All Articles Tagged "Beauty"

How To Revitalize Your Hair, Skin And More With Honey

September 28th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

From banishing dark circles to softening your strands, honey has dozens of wonderful properties that are great for perfecting your natural beauty routine — just in time to close out National Honey Month.

She Tried It! CoverGirl CC Cream And Super Sizer Mascara

September 23rd, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Recently, I was labeled a makeup snob. I think it had something to do with the fact that every time someone asks me what lip color I’m wearing it’s MAC, but that’s neither here nor there. The truth is, while I do prefer higher-end brands for foundation and lipstick, I will pick up a department store eyeliner in a minute and I’ve always been a fan of CoverGirl mascara’s and I was introduced to yet another great one during Essence Festival in New Orleans this summer.

Why am I just now talking about it, you ask? Because I still use it, faithfully. Every single morning. I love a thick, long lash and what I like best about CoverGirl’s Super Sizer option is that it allows you to build up to that without making your lashes sticky or hard. Some reviews have called this mascara a “wet, clumpy mess” but it’s actually the mascara consistency that I like best because it prevents my lashes from becoming brittle and hard as I had more layers. So long as I apply, let dry for a few seconds, and then go back over my lashes with more product, the end result is boldly thick and long lashes that are also flexible. That means I can touch them without clumps of mascara crumbling in my hand, which is what’s happened with other brands in the past.

As for the CC Cream, I’m new to color correcting products, only giving them a try this summer because my skin was getting tanner by the week and I refused to by a $40 foundation for a temporary complexion. Prior to CoverGirl’s option, I’d only tried Sephora’s CC Cream, which I liked because it gave me a good amount of coverage and stayed put all day. CoverGirl’s product, which is part of the Queen Collection, is very comparable. The cream is lightweight, which was perfect for New Orleans’ humidity, but still evened out my skin just as I wanted it to and with a light dust of finishing powder on top for hold I was good to go. If you’re a woman who wants to even out her skin but not feel like she’s wearing makeup, this CC cream is a good bet. And because it’s a part of the Queen Collection, the shades are diverse and perfect for brown girls. Plus at an affordable $9 price point how could you be mad?


H&M’s Upcoming Beauty Line Is “Fashion For The Face”

September 12th, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
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With popular mass-retailer H&M expanding it’s apparel, shoes and accessories business into highly-coveted designer collaborations and cool home offerings, it’s only right that they dabble in beauty, too.

Announced back in May, H&M is slowly revealing more information about their first-ever beauty line as the release date quickly approaches.

With a hefty triple digit number of products – 700 to be exact – there is literally something for everyone to fall in love with this Fall. The 700-piece collection includes makeup, fragrance, hair and body care products.

“We think of it as ‘fashion for the face’ – it’s a fun part of shaping your look,” H&M’s Beauty concept designer, Sara Wallander, told Vogue.

Not to mention, the line mimics H&M’s notoriously low prices, the beauty line will serve fashionista’s with beauty for a just a few bucks. And for those wondering, H&M’s beauty line will indeed serve the needs of darker pigments with 20 different foundation shades, primers and loose powders.

Although there will be a premium and certified natural/organic range within the collection, we can’t quite vouch for the quality of these products. However, we can say that we’ll surely be stocking up on their price-friendly eye shadows, face brushes, and lip colors.

H&M’s beauty line launches online September 17 and in stores October 1.



Easy, Breezy, Beautiful: The 9 Best Black CoverGirl Beauties

September 9th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Last night CoverGirl announced a new “Star Wars” campaign featuring Janelle Monae and today the cosmetics brand made the big reveal of the ad starring the “resistance pilot.” Looking stunning as usual, Janelle’s ad got us thinking about some of our favorite CoverGirl Beauties from years gone by and we even rediscovered a few we’d forgotten about. Check out this list of the best Black CoverGirl beauties to date. Who’s your fave?

She Tried It! Jay Manuel Beauty Is Helping The Everyday Woman Look Like A Top Model

September 7th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Remember Jay Manuel? With his bright silver hair and face beat to the gods, he was one of the very opinionated judges and the creative director of photo shoots on America’s Top Model. After 18 seasons of helping to cultivate the talents of supermodels, Manuel is focusing on his own passion, and that’s makeup. The celebrity makeup artist has his own beauty line called, well, Jay Manuel Beauty, and I had the chance to try out a few bold and beautiful products from the line. That includes the Ultimate Lipstick in Ache, the Lip Pencil in Hickey, and The Ultimate Lip Gloss in Guilt.

