how Kelly got her fabulous career and not to mention that wonderful loft apartment. I admire her feistiness and success and really wanted to know more about her and how she got where she was. The book is not a chronological narrative of Kelly's career but instead it is theme based. Each chapter has a message and an example from Kelly's colourful life which has taught her a valuable lesson and she merges both personal and career together into a seamless tale. If You Want to Cry, Go Outside is a book that really makes you think about your contribution to society is. There are a few complaints from PR wannabees that they were expecting the book to be mostly about breaking into the industry, I guess that is only natural given Kelly's background however, Kelly does state in the introduction that this is not the case.

If You Want to Cry, Go Outside is available to buy from amazon.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Cosmo on Campus

Student magazines which are written for students by students are two a penny and they range from niche fanzines to truly trendy arts of work to glossy award winning ones. Some even break out of student territory and graduate to full blown grown up status. However, when you think about it there are very few publications that are produced by large companies for the student population. Time Out do a student issue but that is only yearly - well Natmags are producing a publication aimed at this demographic. Cosmo on Campus will hit the streets in during Freshers Week in October and will be packed with features and articles which are geared specifically to 18 - 21 year old females. The aim of the magazine is to entice students into the Cosmopolitan brand and ultimately subscribing to the magazine. There will also be a website with city guides, career advice, how to live on a budget and fashion tips.  The publication will be 56 pages and printed on recycled paper similar to the ones used for Stylist and Shortlist. There will also be a Facebook page as well as a Twitter account.

This is an interesting concept and I cannot wait to see what the outcome will be like. Cosmo on Campus will be published four times a year to coincide with term time and will be distributed to 65 University campus locations.

Be Beautiful: How I Get Pretty by Charlotte from Lipglossiping

Welcome to How I Get Pretty which is a series where a beauty blogger talks about the products that she uses in order to make herself feel and look beautiful. This week I am featuring Charlotte from Lipglossiping who is totally in love with make up.
I'm delighted to be featuring today as part of The Musing of Ondo Lady's fabulous Be Beautiful special where I was invited to talk about some of the products that I use to make my day that little bit more beautiful. I umm'ed and ahh'ed over what to show you for longer than I'd care to admit. Let's just say, it was bordering on 'abnormal'. In the end, I decided that I pretty much love everything in my collection. I have limited space, so if I don't like a product - it ain't gonna stay in there for long! With that in mind, I grabbed a few items that I knew would make me perfectly presentable for that morning's scale and polish at the dentist. Pure glamour baby.

Ohhhh Elemis, your Pro Collagen Marine Cream is all I need to wear in bed to make me feel beautiful. I adore the scent, the way it softens my skin... it's a bloody shame about the price tag. What else... what else? If you can spend the day in relative comfort about how your skin looks, the rest is pure decoration.  DHC's Velvet Skin Coat for priming combined with Dior Capture Totale Foundation and Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer is a dream team for my sleep deprived skin. I'm all about the neutrals and I love cream formulas so Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow in RSVP makes a solid base for me. Add in a gentle dusting of E.L.F's bargainous Mineral Eye Shadow to define my eyes further and all that's needed is a slick of mascara. Illamasqua's Eye Brow Cake in Gaze does a great job at making my brows appear well-groomed without being obvious, it also makes for a good powder eyeliner in a pinch. Blusher is a product that I ignored for many years... I just couldn't get the hang of application. Now that I have, there's no stopping me and I impulse buy blushers like a woman possessed! One of my latest acquisitions is MAC's New Vibe Mineralize Duo, an intruiging mix of berry and bronze, it's true love. Lastly, lips! Despite the online moniker, I'm not a gloss girl... too sticky and gloopy! The new Revlon Colorburst lippies are pretty amazing and my favourite is Rosy Nude - lightweight, pigmented and easy to wear.
You can read read Charlotte's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Be Beautiful: My Space featuring Nikkia Harrington from Silver Lips Beauty

Taking a trip onto Nikkia Harrington's blog is a real delight because not only is it full of great content about makeup and music it is also peppared with cute images of her Blackberry, poloraid pictures, iPod, post-it notes, nail polish, eye shadow and lipstick. Silver Lips Beauty really sums up whtat Nikkia's life is all about - the life of a super busy lady who has a great day job but also writes a blog on the side which focuses on her passion about make up and music. Nikkia has been blogging since 2007 and since then has gone from strength to strength. I caught up with her to find out where she blogs.

