Clumps of Mascara goes to NY Fashion Week..sort of!

MOJ Covers Mercedes Benz Fashion WeekIf the Miss Clumps can’t come to the mountain, then in a perfect world the mountain can come to her right? Well this world ain’t so bad so Miss Yaya of MyOwnJudge.net – your guest fashion writer on COM has brought the mountain to y’all Clumpheads!

So while the weather may be frightful (that image is the morning shot before starting my travels to the shows), the reporting will be delightful. Especially for Miss Britt who is enjoying her warm weather (and don’t think I don’t know some of y’all are enjoying the sun too!).

What might I be talking about? I forget sometimes that people like to forsaken New Yorkers occasionally… us being New Yorkers and all :)~ so here’s the golden nugget:

This Fall and Winter 2010 presentation is the last of its kind. This is the last season at Bryant Park. Next year? At Lincoln Center! Click here for the official schedule and give Britt a shout for which shows you’re dying to hear about. Want to know something specific? Nails? Hair? Ethnic diversity? Colors? Shoes? Let it out and the mountain shall come to you!

MOJ Covers Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Disclaimer: This is a real car (thus the secretive license plate). This car also neither belongs to myself or Brittany… but now they know where to surf. :)

Acne Sucks: Guest Post on her fight against acne

Hey y’all….so I’ve found that a lot of my great advice about clear and healthy skin has come from not my dermatologist but from the rest of you! Check out some tips that reader Noorie from Atlanta is sharing with us. Feel free to add!

As someone who’s been suffering from acne for almost a decade, here are my top tips:

*A few things I’ve noticed and picked up over the years about foundation and acne:

-It’s “ok” to use as long as you take it off as soon as you get home. Not a good thing to leave on from morning to night like I did while on a recent vacation. It’s just… bad and will cause break outs.

-It’s pretty harmless if you use much lighter coverage foundations. One I used to have was Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Foundation (see above) and L’oreal True Match: both very runny and not as thick as let’s say Revlon Colorstay. Concealer is a MUCH better idea for covering imperfections and will covers up any brown spots better.

-I only use foundation on places where I need it, not all over my face like I see some make up guru’s and artists doing.

*DE from Beautylogic also gave rave reviews about the Clairsonic. I’ll have to try it out in the future too and soon Clumps Of Mascara will also be having a detailed review. <--coming soon at a theater near you!

*Another thing I’ve noticed/learned is that washing my face at night wasn’t always enough- especially if you sweat a lot or use make up. Here’s my night time routine:

*Living healthier (eating less processed foods and dairy), some exercise, enough fiber to keep you regular (oh yea! I went there) and water all help me feel and look better too. When I’m not excerisizing I notice my face breaks out a bit more. I’m not sure why. They say when you sweat, toxins are released thru the pores, which is what I’m thinking too.

*I have tried almost every single brand of acne products in the past. Gosh, how I remember standing in the skincare aisles, reading each product that claimed to have you acne free in days.

Now I know a bit better:
-Most acne products will do the same. Whether it’s gel cleansers and scrubs, pads, acne drying gels, etc. Some toners ARE better than others though and are less over drying and/or get deeper into the pores. You have to decide whether you prefer Benzoyle peroxide products or Salicylic.
-I highly recommend 3 step products to everyone. I used Proactive when I was 18, and my skin just cleared up in 2 weeks! My scars faded and everything, but sadly I don’t feel it has the same effect on me anymore. I’ve heard the same from other people who use it. It’s still worth a try though.

And if you don’t want to shell out the $40 there are tons of other great 3 step acne kits available in drugstores which also get the job done. I tried the one from Clearasil and I liked it. Neutrogena also has a good one. These kits are great because you get everything you need: a cleaners, toner and acne drying gel. The Clearasil one even comes with a spot treatment.

Feel free to provide any insight on your experiences with acne. A strong support system is SO key in fighting this monster.

Other Acne Sucks posts:
Acne Sucks: Part 1
Acne Sucks: The Stages
Acne Sucks: But does oil on the skin help?
Acne Sucks: Pimple Poppin’


(photo source)

Guest Post: Winter Fashion by Miss. Yaya

PhotobucketWelcome back COM readers for another guest post by Miss Yaya from My Own Judge!! While I attempt to assign myself as the style guide while Miss Britt is not looking, read on about making your wardrobe work through all seasons and through the thinnest of wallets.

For many, the weather is getting frightful and a summer wardrobe is starting to look as flimsy as swimsuit attire in a snowstorm. But apart from the hoarders and overprepared girl and boy scouts who have separate sets of attire per season (guilty), who has the space and time to separate wardrobes and store unused items? Money and space are getting as precious as air and water, so who’s to know what to do when looking at camisoles in weather best described as ‘brick cold’?