I love a good dark lip and I must say, Ache is perfect. The color is stark (a good thing for me), a dark maroon that when paired with the Hickey pencil for accuracy, looks impeccable on. The lipstick moisturizes thanks to its ingredients of Vitamin E, mango butter and almond oil. Plus, it stays on for hours with a satin finish. Who doesn’t love a bold color that’s enriched with fruit and plant extracts? And that Hickey pencil isn’t too shabby either. It lasts for a long time, is also enriched with Vitamin E, and glides on smooth. If you’re feeling creative, the lip pencil is also an eye pencil that will help the windows to your soul pop.


Me wearing Ache and the hickey lip liner


As for the Ultimate Lip Gloss in Guilt, I have to admit that I’ve never been that much of a lip gloss/glass person. I don’t like my lips to feel too greasy or look too shiny (i.e. post-fried chicken consumption). But the gloss from Manuel’s line goes on light, both in terms of the weight of it on your lips and the color.  It comes with a flexible silicone tip applicator instead of the usual doe-foot applicator, which allows you to apply color in a more accurate manner. The gloss is enriched with aloe for a natural softness and goes on sleek–not sticky.

I’m quite impressed with all three offerings. And the colors, all dark purple shades, are just a few of the many colors Manuel’s line has to offer. Manuel also has created a very helpful beauty app (and a free one) called Jay Manuel Beauty, and it matches your shade to products from his collection that would be a perfect fit. I downloaded it and used it and was matched up with a whole host of lipsticks, blushes, eyeshadow quads and powders for my skin tone.


First, you take a selfie on your phone with a makeup-free face. Upload the pic. The app can tell the difference between daylight and candescent light, so it will have no problem determining your exact skin tone, and the color signature for your hair, your eyes, and the natural color of your lips. From there, it will generate customized recommendations from the three categories of products in Manuel’s line: Iconic, Classic and Avante-Garde. Through your picture, You can buy those recommendations straight from the app, or check out or to shop from the full collection. I recommended giving all options mentioned a try, including the app, but especially the Ultimate Lipstick. Your lips will thank you.


Valley Girl Hair Collection Changes The Hair Industry With Patent-Pending Back Closure

August 21st, 2015 - By Rochelle Burnley
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ErickaRochelle_headshotIf you’re anything like most women today, you are looking for an easy way to maintain your tresses. Typically, hair extensions are the easiest way to protect your hair, but how many hair extension companies offer the versatility us women truly yearn for? We are usually limited in the styling that can be done with our extensions and even the textures that they offer. Enter Ericka Rochelle, founder of Valley Girl Hair Collection. Ericka started Valley Girl Hair Collection with hopes of filling the void of quality hair in her hometown of Southfield, Michigan and has since provided women nationwide with quality, luxury hair extensions that can’t be found elsewhere. Ericka spoke with MadameNoire about Valley Girl Hair Collection (VGHC) and their rapid success in the industry through their unique texture blends and versatile styling abilities.

MadameNoire: What inspired you to start VGHC?

Ericka Rochelle: Originally, I didn’t know anything about hair when I first came into this. I did start with a business partner who did hair for 16 years. She was supposed to be more of the brains behind the hair, but then we broke up, so I went off on my own. Initially, I started because I’m a business woman I see an opportunity in making money in the hair world. This is a billion dollar business so I was like, “I want a piece of this pie.” I knew that I have very strong selling skills, I have great customer service skills and with a strong business mind I knew that I could do this. Through researching manufactures, trying hair for over a year, we found the perfect manufacture that fit us the best, that will work with us through everything and that’s how it came about.

MadameNoire: Who is the VG woman?

VGHC promo with models

VGHC promo with models

Ericka Rochelle: It’s every woman. I think when we first came out it started to sound like we weregoing toward that suburban girl, that valley girl, that California girl, but now it’s everybody. So whether you come from the east side or the west side, or you’re coming from Detroit or you stay in the suburbs of Michigan, everybody can wear Valley Girl. The name makes people very excited. They want to be a Valley Girl. They want to be what everybody thinks is this California surfboard girl or something like that. One of my customer’s favorite line to say when leaving the store is “Now I’m a Valley Girl.”