Describe the concept of your blog. 
The concept of Silver Lips Beauty is to share my point of view on my two passions; music and makeup. I review products, introduce new cosmetic collections and share new music. I also from time to time talk about my weight loss surgery and other random things on my mind. Silver Lips Beauty is a site that is meant to be fun and informing.

Where do you scribe? 
At my computer desk in my bedroom but when an idea hits me I jot it down in my handy pink agenda book I take everywhere.

Why that place? 
Its a productive space. I tried blogging on the bed but I would always fall asleep. I tried on the sofa but again sleep would take over and that caused such unproductivity.My desk seemed to be the only perfect place as it houses all my essentials and allows me to swatch, apply and play around with products. :-)
What is on your desk at the moment? 
Wow, a lot of stuff. Lets see: my Blackberry, post-it pop ups, three iPods, iMac, mirror, and several beauty products I'm testing out for upcoming product reviews. speakers, and external hard drive.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall? 
No inspiration on the walls but I do keep a look book with magazine clippings, and I save a lot of pictures on my desktop to stare at when I feel like zoning out or getting real creative makeup wise.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker? 
Well at the beginning of each week I clean up my entire room and then I let the mess pile up until the beginning of the next week. So I'm a tidy mess.

You can read Nikkia's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Be Beautiful: Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare

I have not used a wet cloth to clean my face for decades, well since I hit 13 and was convinced that the method was giving me spots. So I switched to cleansing and moisturising till I discovered the 3-step process of cleansing, toning and moisturising and it has been clear sailing ever since.  Bar a few spots and divorces from brands such as Clinique. Body Shop and Simple. I was intrigued when I received the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser from the PR from Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare. I have been aware of Liz Earle (the lady behind the brand) for a good few years, back in the day when she was the beauty editor of a glossy magazine and used to have a gig at GMTV. Also after hearing about the fabulous blogger event they hosted from Yinka aka Vex in the City, I was keen to try out their stuff. Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare was founded in 1995 and is all about botanical Beauty. Their products are free from mineral oils and contain cocoa butter to soften and rosemary, chamomile. hops and eucaluptus to tone, soften and purify. They are also designed to work on every skin type and are simple to use with no fuss but also double up as a daily pampering treat.
The application of the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser is interesting because you have to apply the cleanser onto dry skin, I have always applied my cleanser onto wet skin so it felt a bit weird doing this. I then massaged the cleanser onto my face and eyelids (I did not do the eyelashes as suggested because I did not have any mascara on) after that I rinsed the cloth in hot water and wrung it out till it was damp. I used the cloth to wipe the cleanser off my face while using a clean section to wipe for each part of my face. I rinsed my face with cool water and patted it dry with a towel. I followed this with Instant Boost Skin Tonic and the Skin Repair Light Moisturiser. The results were amazing; my face felt refreshed and really soft. in fact I really could not stop touching my face. The cleanser really helps to remove the dead cells from your face. Also the cloth is made out of pure cotton muslim which is specifically designed to exfoliate the skin and enhance daily cleansing. The packaging of the brand is divine, for a start the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser comes in a really cool pouch. The colours are a very scenic aqua which symbolises with Liz Earle is all about. All the items were wrapped up carefully in tissue paper. Over the years Cleanse & Polish has received many accolades and was listed as a must have in Vogue's Millennium Beauty Hall of Fame in 2000. It has also been voted No 1 by some of the world's top beauty experts. Frankly I am not surprised because the product is amazing and perfect to use to when washing off your make up because every trace is removed. The prices are not bad either; the Cleanse & Polish Cloth Cleanser starts at £13, the Instant Boost Skin Tonic is £11.50 and the Skin Repair is £17.25. Liz Earle has certainly come a long way since her beauty journo days and to say she has done very well for herself would be the understatement of the century.

For more information about Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare you can just go to their website.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Team Kelly vrs Team Rachel

They are the two ladies of fashion but to be honest they could not be miles apart. One is based in LA the other NYC, one is blonde and the other has jet black hair and the other is girly girly while her counterpart is the complete opposite. However, one thing they share is a steely determination to succeed in a business that can be very brutal. Ladies and gentlemen I give you Kelly Cutrone and Rachel Zoe. Kel and Rach have very different styles and last week when I was watching their shows respectively called The Rachel Zoe Project and Kell on Earth I could not help thinking - have they ever met and if so they would get on? We all know that Kelly can be very abrupt but deep down that hard facade is a very caring and responsible mother while Rachel as sweet as she is can be very self indulgent and quite selfish. Check out the 911 on the Queen of fashion PR, Kelly and super stylist, Rachel.

