Get to Steppin’

I try to eat foods that are good for me, but that isn’t always as easy it seems. Especially, due to my unyielding craving for sugary candies like gummi bears, sour watermelon slices and Skittles. So when I feel that I’m beginning to pack on a few unwanted pounds, I put my foot down – literally and hit the pavement.

Walking is my favorite form of exercise because it’s relaxing and allows me to shed pounds while taking in the scenery. Because I live in New York, which is the preeminent walking city, it’s easy for me to keep my weight down because we walk everywhere!

If I need to go to the store – I walk; if I want to go out to dinner – I walk. So for those of you who don’t live in pedestrian-friendly cities like me, get out of your cars and start walking. Maybe you can take a walk to your local drugstore, doctor’s office or your child’s school instead of driving. Or, grab your beau and suggest a romantic walk in the park. Whatever you decide, walking can get your heart pumping.

With the holiday season upon us, walking can definitely be an effective weapon against those pesky pounds that are sure to sneak up from eating all those delicious dishes at Big Momma’s house.

Breathtaking Brows!

Having well-groomed brows is essential to looking chic and polished. Great brows can enhance your face and complement your makeup instantly. As I wrote before, your eyes are the windows into your soul. Why not make them as gorgeous as possible? Your eyebrows actually frame your face and when they’re improperly groomed your entire look can falter as a result.

You can achieve a nice arched brow through various methods such as: tweezing, threading or waxing. I prefer tweezing because it’s the easiest and I can do it at home. Plus, it seems to last longer than waxing. I cannot comment on the threading process because I’ve never tried it, but some of my BG friends have and they’ve said that it’s a great alternative to tweezing and waxing.

So once you achieve your desired arch, you should add brow powder to define them even more. Makeup artists always stress the importance of brow powder because it gives you a more natural appearance as opposed to other products. So ladies, if you’re guilty of filling in your brows with pencils, please stop now! Rocking the Foxy Brown barely-there-drawn-on brows is not a good look.

Here are a few products that will help you get eye-catching brows!

These award-winning Tweezerman tweezers are a must-have in all the makeup artists’ beauty bags. You can find them in a variety of colors at: wwww.tweezerman.com for $20

I came across this cute LORAC brow pack and feel in love immediately. It has two different powder colors so you can get that perfect blend, as well as wax to help keep your brows in place.

Available at Sephora: www.sephora.com for $22

Cultural Treasure


All the blogs and magazines that represent and cater to the African-American demographic owe all of their success to one publication – Ebony magazine. This trailblazing magazine paved the way for all of our voices to be heard. Founded by the late, self-made entrepreneur John H. Johnson back in 1945, the magazine has successfully documented all aspects of African-American life from the civil rights movement to the latest fashions. Ebony has informed and enlightened us whether we read at the beauty shop, at our grandparent’s house or at the doctor’s office. Throughout the years it has consistently been there reporting our news and entertainment.


Creative Director, Harriette Cole.

Over 60 years since it’s debut, Ebony is still thriving and even better than ever. Under the creative direction of media-savvy, Harriette Cole (who was appointed Creative Director in early 2007), the magazine has made major improvements artistically. The new look and feel of Ebony is sleek, current and cutting-edge, but still packed with all the photos and stories that BGs (and guys) like me have always enjoyed about the magazine. Ebony has always had a strong presence on newsstands, but now it’s even more eye-catching and I’ve definitely taken notice.

Be sure to check out the latest issue (also a Collector’s Edition) featuring the living musical legend himself – Michael Jackson. Say what you will about Mike, but there’s no denying that he helped pioneer the music that we hear today.

Ebony magazine and Michael Jackson, two powerhouses; you just can’t get any bigger than that!

Visit www.ebonyjet.com for behind-the-scenes at the MJ photo shoot.

Pucker Up!

You’ve seen her donning some of the most elegant dresses on the red carpet, but she’s not an actress or singer. Keisha Whitaker is an entrepreneur and wife of Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker. This mother of 3 recently launched her own line of lip glosses called, Kissable Couture. The line consists of a variety of “dreamy hues” that will make your lips what else…kissable!

Her flair for fashion has made her a celebrity in her own right. With a style that’s chic and classy, Keisha is definitely on her way to becoming an A-List Hollywood fashionista. Although she always looks like a million bucks, she’s a self-proclaimed bargain shopper. She even confessed on Oprah that two of her favorite stores are Target and Marshall’s. With a serious sense of style like hers, you’d never guess!

You can buy her lip glosses online or if you’re in the NYC area, they will be available at Henri Bendel’s starting tomorrow (11/8).

“Forest” named after her husband retails for: $22.00 www.kissablecouture.com

“Chris” is a peachish color that retails for: $22.00 www.kissablecouture.com

“Dylan” is described as pink perfection and it retails for: $22.00 www.kissablecouture.com

Marvelous Manicures

We BGs aim to look sophisticated and chic from head to toe. Because details are so important toward maintaining our overall pulled-together appearances, keeping our nails clean and neat is crucial.