MadameNoire: In what ways is VGHC improving the application method of hair extensions?

Ericka Rochelle: We are the inventors of the back closure piece, which is a patent-pending piece. We invented that piece because we wanted to think outside of the box. I do not want to stay in the realm of whatever my manufacturer offers that’s all that I can sell. I tell them what I want. I’m a person who, if I have a sew-in, and I want to put a ponytail in my head then that’s just what I want to do; but every time you get a sew-in and you put it up in a ponytail, you’ll see tracks on the side and you have to maneuver around this ponytail to get it right because if not it’s going to look tacky. So the invention of the back closure piece came from that. We wanted to invent a piece that you could just take a brush and you could comb the hair straight up as if it was your own hair and it was that seamless ponytail.

We’re always thinking about the next wave of hair. I invent five different curls every single year. I bring out five new curls that I actually invent myself. Right now we have a curl out called Barbie Wave. The Barbie Wave curl is a curl that is a curl and a crinkle together. Putting those two beautiful textures together it made this wave and it looks amazing and it’s selling like crazy right now. I don’t even have the stock for it, it selling so crazy.

MadameNoire: How does VGHC improve/accommodate its consumer’s lifestyle?

Ericka Rochelle: I sell twelve different types of hair, so that’s one thing that’s good because most hair companies that are out right now they may sell one, or two, or three; I sell twelve. That in itself will accommodate. One thing I definitely think that Valley Girl Hair offers is a variety of hair, whether it be the region where the hair comes from or that I have eight different curls right here in my showroom in Detroit.

In Detroit, everybody either sells body wave, straight, deep wave, and maybe a loose wave, but I have eight different curls that you can pick from when you walk into my door. That accommodates everybody too because now you have a lot of choices. If you’re that workout lady and you sweat a lot and you’re like “I want this certain type of curl,” I probably have that certain type of curl right in the store. It doesn’t have to be ordered or anything. It’s right there for you.

MadameNoire: You recently made a deal with Wal-Mart, what can we expect from that?

Ericka Rochelle: Wal-Mart has gotten into hair. What caught their eye was that I was definitely thinking outside of the box. I wear frontals myself and every time I would wear the 30 second glue, if I went swimming or was on vacation, my frontal was definitely coming up. I wanted to create glue that I could go swimming in and it won’t come up. Wal-Mart picked it up because they want to make Wal-Mart a one-stop shop. They actually want to make a beauty supply within Wal-Mart. I can go to Wal-Mart, I can go shopping, grocery shopping, get my beauty supplies; I can go get my hair. That’s their goal. So, I think putting it in Wal-Mart was making it reachable to every single client. No matter where you are.

MadameNoire: What sets VGHC apart from other hair vendors?

Ericka Rochelle: Being innovative and thinking outside of the box is what’s going to keep Valley Girl going because like I said, I don’t stick with the norm, I’m always thinking outside of the box. Where they’re just selling the same old body waves, I’m thinking of the new wave of hair. Another thing that I think that everybody knows about Valley Girl is that I invest in a lot of education to educate stylists. I think of different closures, seminar classes that I can have for stylists. Giving back is something that a lot of companies don’t do. I have so many different relationships with stylists this year, where I know a lot of companies here don’t have a lot of relationships with different stylists.

Our showroom alone is a little bit different. A hair showroom, that’s not really heard of. A lot of people are trying to do storefronts and things like that. I made my showroom look more like an LA buying/fashion showroom. Just thinking outside of the box is what’s going to keep us going. Don’t stay inside the realm.

Joan Smalls Lands Lipstick Collection With Estée Lauder

August 17th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Joan Smalls’ daring purple lip at last year’s Met Gala sparked a social media frenzy that inspired ladies across the globe to take to Instagram with selfies showing off their violet pouts.

“I was like, ‘This is so cool. People are really reacting to it in a very positive way,’” she told Vogue.

The overwhelming reception of her bold lip planted an idea in the Puerto Rican model’s mind to pursue a lipstick partnership in the future. Smalls has since inked a deal with Estée Lauder for a matte lipstick collection.

“I’m very hands-on when I’m involved with something,” she said of the collaboration.