Kelly Cutrone
Age - 45
Location - New York
Brand - People's Revolution, a powerhouse fashion PR, branding and marketing company that reps the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Valentino, Jeremy Scott, Paco Rabanne and many more.  They have three offices in LA, New York and Paris. Reality show, Kell on Earth which airs on Bravo and self help book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside
Team - Kelly: Daughter, Ava, business partners, Robyn and Emily
Style - Black, black and more black! She is quoted as saying "I take no care in f**king appearance
Most likely to say - What the f**k is going on?
The 911 - Kelly moved to New York from Syracuse in the 80s with a degree in Nursing and a never die attitude. She quickly landed a job assisting PR maverick, Susan Blond who had Michael Jackson on her roster. A few years into the game and Kelly had already established herself as one of the players in her field. She went on to do PR for Spin magazine but then left to found her own PR company, Cutrone and Weinberg. However in the 90s she hit a bad spell after a divorce to Ronnoe Cutrone and relinquishing half of her PR firm. So she fled to California where she kicked a drug habit and found her inner self. A few years later she made her way back to PR and eventually New York. Kelly is renowned for her sheer determination kick ass no bullshit taking attitude. She got her big break in The Hills where she was seen giving Lauren Conrad a hard time over tickets for the Felder Felder show at LA fashion Week. Her role in the show progressed when she offered Whitney Port and Lauren jobs at People's Republic. She also appeared in The City as Whitney's mentor and ended up offering her another role at People"s Revolution. 

Rachel Zoe
Age - 39
Location - LA
Brand - She dresses A list stars such as Kate Beckinsale, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Garner, Kate Hudson and Debra Messing. The Rachel Zoe Report debuted on Bravo in 2008 and is a huge success and is now on its third series. Her book, Style A to Zoe gave us a lowdown on how to look great on the red carpet and every other aspect of your life. She is extending her brand by launching a clothing line. You can even keep up with Rachel Zoe by subscribing to her ever stylish newsletter or going to her website.
Team Rachel - Husband, Rodger, Brad Goreski and assistant Marissa (Taylor departed due to acrimonious circumstances).
Style - She can be seen in flared jeans, heels, huge sunglasses with Starbucks coffee in one hand and her Blackberry in another.
Most likely to say - Rachel's quirky catchphrases are pretty much folklore and she can be seen exclaiming "I die!" and "Simply bananas."
The 911 - Rachel was born and raised in New Jersey and after graduating from Georgetown University, Rachel worked as a stylist for Gotham and YM magazine and then broke into celebrity styling by working with a young Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. She and hubby moved to LA where she hit pay dirt when Nicole Ritchie (who was riding high from her fame in The Simple Life) asked her to style her. Rachel is one of the most influential stylists in the world, she turned round the careers of Nicole Ritchie and Lindsey Lohan in a flash and created the look that is now referred to as Zoebots. Large sunglasses, over-sized handbags, skinny jeans and ballet flats. Pretty soon everyone wanted to know who the lady was behind these looks and Rachel began to be featured in magazines and newspapers. In 2007 her book was launched which went on to top the New York Times bestseller list and she was offered her own TV series.

They have amazingly careers; extremely successful companies with a vibrant team, their own reality shows as well as best-selling books. Kelly Cutrone and Rachel Zoe are both admirable ladies and wonderful role models. Me thinks that Bravo TV has been really smart in snapping them up. 

So are you Team Rachel or Team Kelly?

