All Articles Tagged "Beauty"

“I Did Not Want To Walk Outside” Actress Teyonah Parris Recalls Her Natural Hair Transition

July 17th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Actress Teyonah Parris’ star is ascending in Hollywood right now. While many of us know her from the hit show “Mad Men,” it’s not the only credit she has under her belt. She’s going to be starring in three movies including They Came Together, Dear White People and A Picture of You and also a new project, executive produced by LeBron James called “Survivor’s Remorse.”

And in addition to being exceptionally talented, Parris has also been a hair crush of ours since she stepped out on the red carpet at last year’s SAG Awards. And though she’s been shouted out by several women and black women’s websites for the beauty and versatility of her afro, Parris told Marc Lamont Hill, of Huffington Post Live , that the transition was anything but easy for her. In fact, it was such an emotional journey that she cried and had to have a friend help her show her newly natural hair to the world.

Read what she had to say about the experience in the transcript below and then watch the video at the very bottom of the page.

You know when I first started in film, and I don’t want this to sound the wrong way, I very much tried, and not consciously, but I tried to be what I saw because that’s what I saw growing up. And I wanted to be beautiful. Who doesn’t want to be beautiful? And so consciously or unconsciously you try to mimic what you see. And I just had this moment where, I was actually in Harlem, and I was walking with my girlfriend and I saw this girl and I was like ‘I wish my hair could do that.’ And my friend was like, ‘It can.’ And I was like no, no it can’t. And I was like ‘Girl when I wet my hair, it just gets so straight.’

And she really looked at me like ‘Are you serious?’ She said, ‘It’s because you perm it.’

And I guess it was like, as Oprah says, an aha moment and I realized ‘Oh, I have no clue what my hair does naturally.’

So going natural was just a challenge to myself because I wanted to see what it did what it looked like because I hadn’t seen it since I was a little girl and even then I didn’t do it.

So it started off as a challenge to myself and I transitioned by wearing weaves and then every few weeks, I would take it out and see how much was afro and how much was still straight and then put it back up and cut off some as we went along.

And then it came the time when it was time to wear it out because it was all transitioned, all the perm was off.

Marc Lamont Hill: Were you nervous?

I cried. I cried. I was not used to seeing myself like that. I did not want to walk outside. I literally…I had to have… *pauses* oh goodness. My girlfriend, the same one who’d said a year or so before ‘your hair can do that’ she had to literally come over to my house and walk me outside because it was such an emotional experience and it wasn’t just about hair. It was about what my perception of beauty was and had been for all of my life and then I look at myself in the mirror and I’m like ‘That doesn’t look like what I thought was beautiful.’ And we literally held hands walking down 135 and Park Ave. And so that was my first moment in the world with my natural hair. And I know it doesn’t matter but that day, I got so many compliments on my big afro and I was like ‘Are they talking to me? Oh, ok.’ And it was really that moment of ‘Ok, I can do this.’ That was just my beginning of my journey into being natural. And since that day, it’s still been hard at moments. It wasn’t like ‘Oh, I was fine after that.’ No. It takes time.

At this moment, it’s not like I’m standing on a soapbox like it’s a mission but I really am personally, beyond what anybody else thinks or cares about, am trying to live in my truth and change the way I view beauty. And if other people’s perceptions change while I’m trying to work on myself, then that’s great. And hopefully a few little brown girls out there will look and say, ‘Oh, look I want my hair like that.’ And hopefully sooner than me, the age I was when it happened to me.

You can watch Teyonah Parris’ entire interview with Huffington Post Live in the video below. The part where she speaks about her natural hair starts around the 18 minute and 15 second mark.

The Beauty Struggle Is Real: This Is Why You Don’t Have Perfect Skin

July 15th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Perfect skin doesn’t always come down to genetics. Struggling with problem skin? Your routine could be the problem. Nix those bad habits and you’ll be looking like you’re born with it in no time.

Image Source:

Image Source:

You’re Married to the Labels

Don’t get caught up in expensive products that weren’t made for your skin type, instead look at what’s inside. Foaming and gel cleansers are best for oily skin. Cream cleansers bring moisture back if it’s dry. Stick to these rules and you’ll have perfectly balanced skin in no time.

‘You’ve Got To Embrace What You’ve Got:’ Garcelle Beauvais Encourages Women To Love Themselves At Any Size

April 24th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Garcelle Beauvais is absolutely gorgeous and in my opinion, epitomizes what it means to age gracefully. So it’s not surprising that the 47-year-old beauty snagged a spot on People’s 2014 World’s Most Beautiful People list. While chatting with the publication, the mother of three revealed how she manages to keep it all together.