The line, which features 12 vibrant shades, includes Neon Azalea (pink), Commanding (black cherry), as well as two shades of purple: Extrovert and Shameless Violet, which resembles the shade she wore to the 2014 Met Gala.

Besides its zesty color swatch, it appears that texture is also an important selling point for the collection, which has become a permanent addition to the Estée Lauder lip color family.

“[It] feels creamy rather than dry and flaky,” Smalls said.

As for those who feel limited when it comes to lipstick shades, the 27-year-old had this to say:

“You shouldn’t have certain rules or restrictions. It’s like painting: You have to have fun with it!”

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

“Know Your Beauty”: How Love, Aunt Bonnie Plans To Bring Brown Beauty Media To The Forefront

August 14th, 2015 - By Rana Campbell
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corey hugins

Source: Corey Huggins

Meet Corey Huggins, the founder of the recently launched platform love, Aunt Bonnie  the first luxury global beauty media platform providing beauty trend content along with tools and technology for multicultural women and the beauty industry.

A NYU Stern School of Business graduate, Huggins’ beauty background is steep, having worked at major powerhouses such as L’Oreal, Black Opal, and Glossybox. What interests us about the love, Aunt Bonnie experience is that it’s seeking to define and tell the “untold story of the multicultural market.” What does that mean exactly? Well we chatted with Huggins about his inspiration for the platform, challenges many Brown beauty startups face, and how he thinks love, Aunt Bonnie will be the leader in a new era of beauty marketing.

MadameNoire (MN): What inspired you to launch love, Aunt Bonnie?
Corey Huggins (CH): I’ve worked in beauty for most of my professional career. I recognized that there was a gap between what the general market brands were doing and educating about our beauty and what was missing. I decided to fill that gap with a site, platform, media company that fills the void of Black and Brown women from an educational and practical perspective. 

I had an Aunt, her name was Bonnie. She taught me everything I know about beauty. She was love and knowledge personified. Therefore, I created love, Aunt Bonnie so you could walk in her high heels and get the information you need about the beauty that you love so you can know your beauty. That’s the passion behind the brand.

MN: What were some the biggest challenges you faced as you built the platform?
CH: What I’m proposed to do is so new and revolutionary, a lot of people don’t see it and can’t visualize it. We’re a cross between the authority, education, and information of a New York Times. We have the beauty and aesthetic of Vogue Magazine, only it’s done with Black and Brown shades. The big challenge is painting the vision and picture that people can put into their own points of reference.


MN: How did your team overcome those challenges?
CH: We give it to [our audience] in a language that they understand. We have partnered with some of the biggest tastemakers, influencers, and entities, in Black and Brown beauty. We tell a different story based on that influencer.

For example, our first major moment was “Press Play For Sexy.” That was a beauty meets sexy moment. Everything around that was a sexy adaptation of beauty. We had “Hot Hair,”  “Kissable Lips,” “Seductive Eyes.” We partnered with iHeartRadio as our influencer. Everyone knows radio and the sexy side of music. We showed everything from Ciara to Janet Jackson to Rihanna to Beyonce. We told the beauty story of those entities.

MN: There are alot of Black and Brown beauty startups out there, many of which are founded by women. Do you think you being a man changes anything?
CH: It gives me a competitive edge. At the end of the day, women want to feel beautiful. My perspective is unique and different because I am looking on the outside in. I’m giving you a different voice as opposed to the same woman to woman. I’m offering something fresh. 

One example is from our Tones of Beauty show. We got so many brands that applied to that show that were just haircare brands. I wanted to tell a complete story of the woman. I knew that there were other parts of her beauty that needed to be manifested. Had I gone with what most boxes (that are just hair-focused) do, I would have gotten one note. By me looking on the outside, I was able to  curate a moment with Black and Brown woman in her full beauty as opposed to what the trend is.

love aunt bonnie

MN: Why do you a lot of Brown beauty startups fail?
CH: For subscription boxes, that has to do with the depth of brand contacts. The better the contacts, the better the brands in the box, the better the box will be and the more consumers you will attract. If you don’t have the right contacts to prospect for brands, you are dead on arrival. If you don’t have the skill set to contextualize those brands and tell branded stories above and beyond the standard fare, you are dead on arrival. It’s one things to fill a box. It’s another to sell and move that box.