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Be Beautiful: The Accidental Diva by Tia Williams

Black women are always seen as being mad about something, loud talking or we have to overcome obstacles. You never hear about women who doing great in their careers and have great lives. That is why I was so moved by Sex and the City because that is how my friends and I live but you will never get to see that because we are not in the media.
Tia Williams, 2006.
One of the criticisms of Sex and the City was the sheer lack of Black people in the TV series. In a city as vibrant and diverse as The Big Apple it is pretty shocking that during the six years of the show that only a handful of African Americans appeared. Moreover there is and has always been a large contingent of African American women who live the Carrie Bradshaw life with the sassy girlfriends, designer labels and outings in hip bars and restaurants. The Accidental Diva tells the story of beautiful Billie Burke who has a great job as a beauty editor for the world’s leading magazine as well as an amazing circle of friends. Unfortunately her love life sucks, in fact the poor lady hasn’t had sex in five years. However, when she falls in love with Jay, an up and coming rapper from the wrong side of town her life is rocked to the core. The Accidental Diva was released back in 2004  to rave reviews and it was beauty journalist, Tia Williams' debut novel. Billie's lifestyle, ever so glam job and equally chic friends, it was no surprise that the book was dubbed the urban Sex and the City

I found this book intoxicating; you know when you really fall in love with a book and its characters and do not want it to end? Well that was how I felt about The Accidental DivaIt really is a simple story aka girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love and girl and boy go through some sort of conflict. However as we all know it is not just the story that makes a good book but the way the story is told and believe me this story is told very well. The New York skyline is presented to us in the form of Manhattan fashionistas swinging Fendi and Coach bags at uber glam PR parties but we are also show Brooklyn's best face with its funky brownstones converted into studio apartments, poetry readings at hip cafes and boho boutiques. This book must be one of very many which shows the other boroughs of New York in a positive way. The Accidental Diva is not only a really fun ready but is also full of characters who are complex and full of verve.

Check out the interview with Tia Williams that I wrote for The New Black Magazine.

The Accidental Diva is available to buy from amazon.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Be Beautiful: How I Get Pretty by Michelle from Lipstick Rules

Welcome to How I Get Pretty which is a series where a beauty blogger talks about the products that she uses in order to make herself feel and look beautiful. This week I am featuring Michelle from Lipstick Rules who has a huge passion for make up. She has been blogging since 2009 and is a very popular blogger thus she has been featured many times in the Canadian press.
I was thrilled to be asked by Musings of Ondo Lady to contribute a few words on How I Get Pretty. So here it goes. I really believe in the power of a good night's rest. For me, this means five to six hours which I know isn't enough but if you have kids, you will understand. The days of eight hour beauty rests are a thing of my past. So I go with what I can get these days. I also believe in good skin care. In terms of skin care products, I wash my face religiously in the morning and in the evening with Lancome's Creme Mousse Confort Creamy Foaming Cleanser. I just started using this cleanser over a month ago and love it as I feel it really cleans my skin, especially after a long day. My skin feels great after I use it -- you don't get that tight feeling or feel like you stripped your skin of everything that's important. My moisturizer these days is Lancome's Bienfiet Multi-vital Moisturizer which has an SPF 30. This is also new to my repertoire and I love it. It's lightweight and works well under makeup. To remove eye-makeup I use Lancome's Bifacil, which is my HG makeup remover. Can't live without it.
My foundation alternates between Diorskin Nude Hydrating Makeup in 030 and NARS Sheer Glow in Fiji (which is not the right colour for me as I was incorrectly colour matched. grrr.) I set it with MAC MSF Medium Plus. On the days I remember, I conceal with MAC Select Moisture Cover in NW25. I then use NARS Laguna bronzer to contour and in the case of NARS Sheer Glow, add a bit more colour to my face. From here, I choose whatever strikes my fancy for the day. I usually start with the eyes, which tend to be neutrals. I don't do anything super dramatic and lately I have been sticking to only a wash of colour on my lids followed by mascara. The products du jour are Benefit's Birthday Suit and Ellis Faas Mascara. I'm a bit of a blush whore so this changes daily but this summer I've been favouring peachy-pinks like NARS Deep Throat. Then, of course it's lipstick and/or gloss. My new favorites are Burberry's lipstick in Dusty Rose and gloss in Blush. So there you have it. The products that I use to make myself 'pretty.' I honestly believe that beauty does come from within so I also believe you need surround yourself with positive energy, love and laugh a lot. 
You can read Michelle's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter.