“You know, I think a lot of it has to do with the genes I was born into,” she explained. “I think it’s 80% that and the rest is that I maintain it.”

While she admits that she does watch what she eats, the former “Jamie Foxx Show” actress says that she doesn’t deprive herself.

“I try to eat healthy, but I don’t go crazy or anything. I really do believe that it’s a balance. If I’m with my kids and it’s pizza night, I am having a couple of slices of pizza, for sure. And then the next day I’ll have something a little healthier. I really think it’s a balance and also, it comes from within.”

According to Garcelle, beauty is also about establishing emotional wellness.

“I have to say that I think I’m at peace right now in my life. I’ve been through a lot and I’ve come out on the other side of it. I think it’s how I’ve been able to forgive and grow and empower and be aware. I think all of that stuff has got to help inside somehow.”

She also touched on women and the increasing pressure that they face to be thin.

“I think you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. I think that’s really a lot of it. We stress out over what size is on the label. I think if it fits, I don’t care if it’s a 10 or if it’s a 6 or if it’s an 8. No one is going to see that but me. So if it fits well, I think it’s all about tailoring and wearing something that suits your body—whether it makes you look thinner, younger, happier.

As for how she maintains her weight as she gets older:

“As you get older, the weight thing becomes a little harder to maintain. I eat well, but I also have Oreo cookies. That’s like my weakness. I think it’s a balance and I work out. I’ll do Pilates. I’ll do the treadmill.”

Whatever she’s doing, she’s doing it well.

Watch Garcelle’s interview below.

Hotness! Erykah Badu, Solange, And Ledisi Cover Essence’s Beauty Issue

April 1st, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Erykah Badu, Solange, And Ledisi cover essenceIf you want to see Black women’s true natural beauty celebrated, look no further than Essence Magazine’s May issue which features Erykah Badu, Solange, And Ledisi on three different covers.

Appropriately labeled the Beauty Issue, inside the mag, these musical heavy hitters are discussing self-expression, personal style, and, of course, hair. Erykah told Essence:

“I view my hair and clothes as functional art. I’m my own stylist and I love it, but I am not trying to make a statement.”

And yet, Miss Badu does just that every time we catch a glimpse of her on a red carpet, performing on stage, or posing in an ad for Givenchy. Unsurprisingly, though, her take on her personal style is shared by fellow cover beauty Ledisi. Echoing some of the same sentiments she shared with us in a recent interview, the New Orleans-bred singer said:

“Although I’m known for my long, colorful locs, I still don’t take my hair too seriously. I experiment a lot, dyeing it and constantly switching styles to grab attention. My hair is one of my best accessories and changing it helps express who I am.”

The baby of the bunch, Solange, also shared her view on style, pointing out that everyone should be allowed to dictate what works for their own bodies, saying:

“We all have the option of how we want to express ourselves through our life, hair, style or whatever we decide. We shouldn’t be pigeonholed into any one category.”

Amen to that. These three gorgeous Essence covers are available on newsstands today and you can check out each one solo on the next few pages. Which one are you picking up?

The Age Factor: When Do You Start Looking Good For Your Age?

March 12th, 2014 - By Ezinne Ukoha
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Source: Instagram


One of my best girlfriends just turned 48 and looks absolutely sensational and she is accustomed to getting all the accolades and compliments that come with being over 40 and youthfully divine.

I guess when I was younger I also imagined that anyone over the age of 35 would look somewhat mature without any traces of natural vitality. But as I’ve matured it’s become clear that age is really just a number and we do have some control over how we manage the aging process.

Being active, minimizing alcohol intake and a balanced diet are the key factors to looking great at any age but it really pays off as you start approaching the halfway mark. It’s now 2013, and it’s safe to say that we have evolved into a species that has access to the most sophisticated tools that make our daily upkeep increasingly attainable. So why are we so blown away that a 40 year old could actually have a toned body with a face devoid of wrinkles?

Let’s dig even deeper – why are women more susceptible to this particular way of thinking or judging? Now that my twenties are far behind me, (GULP!) I am more in tune and sensitive to the reception my peers are receiving as the years go by.

A few months ago, former model and media mogul Tyra Banks was photographed on vacation lounging in a bikini and of course she looked fabulous. But I couldn’t get past the headline: TYRA BANKS SHOWS OFF STUNNING BIKINI BODY AT 39. If she were 29 would they have bothered to take the extra steps to add her age? She is not necessarily over the hill so why shouldn’t we expect someone her age to be fit and bountifully healthy. Yet, when Brad Pitt who is 49 is snapped in similar circumstances, there is no reference made to his age, it’s all about how HOT he is and how lucky Angelina Jolie must feel to have such a stud to come home to after a hard day’s work.