For y’all warm weather folks, let me tell you. I’m jealous. Why do I have to hear about your beach going shenanigans when my teeth chatter while crossing the street? Have you no shame? Do you not understand cardigans are needed for more than just AC filled offices?!?! I can rant forever of course. Or I can let y’all in on a few secrets.

We all spend money on wardrobes. Some more than others, but none can refuse the claim that a precious money is spent to cover our bodies. So how do we make the most of our money and the biggest bang for our buck when temperatures shift?

Layer effectively:
Remember that underwear is not limited to being your singular layer of fabric underneath your outside clothes. Thermals, long-johns, etc. are great for holding the heat that your body needs in colder weather. Not a fan of waffle knit articles? Make use of leggings and stockings (men: long sleeve plain tees & workout pants work as well) under your jeans and dress pants. Dress pants of all things have a tendency to waver around your legs sometimes when you walk. This lets wind and cold seep through. If the waists seem too high, choose a fun pattern to fold over your pants as part of your outfit. (You can try this in a fitting room or in the privacy of your own home toPhotobucket insure you look fine. Trust me.)

Mix fabrics:
That soft, super thin tee/blouse you were raving about in the heat of July not keeping you warm? Slip it under a button down or a sweater. The mix of fabrics (and layering) will add warmth as well as aesthetics to your getup. And let’s not forget – make use of your summer clothes.

Purchase additional staples:
Blasphemous? How to save money by purchasing more? Give me a chance! You only need a few staple items to add to your summer clothes to make it fall and winter appropriate:

  • jacket
  • blazer
  • scarf
  • gloves (depending on the severity of your climate’s chill/freezing factor)
  • boots

Sound pretty simple right?

A blazer can warm up many a light top. Imagine those three quarter sleeve items you have. They aren’t too cold but not too warm either, but they fit just great under a blazer (which adds all the warmth you miss in the first place). These buggers also have a knack for making the person who wears them pretty snazzy looking. For men, they make a t-shirt and jeans combo look neat and put together, and for women they can nip in at the waist just Photobucketright to have us looking like Coke bottles all night.

The warm-up ad(dress):
The tricky part about dresses for gals? They’re usually not floor length and made out of wool (and if they are a lot of us are not inclined to wear or purchase them).

So what do we do about those to die for strapless mini dresses we bought in May and have yet to wear?

Check out my cornmuffin of a slogan in the image to the left. “If cold feet is what ya got, leggings are what’s hot!

All laughs aside, this year above all we have been given carte-blanche with our leggings. Leopard spots, lace, (p)leather, sequins, and whatnot! Pay close attention to the dress you wear and pair leggings or stockings aproppriately. If you are wearing patterns up top, keep it simple below, same vice versa. Have a soft material dress – stay away from textured tights to prevent the lumpy bottom look at the Christmas party. Most important, wear what you feel good in.

Feel free to use that blazer or scarf as a cover up for your summery dress. Once you get to the party and you hide the evidence, no one will know how you managed such a display of skin without freezing (unless they too read Clumps).

So when you want to be financially savvy with frigid fashion? Layer it on like a cake (or onion a la Shrek), mix textures, and keep reading you some COM!



Disclaimer: Neither COM nor Yaya are in anyway responsible for readers taking this advice too far. If you live in an arctic environment and need a bear for warmth, these may not be the best tips for you. Remember to take the tips and make them your own!

Guest Editor: Summer Fashions from Miss. Yaya

Are y’all ready for the guest post from Miss Yaya? I hardly think you are!!

As the weather outside gets less and less frightful, and the breeze is so delightful… our closets filled with blacks and browns, the edges of our clothing yearns for hikes of hems and sleeves alike. And so each year when spring melts into summer, some summer trends stand out (and fall just as quickly – haha get it?), while plenty have weathered through the years.

Current: This means they are of the essence, the same way bell bottoms, mood rings, door knocker earrings were once THE IT item in your collection, and are now out of sight/out of mind for the majority of the fashion frenzied.

Rompers: Though this style was always present in the fashion world, it is the first season in a while that it’s becoming so widely popular. The baby to OH BABY style is playful, and offers the same ease of choice as a dress does, in the sense that one item is your whole outfit.

The variety of styles go from strapless to different sleeve lengths, and from tight to loose. It is however suggested that you get one with a looser topside than the bottom, as it is meant to highlight your lower half. Anything looser on the bottom would really need to be a skirt – and thus become a dress.