The Hills and The City both come to an end on Sunday. whether The City will continue on our TV screens remains to be seen but it is most definately the end of the road for The Hills. Coincidentally Push, the British version of The Hills hit our screens last night. It featured Sienna Miller lookalike, Lydia Harrison who has moved from Glasgow to London in order to pursue a career in fashion journalism on a glossy magazine. Armed with a popular blog, Lydia sets out to get as much experience as she can so we see her meeting with key people in fashion at Nicole Farhi, Models 1, Cult Beauty and Elle magazine in order to work on several projects. As money is tight she is crashing at her cousin, Chloe's funky studio flat in Shoreditch. Chloe is a ballerina who after an accident is struggling to learn how to dance again. Like The Hills. Push has its share of drama such as Lydia's ex boyfriend, Jake showing up out of the blue after he cheated on her. We also get introduced to Lydia's friends such as Alex who is her GBF and works in marketing and Tom who is an aspiring photographer. Push is a 10 week series where we will see Lydia working towards her goal, contributing to fashion blogs, working alongside top models and assisting stylists while navigating her way round the vibrant city of London. In Devil Wears Prada style we get to see her graduate from wearing high street clothes to designer labels.
They have been talking about making a UK version of The Hills for a few years now but nothing came of it so I was really surprised to hear about this show. The look and feel of the reality drama is quite dark and edgy; the shots are very much like the ones in The Hills and The City with over head paramanic views of London's skyline. I found the drama reality to be watchable but it did not draw me in like I was expecting; for some reason I just did not find the lead character very charismatic. She seemed really stiff and all her lines came across as extremely forced. However I guess as the series goes on and we see her getting more engrossed in her career I will start to engage more with the programme. There were a few things that niggled me though such as the lack of clarification on a few basic things. For a start what is the name of Lydia's blog? Also Lydia has just moved from Glasgow yet she has a very sloaney London accent - is she actually from the South of England and only lived in Glasgow for a few years? Lydia is seen hanging out at hip and trendy places in London. Quite how she can afford this with no real source of income is beyond me. But I guess that is the beauty of the show, presenting an enviable lifestyle. My final gripe is the name of the show - Push? Really? What on earth does that represent? It sounds like something featuring a bike. Not sexy at all.  The promotion of the show has not been great and I only heard about it by chance on Twitter when DisneyRollerGirl retweeted a link to an interview in Media Week with Anna Jones, the digital and strategy director at Hachette who publish UK Elle. There were no adverts in Look, Company, Grazia and Stylist whose readers are the key audience. It is a shame really because Lydia's lifestyle is something that a lot of young women covet and I am sure it would be very popular if they were made aware of it. Still Rimmel London are sponsors of the programme

Push is aired on Fiver at 10pm on Wednesdays.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Be Beautiful: My Space featuring Tiffany Lorde from Beauty is Diverse

Beauty is Diverse is a vibrant blog that celebrates the different elements of beauty. Whether you are a dark skinned sister, a red head with freckles, a blond with blue eyes and porcelain skin or a sultry brunette; there will be something for you on this blog. Tiffany Lorde started the blog last September with the aim of readdressing the balance of the images of women that are portrayed in the fashion media. I caught up with her to take five and find out where she writes her blog.

Describe the concept of your blog.
The concept of my blog, is to showcase the diversity of models, designers, photographers etc who work in the fashion industry. The industry spans from North America, to Europe, to Africa and China and people from every nation have contributed to Fashion in some way shape or form.

Where do you scribe?
I scribe at my desk which is a mini office in my condo.

Why that place?
I scribe at my desk because it's a very comfy section of my home and pretty much the only space I have to write comfortably.
What is on your desk at the moment?
Vogue, Arise, and Oprah magazine issues, my teddy bear from Belgium, a plaque of King Tut from the ROM, my writing note book, a pen, and my course workbooks for school.

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall ie photos, magazine cuttings or extracts?
I currently have a photo of designer, Rachel Roy and I - I met her at the Bay Dept Store, a photo with Ms J from America's Next Top Model and two of my friends which we met at Holts. A photo of Josephine Baker which I bought in Paris, and photos I cut out of Ubah Hassan from Arise Magazine.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I try to keep my desk space as neat as possible, but I will admit sometimes it gets messy if I'm really busy with homework.

You can read Tiffany's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here

Monday, 9 August 2010

Be Beautiful: Scandalous Beauty

Erin Bailey describes herself as a Starbucks drinker, make-up enthusiast, Neo-Soul viber and a natural hair rocker but in blogshere she is a superstar. Since she started blogging a few years ago, Erin has become one of the most popular beauty bloggers in the game. Her YouTube video tutorials which gives advice on hair and make up are watched by over 31,000 people and she is the founder of Brown Beauty Blogger, Inc which is a Ning group that acts as a community for women of colour who are into make up. On top of that Erin has been voted Essence magazine's top ten beauty blogger and is also a guest editor of Fashion Bomb Daily. I caught up with her to find out about beauty, life and blogging.