I have been experiencing similar references, and it stings even more the older I get. Being under the age of 50, I don’t feel I need to be praised beyond measure for looking immaculately put together. I understand that our culture has molded us to believe that youth is fleeting and once you are past the age of 30, it’s time to finalize your will. But it’s debilitating to conform to the absurdity that we as women lose our sex appeal and good looks because we are advancing in age. I don’t need anyone to re-assure me that despite the fact that I am not a twenty something anymore, I STILL look good enough to make the cut.

There should be no stipulations when it comes to how good we feel both inside and out because we are each responsible for our individual dispositions. Age should never be used as a pendulum to decide which way the favor should sway, because it reduces our existence to a graceless state.

The truth is that owning your age and who you are without any trepidation does wonders for your outward appearance and if that endeavor radiates it should be acknowledged but not because of how old you are, but because of the person you have chosen to be.



Blonde Ambition: Are Black Women Aiming To Be Marilyn Monroe?

March 9th, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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black women aiming to be marilyn monroe


Every once in a while in the black beauty world the blonde bomb drops. Celebs hop on the hair color trend and trade in their dark tresses for something a little fairer. When I was a teen there was Mary J. Blige, Lil Kim and Faith Evans. More recently it’s been Nicki Minaj, Ciara and Ashanti.

I’ll be the first to admit everything isn’t for everybody.  But for the most part when done right blonde on black can be very flattering. But of course whenever a woman makes a bold statement regarding her own beauty there will be critics to remind her she doesn’t make the rules. Because of course every woman who dyes her hair blonde wants to be a white-washed, sun-kissed surfer from Pasadena.

Now the truth is some of us look like fools. That trendy red lip or bubblegum pink pout is a fail for some. But the great thing about beauty is that it is in the eye of the beholder. And the quicker we stop letting everyone but black women decide black beauty for women, the better off we’ll be. Every woman that buys a pack of #27 remi doesn’t want to be Marilyn Monroe, just like every woman with blue highlights doesn’t aim to be Marge Simpson.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t exactly understand women in general’s obsession with Marilyn Monroe. It’s not only black women; Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey are just a few of the artists who have portrayed the late actress in photo spreads or performances. Nicki Minaj did a small tribute to her in an issue of XXL magazine and even has a song of the same name in which she raps:

“Sometimes I feel like Marilyn Monroe, I’m insecure, yeah I make mistakes.”

I think Nicki makes a good point. I‘m willing to argue that many woman not only admire Monroe’s apple pie “all-American” beauty, but can identify with her story as well. Monroe’s story is that of many superstars: The tale of an industry that builds up celebrities based on their beauty (and sometimes their talent) and doesn’t make any extra effort to intervene while watching them inevitably breakdown beneath their demons. Maintaining the balance between inner and outer beauty is a struggle that all women can identify with: blonde, brunette and everything in between.

Blonde with blues eyes is just another fad like big booties and small waists and tattoos and piercings. Our community needs to be a little less critical about what one another look like and pay more attention to other underlying issues. The truth is every woman who wants to rock a blonde bob from time to time doesn’t have a secret wish to be white. I grew up looking at beauty icons like Lisa Bonet, Chaka Khan and Aaliyah. Marilyn Monroe was just one example of American beauty, not the only one and the sooner we allow little girls to expand their definitions of the word, the less eager we’ll be to accuse each other of self-hate just because someone doesn’t want to rock an afro and a dashiki. I’ll admit, some of us have some deep seeded issues, but some of us just get easily bored with narrow definitions of beauty.

I can’t argue that there are plenty of black beauty icons to go around from Lena Horne to Lupita N’yongo, but if blonde hair and blue eyes are what some of our women look up to, does it honestly have to be that deep? Will we crucify women who tan their skin and crop their hair in an effort to look like Lupita if that’s what we begin to glorify? I don’t think black women or any women for that matter aim to be Marilyn Monroe as much as they aim to just be seen as beautiful. And as long as we keep allowing the media and corporations to decide exactly what that means, the longer we will chase it whether it’s blonde hair with blue eyes or hydrogel inflated booties. What’s most important is that women are able to embrace the many definitions of beauty and not just what the media, a man or their own “brothers and sisters” tells them is acceptable.

Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.

15 Entertainers Who Are Changing Hollywood’s Standard Of Beauty

January 14th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Hollywood’s Standard Of Beauty

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Once upon a time, the red carpet was a monotone place that only celebrated one type of beauty. But today, Hollywood is embracing diversity of all colors thanks to the pioneering work of some of our favorite entertainers. Shouts out to these women who are changing Hollywood’s standard of beauty one red carpet at a time.