For general market brands, there is a lack of authenticity. For so many years, multicultural beauty was ignored. It wasn’t only until there was a rise in other ethnicities that they even began to attach a dedicated strategy to multiculturalism. Those strategies have been inauthentic and don’t speak with a voice of credibility.  There have been a lot of missteps in the marketing, product development, and “voice” given to those brands.

We have a lot of great ideas but we struggle with how to scale, build, and execute. We also have issues with financing, resources for marketing, advertising space, how to get the product out there, new product development (in terms of formulation), and R&D in terms of claims.

Those brands that were founded by people of color have done well when they ride a trend. They have been able to reach scale quickly. For a cosmetics or skincare company, it’s still a struggle. It is a number’s game.

MN: How is love, Aunt Bonnie different from other platforms that exist in the Brown beauty space?

CH: Our structure is different. We are a beauty media company. As a whole, we read like a magazine, function like a boutique, and showcase like an art gallery. We’re a beauty media platform that allows you to use all types of media. We’re the conduit that connects the multicultural consumer with brands.

We have multiple data points. One is our highly regarded, limited edition Bonnie Box. The Bonnie box is not a subscription model box and trades on scarcity, luxury, and being in demand. We partner with the leading beauty and lifestyle tastemakers.

bonnie box

We have Bonnie Media. I have proprietary relationships with some of the leading publications in Black beauty such as FASHIZBLACK and TXTURE Magazine. We have monthly columns and campaigns we run every month with them.

We have Bonnie Data which is our own market research firm. If a brand wants to know information, they can tap our database and survey them. 

We have Bonnie Consults. I have proprietary relationships and contracts with brands like Carol’s Daughter, Clique by Roble, Design Essentials and ORS Haircare.

We’re going to be launching the Bonnie Show. Through my partnership with Cosmoprof, we have launched Tones of Beauty. It is the first global luxury showcase highlighting Black and Brown beauty. We’ll be launching a new radical sampling program that is an evolution to the box and will shake up how brands disseminate samples and get their products in the hands of consumers.We also launched our own branded proprietary products called Bonnie Beauty.

MN: What’s your plan to establish love, Aunt Bonnie as a Brown beauty authority?

CH: We are going to give all sides of the story. We’re going to give enough information such that the woman can make her own informed decision based upon her beauty needs, wishes and desires. You can think of us in terms of consumer reports. We are going to take the brand, consumer, trends, historical story and roll it up with all the other facets to tell the complete story so that a woman can know her beauty. We rally around that tagline.

MN: Will it be hard for love, Aunt Bonnie to reach success?
CH: I don’t think it will be hard because of how I’m going about it, I am a marketer. I was classically trained. This is not a blog. This is a beauty agency. We are as institutionalized and culturalized as any agency – only ours happens to be Black and Brown beauty. We have the best writers, partners, influencers, brands, and pictures. No one is doing what we are doing.

We are telling the story that already exists. We are already international, global, and chic.  A woman who may not see her self or cannot afford some of the brands….we inspire for her to aspire. Where she is today does not mean where she will be tomorrow.  We will give her enough information that she will make her own choice and know her beauty.

Rana Campbell is a freelance writer and marketing/branding strategist. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or visit

Eye See You: Creative Eyeliner Looks You Should Try

August 13th, 2015 - By LaKrishia Armour
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Eyeliner. Either you’re a pro and can wing your liner evenly in a moving vehicle, or you’re working with a shaky hand and end up looking like an angry panda bear. Some people are pretty talented when it comes to applying such makeup while others? Not so much. Either way, if you’re tired of the simple, overdone black line, try these creative eyeliner looks around your pretty brown eyes.

How To Apply Natural-Looking Lashes For The Summer

August 3rd, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Faux Lashes


The summer season calls for makeup to be bold, yet most of us fail to try new things because of a fear that we’ll end up looking like Bozo the Clown. In order for you to step outside your beauty comfort zone and stun everyone with a new look, our friends at StyleBlazer have created a step-by-step video to help you don a more natural look when it comes to eyelashes, without looking like Mr. Snuffleupagus.

In the video, StyleBlazer assistant editor Nikki Brown and a celebrity stylist teach readers how to apply strip and individual lashes. Viewers will learn how to blend in their natural eyelashes with the faux lashes and figure out what’s the best glue to use for long-lasting lashes.