What made you start blogging?
I realised that there weren't too many resources for Brown people who love makeup. I had already been posting makeup looks on message boards for years. So, I created a screenname on Blogger and started writing.

Describe the concept behind Scandalous Beauty?
I love the look of banged out, fierce, sexy makeup.  It doesn't have to be 10 colors, it could be neutral, or just focus on the lip.  Either way, it's all about hot makeup.

Over the last year beauty bloggers have really made their mark in blogsphere, how do you think they will continue to push the boundaries over the next few years?
Hopefully, sooner or later the editorial industry will look at us as resources.  We now have some of the same connections as top beauty editors.

How do you get your inspiration for your posts?
Sometimes it's just looking through a magazine, sometimes it's readers questions.  I always carry a notebook with me because I tend to think of ideas during random times of the day.

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I'm probably catching up on episodes on Food Network or Sex & the City. Otherwise, I'm at work. lol

Describe a typical day in the life of Erin Bailey.
Hmmm. Wake up around 7am and make a cup of coffee.  Then I blog, research and email for a few hours. After that, it's off to work. I will start school in a couple of weeks, so it will all change pretty soon.

What are your favourite glossy magazines?
I have to read Essence, because it's almost the only place to see Fashionable Brown Women anymore.  Other than that, I read Elle and Harper's Bazaar, sometimes Vogue.

Name five blogs that you read religiously.
Afrobella, Black Girl with Long Hair, The Fashion Bomb, Steamy Kitchen and Afroniquely You.

How do you see your blog evolving over the next two years?
By then, I'd love for it to be more of an online magazine.  I'm really trying to narrow down my focus, and expand on that.  I'm currently working with my best friend who is a project manager.  She's helping me fine tune the site as far as business goes. I'm beyond excited.

You can read Erin's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Be Beautiful: Make Me Up

A few weeks ago I wenr into Morleys to purchase some products drom MAC. The brand recently opened a concession in Brixton's department store. Buoyed by the fact that there was no queue at the counter I went rushing in. I was stopped by an elegant lady in black who asked if I was here to look at some Fashion Fair products. I muttered "erm no sorry I am here for MAC," and hastily rushed past but not before noticing the look of disappointment and resignment on her face. While I was being served at the MAC counter more people arrived and waited patiently to be served whlile the Fashion Fair counter remained empty and I began to feel a bit sorry for Fashion Fair. They have been struggling for years even at Morleys where a huge majority of customers are Black and the introduction of MAC must have blown them out of the water. This got me thinking about the posioning of Fashion Fair on the market place. A lot of people rate them and they do produce amazing colours for Black skins but ask a large number of black women which make up brand they would prefer and I bet they would say MAC. It seems to me that Fashion Fair have got their branding all wrong; the packing seems rather dated and stale and with a bland website Fashion Fair is very uninspiring. When I think of the funky ezines that Mac send out I really feel that Fashion Fair are missing a trick. People express themselves with the clothes they wear and the same really does apply to make up. 

Even Sleek have woken up to this and totally reinvented themselves as a hip and modern brand that any fashion forward lady would be proud to be seen in. Their website is vibrant and their packaging is very - well sleek. Sleek's revamp reminds me very much of the one that Rimmel (check out a previous post that I wrote about Rimmel London) undertook a few years ago when they positioned themselves from a dreary cheap make up brand that chavs bought to one that draws on the characteristics of London which is stylish, edgy and trendy. Well with models, Kate Moss, Lily Cole and pop star, Sophie Ellis-Bexter onboard they could hardly be anything else. The strategy of Rimmel London is the same as many successful make up brands - about promoting an image to their consumers. Take Flirt Cosmetics which was featured in cult reality show, The Fashionista Diaries, they describe themselves to be edgy, trendy and driven by pop culture. So it looks like Fashion Fair has a lot to learn in order to gain more customers. Still at least Fashion Fair have moved away from the terrifying ladies in the bright pink jackets. 