And Another One: Porsha Stewart Launches Beauty Line

November 21st, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Porsha Stewart

Source: Instagram

Earlier this year Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Porsha Stewart, officially launched a line of premium quality hair extensions, Go N*ked Hair. Now it looks like the soon-to-be divorced reality TV personality has ventured into the beauty business as well. According to BET, in addition to Go N*ked Hair, the Atlanta native has also launched Beauty by Porsha, a line consisting of hair care and beauty products.

Products offered by the new line include Bye Frizzy! towelettes, which are supposed to assist with the taming of flyaway and unruly hair strands.

“I needed a product to keep my hair neat and smelling fresh. We created ‘Bye Frizzy!’ for all women who need a quick refresher,” says Porsha.

In addition to Bye Frizzy!, the line also offers Bye Brittle! nail hardener, which is said to restore damaged nails. Porsha is among the ranks of several reality stars who have taken a stab at the beauty business since snagging roles in popular reality shows, including Basketball Wives‘ Tami Roman, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta‘s Rashida and fellow Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Kenya Moore.

 Do you think you’d be interested in trying out any of these products?

Plus-Size Blogger Sets Model Straight On Claim It’s Hard To Make Clothes Look Good On Big Women

November 14th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Elle Magazine

Elle Magazine


From StyleBlazer 

As a plus-size blogger, I’ve been known over the years to be very vocal about the lack of plus-size representation in the fashion industry. From voicing my disappointment with thelack of diversity on online fashion communities, to challenging the standards of body image and blogging, I always speak my mind. As one of those girls who grew up flipping through the pages of Teen Vogue and Lucky hoping and wishing that one day I would see someone who looks like me gracing the pages, I’ve been a constant advocate of initiating open dialogue about plus-size options in the fashion industry.

So it took me by surprise when I read earlier this week about model Tara Lynn’s statements regarding plus-size models and fashion. The size 14/16 fashion modelrecently told Elle Magazine, “It is hard to make clothes look great on big women. The more fat there is on a body, the more variation there is in the shape of that body.” Though I agree with the latter part of her statement regarding body fat causing for variations in body shape, I wholeheartedly disagree with the former. It is absolutely not hard to make clothes look good on big women.

First of all, you don’t have to make big women look good. And you certainly shouldn’t have to make clothes look good. A great piece of clothing is a great piece of clothing, regardless of its size. I shuddered when I read Tara Lynn’s statement. It essentially implies that big women, by default, don’t look good. Aside from the astounding statistics that prove the majority of women in this country alone are an astonishing average size 14 as opposed to the fashion’s ideal standard size 2, there is a grave misconception that curvy and plus-size women inherently have to try 10 times harder to look presentable.

Read more at 

The Grio And Ebony Magazine Join Forces To Give Rachel Jeantel The Ultimate Makeover

November 8th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Rachel Jeantel

Source: The Grio

Last year, Miami teen Rachel Jeantel was thrust into the public eye following the tragic murder of her friend Trayvon Martin. Of course, this new-found exposure has opened her up to a world of criticism and scrutiny, which radio host Tom Joyner has her in counseling for. But Rachel says that she doesn’t pay much attention to people’s negative comments.

“I don’t really care about that. I can’t let them put me down. I was there to help a friend out,” she told The Grio of her decision to testify in the highly publicized trial.

As for all of the support she’s received, Rachel says she’s truly thankful.

“I’m blessed. That’s the truth. Everybody wants to be in my shoes right now. But for me, I’m taking this opportunity, and I’m hitting it hard.”

During a recent visit to New York, The Grio and Ebony Magazine teamed up to offer the soon-to-be college student the ultimate makeover.

“I’m very excited to be here. I think it’s exciting working with, and black media partnering together to collaborate on this project. This is the first time we have done something like this. She’s been really fabulous so far. You can tell she really loves style and fashion,” said Ebony style director Marielle Bobo.

The 19-year-old high school senior was given beautiful new hair extensions, a manicure and makeup.

“She’s super young, with all this vivaciousness and personality. We want to keep that, but translate it into ways that can work for her, for her new life as a student. We want to give her a look that’s going to translate from campus life, to any internships, or employment that she may be doing while she’s at school,” Marielle added.

You can find out more about Rachel’s life post trial and view more photos from her makeover in Ebony’s December/January issue.

Check out footage from Rachel’s makeover session below. For a sneak peak of her transformation, click to the next page.