Pictured: Dereon Romper $79.00

Gladiator Sandals: This is the second year that the sandal style has stuck around for. The style is versatile in that it can be bulky and add grunge/character to a girly outfit, or tone something down to a relaxed, bohemian mood.

This style comes in a plethora of studded to strappy versions, with every other style in between and has been fluid in the boundaries of flats to heels.

Be your picky self and choose just how strappy you want it – from minimal to your whole darn foot if you want it so. But please – leave the Crocs at home!

Pictured: Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Dinah Flat Gladiator Sandal $142.10

Pinup Va Va Voom: With sweetheart necklines and highwaists galore, it is easy to evoke the era of the pinups, where clothes were sensual and not cut from here to there with little to the imagination.

Slowly making it’s comeback, this style is taking over everything from pants and tops to swimwear. It is recommended that if you do not want to do a whole themed outfit, you are better off to sticking to a few items (i.e. a high waist pair of shorts with a modern top).

Pictured: The June Dress $54.99


Keepers: Now this here is a summer style staple. A ‘let me buy this on clearance in December because it will still be relevant next June’ style. Something you could probably remember your parents rocking out (though maybe not as fashionably as yourself). This here style is not going anywhere.

Maxi Dresses: Ever since the celebrities started sporting maxi dresses, clothing companies took notice. Before – finding a decent maxi dress would land you in a house dress or an evening gown, with few well priced options in between. Now there are a gazillion ideas out there, with creative cutouts, backs, and patterns.

The shape itself lends to highlight the mother earth qualities and goddess-like similarities all females have from birth (yes ladies – please stand up proud). Once again, this is a whole outfit in one try, and being that it takes up your whole length, you don’t even need to worry about many accessories.

Pictured: Victoria’s Secret Maxi Dress $109.00 via a Shop.com search

Bright Colors: If it’s anything that happens in my closet every summer is that the rainbow comes around. This is the perfect time to experiment with neons, pastels, and everything in between. If you’re shy to the news – try it with a toenail color and work up the confidence – if it’s me? You’ll be seeing me with hot pink shoes, earrings and bags! (I try not to look like a big bright traffic light though). Let’s not forget that white is a bright too (okay for me it is). Have you ever been in an area with too much white light and it just overwhelmed you? Okay then – point proven! Forget the hokey about Labor Day and wear white all around – but wear it now especially!

Oh and ladies? Don’t ever think you’re too old to visit retailers that cater to a younger crowd. They usually have cheaper stuff in colors or styles you haven’t tried yet.

Some places to try (if you haven’t already started to mosey over…):

And who can forget the male clumps population? Certainly not I!

Men’s styles vary a lot less than women’s. They don’t have revolutionary different length short shorts to skirts and skorts every season (nor do I know many a man that will follow the trend). Male fashion houses are aware that for men, it is more in the shape and the fit.

So what do you ask is the summer style? Well – no matter if you’re 3008 or 2000-late, you can definitely make a boom by first realizing that the long tees, the abnormally long jeans – they’re out the window. Let’s all motivate and get our grown man on with a fit that compliments all your features, rather than highlights poor choices.

Tops: Polos, tees, and blazers. The ideal fit is that it is a half size bigger than the male body. So if your medium tee is snug – step it up a size, this will make it more comfortable to wear and undershirt and will not constrict movement. Plus no one looks confident or sexy when they’re fidgeting and uncomfortable in their own skin – and that sure as hell will happen if your shirts and shorts are bunching and twisting.

Men – don’t be afraid to look casual. A well designed tee in a soft fabric will make you extra comfy, and still keep you looking good. A button down is and always will be a good choice, but don’t be afraid to experiment!

Pictured: LRG polo $38.00

Bottoms: Personally, I like my man to wear a straight leg pant. I’m not a fan of a man in a skinny jean. If you can rock it – then by all means do so, but IMO that is a male nono.

Straight leg or bootcut will be the closest in line with your upper body and will create a long and lean silhouette. That means no breaks from top to bottom which also means you’re on the scene smooooth and clean (and I’m queen of corny…).

Pictured: Express Rocco Straight Leg Jeans $78.00

Manly trends you ask? Some similar to women’s: don’t be afraid of bright colors (but don’t overdo it – we are not looking for Skittle takeovers). Pastel colors are also in tune with the brights, but are toned down enough to be up to par with the relaxed summer mindset. Designs are also snazzy – whether on a t-shirt, blazer, or a pant.

Try not to go all nutso with it though, because I have never had much nice things to say for males whose pants have a golden arch on their behind (must I even name the brand?).