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Be Beautiful: How I Get Pretty by Shifa Fijiwala from Get Gawjus

I heard that beauty journalists never wear makeup which I figured made sense considering that a lot of chefs rarely cook at home. However, the same does not apply to beauty bloggers who never leave home looking less than glossed up. This series, How I Get Pretty will feature different beauty bloggers discussing the beauty products they use to make themselves look and feel good. Kicking us off this week is Shifa Fijiwala from Get Gawjus which she describes as a space for makeup junkies. 
Below are the products that I use on a daily basis to make myself feel good. It includes a bit of skin care and a whole load of makeup. Lets talk about skincare first; I first cleanse my face with Clarins One Step Facial Cleanser. I then use Cellnique’s b-liv off with those heads serum, to avoid any breakouts or whiteheads. Liz Earle’s Skin Tonic I use before applying moisturiser to prep my skin and to hydrate it even furtherI love No 7’s Advanced Hydration Day Cream that leaves my face soft and supple and fully hydrated. You see a lot of face products there as I am obsessed with achieving ‘perfect’ looking skin without it looking caked up with foundation. I use No 7’s Stay Perfect foundation in Vanilla mixed with Revlon Skinlights Illuminator to achieve a luminous base. 
I use a mix of MAC’s Moisture Cover Foundation and Milani’s Secret Cover Concealer to get rid of any under eye circles and spots. I simply cannot live without these two as they wake up my face like no other! A quick touch of MAC’s well Dressed Blusher is a must have, as it can give anyone that ‘just-jogged’ flush. It’s followed by Miner’s Tin o’Tint Lip Balm in Cherry to give me a lovely pout. Ysl’s Fard lumiere in Amethyst Grey is a gorgeous grey which is my on-the-go eye shadow. I have to put on my Dior Show Mascara without fail otherwise I feel my lashes look bare! MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack is a must have black gel liner. A touch of Eyeko’s Graffiti Eye Liner Pen in purple brightens the white’s of my eyes I feel. That neutral MAC quad is formed of All that glitters, Texture, Tete-o-Tint and Lancome’s couture intense and is my favourite quad without doubt. I cannot live without filling in my brows with Kryolan’s eye pencil in brown. A good primer for the eyes is essential and I would recommend ELF’s Mineral Eye Primer if you don’t want to make a hole in your wallet. I have recently become addicted to nail paints hence they are featured in my daily beauty must-haves. Above are Essie’s Coral Reef and NYC’s Uptown.

You can read Shifa's blog here.
You can follow her on Twitter here

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Be Beautiful: My Space by Sara Alexander from The Make Up Snob

Sara Alexander describes her life as being emerged in music and make-up. She is a beauty addict with a real passion for red lipstick and it is this passion that led to the creation of her blog. The Make Up Snob has been running for a few years now and covers product reviews, comparisons , swatches and everything else that is beauty related. With over 1,000 followers on Google Connect, Sara is right up there in the ehelons of beauty blogging. The Bay Side resident took time out to tell me about where she writes her fabulous blog.

Describe the concept of your blog.
When I had first decided to start my blog I wanted to show readers a lot of comparison swatches and products from different brands. I really felt like so often us makeup lovers get to wrapped up in one brand we miss so many other alternatives that maybe just as fabulous, whether this be other high end brands products or even drugstore items. I have been doing more reviews than comparisons lately but as things slow down for me a bit, I want to bring my blog back to this focus.

Where do you scribe?
Ill grab my macbook and head straight to the couch.

Why that place?
I don't think well in quiet. I love the chatter of the TV, my daughter playing, the dog chewing and everything else that goes on in the living room. I like the feeling that I am accomplishing more than one thing at a time. So I don't seperate myself from anything as I am writing. It probably takes me twice as long to get my thoughts out this way but I wouldnt want it any other way.
What is on your couch at the moment?
My daughter's backpack from her recent sleepover, a sweater and my macbook.    

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall?
I don't really have anything posted up around me. I will get ideas from the TV in the background or commerials I see.  Most of my inspiration comes from digging through my makeup closet (yes closet, *shaking my head*) I will be looking for something, reorganizing stuff or just getting ready for the day and will come across an item that makes me all of a sudden feel like talking about it. My makeup closet is a happy place. I feel like I loose track of what I have so often that I have so much fun going back in (when time permits) to rediscover lost treasures. It makes me think about why I purchased the item, When the last time I wore it and more! Those thoughts can be great material for a new post.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I work a full time job then come home to fulfill the tasks of wife, mother, beauty blogger and Blog Design Creator. So with all that said... my space is a bit messier than I would like it to be. 

You can read Sara's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here.