Getting a manicure is an essential relaxing experience for me. However, when I am unable to make it to the nail salon, I whip out my cute pink Bath & Body Works manicure set and my favorite nail polish and get to work!

I know some of you might prefer nails with a little bit of length, but a BG like me likes to keep them short and sweet. I generally opt for the nude, pinkish polishes, but I might venture to the dark side for this season’s vampier and deeper shades.

Even though we’ll be grabbing our gloves soon, we should still keep our nails looking nice. Remember, a fresh manicure can make you feel and look great. Your hands are seen more often then you might think, so why not make them look as sleek and polished as you!


Take these steps to get the perfect manicure:

1. Remove old nail polish with polish remover
2. Soak your hands in a bowl filled with warm water to soften cuticles
3. Remove fingers and dry them off
4. Rub a moisturizer over your hands
5. Trim your nails evenly to make sure they’re all the same length
6. File and shape your nails to make sure the edges are smooth and round
7. Wash off your nails again and proceed to dry them again
8. Rub some a moisturizer on your nails and push back with a cuticle stick
9. Apply a clear basecoat. Use three strokes only.
10. Be patient and wait several minutes before applying your polish
11. Apply two coats. After color is applied and is dry to the touch, apply one more layer of topcoat.
12. As needed, apply the clear top coat and this will help you to make the manicure last longer.

By the way, I swear by Essie’s nail polishes. They’re easy to find (drugstores nationwide), inexpensive and they take a long time before they chip.

“It’s Delicate,” by Essie. This is my all-time favorite nail polish color. It really pops against brown skin.

Try all the “it” colors of the season with this Essie Winter 2007 6-pack kit: $45.00 Availble at www.essie.com

Festive Frocks

Sipping seasonal martinis, mingling with friends & family and donning your favorite party dress – yes, it’s that time of year again – the holidays! Every BG should have at least two killer dresses that she can wear to various functions throughout the holiday season. Wearing a great dress always makes me feel beautiful and confident. That’s why I especially love the holidays because it gives me a justifiable reason to play dress-up and rock a pretty party dress. Whether it’s a dinner party at one of your girls’ houses, your company’s soiree or a festive family get-together, you should always look fabulous. Here are a few of my favorite fashionable finds. Enjoy!

ECI Beaded Cut-Away Shift Dress: $188 Available at Nordstrom www.nordstrom.com

BCBG Max Azria Strapless Metallic Lace Dress: $360 Available at Nordstrom www.nordstrom.com

Max and Clio Wrap-Style Dress with Tie: $96 Available at Macy’s www.macys.com

Kenneth Cole Reaction Sequin Dress: $126.75 Available at Macy’s www.macys.com

BCBG Max Azria Black Strapless Dress: $412 Available at Nordstrom www.nordstrom.com

Isaac Mizrahi for Targer Trapunto Silver Birch Dress: $49.99 Available at Target www.target.com

Getting Great Skin

How many times have you waken up to a huge, ugly pimple staring back at you in the mirror in the morning? Unless you have flawless skin like fellow BGs Halle Berry or Jennifer Lopez (and they probably have had their days too), odds are that this unpleasant occurrence has happened to you many times before. I know that I can go a few months without experiencing a breakout, but when I do it’s awful.

As most of you already know, acne is caused by several factors, but the most common culprits are hormones and stress. Because we BGs have such full and busy lives, developing stress is almost inevitable. That’s why I try to keep my stress levels down to a minimum as best I can, but when I just can’t shake my issues and pimples begin to appear, I break out my all-time favorite weapons of acne destruction! Using these following items helps get rid of my unwanted guests every time.

I LOVE this stuff! It has these green micro-scrubbing beads that gets rid of dead skin and leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed.

I’ve been using this stuff since high school and it has never failed. I place it directly on a pimple overnight and it mysteriously disappears by the morning. It’s like having your own cortisone injections right in your own bathroom!

My mother actually introduced me to the wonders of Oil of Olay. I use it once in the morning and again at night. It makes my skin feel and look smooth and soft. I know there are a lot of expensive moisturizing creams and lotions out there, but this one is the best to me!

• NEVER sleep in your makeup. Sleeping in your makeup allows bacteria to seep into your pores overnight. If you want to know the best way to remove your makeup, get the 411 from my fellow blogger Yummy over at http://yummy411.blogspot.com/ for her take on baby wipes VS. makeup wipes.

• Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize some more! Your skin requires moisture in order to function properly.

• Don’t pick or squeeze your pimples. I’m guilty of this too, but the dark spot caused by hyper-pigmentation is not worth it because it can sometimes take months to fade.

• Be sure to only use non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic products on your skin. These products will not clog pores, which will prevent breakouts.

• Don’t scrub your face. Gently wash your face by massaging your skin with your hands or a super soft face towel. Washing your face harshly will irritate the skin that could result in breakouts.

• Exfoliate!! Removing layers of dead skin cells is essential to keeping your skin looking fresh.