To save the best for last – unisex advice that never goes out of style OR seasonbe confident. Wear all that you are and have with confidence and everything else will be a perfect fit. Smiling seems to do the trick too – just brush yo teeth! I know every person reading this has stepped outside of their house and found the natural ability of checking out a person who’s having a good day. It’s in the smile, the posture, the language. Don’t ever put yourself down.

P.S. If y’all want to save money and catch all the deals without running around everywhere, check out my post on Shop It To Me – a free personal shopper service that comes straight to your inbox!

Or you can just give it a try here:

Click here to sign up!

Hope I did the Clumps Fam proud!

Beauty….and the Male: African Heritage Products for Men review

Clumpers,

By popular demand, I will be doing some product reviews of items that I have sampled. As a former teacher, I will be handing out grades and giving you the reason for the grade. Without further ado, let’s get it started HA…let’s get it started in here….

Company: Ikhala
Products: Face and Body products designed for men of African heritage
Price: $12-$18 per tube
How to get it: http://www.africanmale.menessentials.com/

Body Wash: F
Not a great smell, didn’t make me even feel clean. Definitely not for anyone who wants that all over feeling of clean. I felt like I needed to keep showering! As you can see from the photo, I didn’t even use the whole tube…can I GIVE this stuff away?

Face Wash: C
Nothing special about this; bottle leaked in my shower; not something that I would use daily. Very watery which means more ends up on your shower floor than on your face.

Shave Cream: D
Nothing special here either; kinda messy and watery and dries out quickly if you let it sit for 5 seconds. Seemed to work just fine with my razor but didn’t live up to the hype. I still prefer a heavy cream when shaving my head. Shaving your face for Black men is a whole column in itself. Coming soon!

Moisturizing Cream: B
Now this is what I am talking about! I was impressed with the lightness of this cream. It was not oily and left my skin still feeling clean but also moisturized my face. I actually put down my normal cream and began using this regularly.

Face Scrub: B+
Finally! They hit it on the head with this scrub for your face. Really felt like it was exfoliating my skin but also moisturizing it. Even felt great on my head after shaving it. This product along with the moisturizing cream are the two things that I ran out of. I would actually purchase these products again.

Summary: C-
Love the concept of a product for men of African Heritage. I wanted to like this product! I really did! Men of African heritage certainly have special challenges with razor bumps and dry skin and other issues. This product could have been improved with two things–a better marketing plan and Also, this might have been more attractive in better containers that don’t leak! All in all, love the concept but the Ikahla is not the answer to what you’ve been waiting for! I’ll let you know when I’m ready to drop “PRODUCT BY PRATT”!!

KP’s says, “BOOKMARK IT”!

Check out this site for a LOT of great information on products and what works. I found the community forum particularly great because you get responses from real guys, just like you and me, discussing male grooming. BOOKMARK IT!!

Until next time,
KP

More about Kenneth:

Kenneth D. Pratt Esq. is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travel, and sports.

Guest Blogger: Hairstyle Trends for Summer ’09

Summer is the perfect time to try a new style. Warmer weather means more style freedom, so don’t be afraid to try a new trend. Spice up your current look with a celebrity-inspired ‘do.

Bold, Dramatic Color
Jennifer Hudson and Meagan Good Hair
Celebrity Inspirations: Jennifer Hudson, Meagan Good, Chrisette Michele, Keri Hilson
Summer is a great time to try a new, lighter. It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as Christina’s, but a good dye job can get you feeling like a new woman. This season, choose a deep brown with auburn highlights like Meagan Good and Jennifer Hudson, or go for a touch of golden blonde like Rihanna or Keri Hilson. A few highlights, especially around the face, will brighten your complexion.

Crop Tops
Estelle and Chrisette
Celebrity Inspirations: Estelle, Dawn, Chrisette Michelle
The reign of the weave is over. This Summer it’s all about the cropped ‘do. For those worried that their face “can’t pull of a short look,” just look at variety celebs who have gone short and how fab they look. From Chrisette to Estelle, the short looks great!

Ethnic Styles
Ciara Cornrows
Ciara, Alicia Keys
Protect your hair with corn rows or braids. It’s a high fun, low maintenance hair style perfect for a beauty on the go. Who says “ethnic” styles can’t be chic.

Severe Bangs
Solange and Tyra Banks Bangs
Celebrity Inspirations: Solange, Tyra
If you’re not quite ready for the big chop or dramatic color, then a blunt bang might be a perfect compromise. Bangs will give your look some drama, but keep you looking work appropriate.

Center Part
Tyra and Alicia
This Summer, keep it sleek and sophisticated with a center part. The seemingly simple look will amp up your sex appeal. To keep hair silky smooth, I recommend using Biolage Smooth Therapy Smoothing Serum while straightening.

Kim is the editor of Black Beauty Central, and the founder of The HyperLuxe Media Network. You can contact her via Twitter at @Kimberly4Nicole

Beauty and……the Male

A Clumps of Mascara first: Beauty from a male’s view.

Check out what Kenneth has to say about “The M-word”.

When it comes to societal norms, one thing that I have never quite grasped is why it is largely socially unacceptable for men to take care of their bodies—inside and out. I am thoroughly convinced that one of the reasons that women, in some circumstances, do not end up with men that they are happy to be with is because some women really don’t know what they want in a man. On one hand you say, I want a “manly man” who exhibits all of the macho images in the media. Then you turn around and denigrate those men who do dress nicely and take care of themselves in special ways. You leave men to wonder, “which is it?” What I find even more curious is that some women who say that they want a “manly man” feed into this stereotype.

What I have never quite grasped is why any woman would want to be with a man who is less than clean, neat and well put together? Someone, somewhere has come up with a list of items that “manly men” are not to engage in. And it seems like every day the number of “unmanly” things increases. To date, here is just a small list of what women have told me manly men should not do:

-Pluck or manage their eyebrows

-Shave their underarm hair or chest hair

-Get a facial, pedicure, or massage

-Use chap stick on their lips

-Applying lotion daily

-Have soft hands

-Dress nicely

-Smell nicely

-Eat a salad (yes!)

The list could certainly go on, but you understand what I am getting at. Now, ladies, close your eyes and think for a moment about the “manly man” who is a result of not taking care of himself by doing none of these things. He has eyebrows going every which way, hair growing out from under his arms, his nails are jagged, his lips are chapped, his skin is chaffed, and he is an overall disaster. Now pucker up to kiss this Adonis of a man!

The point might be made that men, themselves, also play a role in this quandary. I do not disagree. Once I was reading a book on etiquette and a male friend of mine called me the dirty M-word,“Metro.” I find these men to be just plain jealous, or “haters”. Many of these men do not want to take the time or energy to be neat, clean and dress nicely. Why? Beauty doesn’t just happen after all, you have to work at it!

Let me be clear on this. I am all for men playing their natural role in society. Yes, there is such a thing as taking it over the top on beautifying oneself as a man. However, we have taken it too far as a society when we refer to a man as the dirty “M-word” for exfoliating his skin or using lip balm. We, as men, must play our part to not allow the stereotypes to keep us from taking care of ourselves. Exfoliating your skin says nothing about your manliness, your sexual orientation or your ability to play the natural role that God has ordained men to play in our society. “Clump” readers, the paradigm shift begins with you. Begin to celebrate and appreciate those men that do take the time to take care of themselves, and hope that you end up with one!

So ladies Do you want your man groomed? When he takes the initiative do you call him the “M” word? Would he take offense if you did?

Kenneth D. Pratt, Esq.

Kenneth D. Pratt is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. Kenneth is a member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church and in his spare time enjoys reading, travel, and sports.

Amor de Lacquer: Courtney’s Edition

Welcome to another post of Amor de Lacquer….the series all about nail polish and nail care! Send me your requests, suggestions and ideas at Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

Hey Guys its Courtney aka “Not Ur Sister” meaning I am Brittany’s sister :/ lol I tried out some new polishes that I loved to death that wanted to share.

I bought two Polishes at Sallys. Both were $5.99 from China Glaze. A brand that I love! …and there was a buy one, get one free sale. YAY ME!!!

I applied two coats to each nail then I applied a lovely top coat that my sister suggested called “Poshe “. I really likes these colors and I was inspired to get them because it’s cold outside and when I think of winter, I think of blues, silvers, golds and whites.

The Frostbite blue is so pretty. I usually change my polishes every two days but I may keep this one on for awhile. The Posche top coat really makes it shimmer.

I kept this one on. Even up until the Florida vs. Florida State game…I work at Florida State University and don’t think people would liked me very much wearing the hated rival school colors…lol.

The Platinum silver is a really pretty color to something I would wear daily and it is really pretty. It stands out without being too flashy.

ByeBye for now…watching my 1st christmas movie of the season…lol

B says…


Don’t forget to stick your hand in the Honey Pot for your chance to win a Karmin Titanium Hair iron, a value of $99.99. All you have to do is submit your NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS to THIS POST and I will use random.org to select a winner. You have until next Tuesday, December 9, 2008. International readers are eligible too!

In addition to the giveaway, MyHairStylingTools.com is also providing coupons just for Clumps of Mascara. Use these codes at checkout to save!

MASCARA25 – Good for $25 off any Karmin Titanium Hair straightener

&

MASCARA10- Good for $10 off any item on site.

Stay beautiful,