Bloom Where You're Planted with Niambi C. The Creator of Bloomsbury Sq

Article Written By Pepper. B 

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 Niambi C

Niambi C

Bloomsbury Sq takes its name from my favorite urban sanctuary in bustling London. As a student there, I learned how to balance the constant bustle of city life with the simple pleasures of eating a wholesome lunch on a garden bench, getting grounded with a barefoot walk in the grass, or just enjoying the seasons change one bloom at a time. Although I was far from home, the lush green and exuberant patches of flowers reminded me of the countless afternoons I whiled away plucking fresh fresh fruit and mint sprigs in my grandmother's yard back home in Kentucky. Bliss!

After moving to Paris I continued to work and travel. Wherever I found myself be it in Iran, Egypt, Italy, or my weekly wanderings in Paris, the first thing that I always did was to head to open air markets and ateliers to restore. After living in Europe for 12 years fresh food became my go-to, apothecaries became my pharmacy, and connections with others my calling.

When I moved back to The States I brought back with me a true appreciation for urban gardens. The garden's simple and pure beauty inspires me to bring the luxury of nature to you with wholesome and nutritive oils, decadent butters, and fragrant botanicals. No need for synthetic ingredients, artificial foaming agents, or preservatives. Instead, I delight in making products that let Nature do what it does best: nurture the body and mind.  Source: Here

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How did you start curating skincare ?

I actually started making body balms when I was a grad student in London because I was homesick and it reminded me of my hometown in KY. When I later moved to Paris with my husband my friends began to ask me to make small pots of balm for them. They had to convince me to accept payment! When I moved back to the US I ran DIY Spa socials for a couple of years. But when I started looking at the toxic ingredients that women were putting on their skin, I decided to create a line that was fresh, safe, and convenient for busy urban women.

What 3 tips should one know when looking to improve their skincare routine using your products?  Especially if you are new to natural skincare, try products one at a time so that you can really understand what is working for your skin. 

Have fun exploring ingredients. I love cold-pressed oil as moisturizers! Skip the hype and make sure to find the right oil for YOUR skin needs.  For example, we love the idea of coconut oil, but for most of us with combination / oily skin it congests the pores.  Lighten up your Spring hydration with non-clogging oils like hempseed or grapeseed.

Exfoliate weekly. When your skin looks dull and tired exfoliating gives an instant glow.  My favorite is unbleached kaolin clay because its super fine and gentle enough on sensitive skin.

 

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What is the most challenging part about owning a small business ? Perfectionism is a hard ism to overcome because I was raised to think that is the goal. But I’ve gradually shifted into thinking of my business as a conversation.  My customers are not shy about feedback and each iteration of my product line reflects our connection. 

Who is your muse ? Oh, I have so many. But at the core it’s my grandmother, Susie Mae. She was a country girl from Alabama who loved to garden, loved to laugh and do for others. She had this mirrored tray to display her cherished beauty essentials. A trio of rose crystal perfume bottles, Ponds cold cream, an apothecary jar of cotton balls, and her poppy red lipstick. Everywhere else in her house was communal. This space was just for her. It felt sacred. 

You’re a huge fan of podcast. What are the last 3 podcast in your playlist ? Just 3? Oy! Ok, so “Yes Girl” is my current binge . Hosted by staffers at Essence Magazine. It’s always celebrating Black Girl Magic. Black Girl Pod. It’s unapologetic, soulful, personal, unfiltered and a party all at once. Beauty is Your Business. My weekly masterclass from industry leaders. Can I sneak in a 4th?  Therapy for Black Girls. When I closed my shop last year I got quiet and began to face some hard facts about the limiting thoughts I tend to replay in my mind. This podcast helped me to remember who I am.

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What are some of your favorite natural ingredients that are multipurpose ? Hempseed oil. (Kentucky hempseed oil cold-pressed in my hometown to be exact. Lol) Rose Geranium essential oil and hydrosol.  Moringa Green Tea (powdered and oil). Hibiscus. I think of hibiscus as my floral muse. 

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What's the last album you listened to in its entirety ? Emily King!

If you had any other career what would it be ? Cultural event planner. Who doesn’t love a good festival?

 

You are a mom how do you get your children involved in your business ? I don’t really. My kids actually need me to unplug, focus on them and just love on them. If anything I think they get me out of my head. I’m pretty introspective and growing a brand requires me to be out of my comfort zone. So, like when my  biz was recently featured in Essence, I showed them the issue. They were proud for a minute and then asked me what we were having for breakfast. Ha! It’s important to remember that Bloomsbury Sq is what I have created, not who I am. 

What are 3 items you can’t leave home without? 

My phone. My passport cuz I don’t drive and it’s my ID. Lol. My fresh ginger double dip balm. It solves most of my emergencies from head to heel.

What’s your skin regime like, Do you have any hidden skincare tricks ? 

I’ve exclusively used B Sq on my face for about two years so that I can truly experience our line. And also finesse the products when I need to. My fave beauty hack is that I use our clay-based micro-scrubs instead of face washes to cleanse my skin every few days. I just sprinkle some powder in my palm, drizzle with water and gently massage into my skin. No one knows that I’m a 44 year old sleep-starved mom of 2. 

As I said earlier I am also so obsessed with hibiscus and hemp. It’s like the new friend who’s name you’re always trying to drop into a conversation because she’s so fab. Y’all, please don’t come for me but the thought of acid skin peels kinda freaks me out because I have sensitive skin and I get dark marks easily. So, I created a night oil called the H2 Oil with Hibiscus x Hemp that offers far gentler flower acids for gradual brightening.  I’ve been testing it for 6 months and I Am Obsessed. It’s transformed the tone and supple feel of my skin. I’ve rediscovered mirror time. 

If you had to describe Bloomsbury SQ in 3 words what would they be ? 

"Modern folk beauty"

If you could leave a message for women behind what would it be ?  Get in sync with the season you’re in, physically and emotionally. 

Laying the LAW One Vegan Polish at a Time with Tanisha Lawrence

 Tanisha Lawrence Creator of Law Beauty Essentials 

Tanisha Lawrence Creator of Law Beauty Essentials 

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My name is Tanisha Lawrence. Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, also of Jamaican decent. I started my company approximately 3 years ago; LAW Beauty Essentials. My company is based Brooklyn NYC. Before I started my own company I've always landed great jobs with Fortune 500 companies. I would always do my very best in all roles and positions, however I was never completely satisfied. I knew if I dedicated the same hard work and energy into something of my own I would be happier. I began thinking what kind of business could I open. I've always been obsessed with nail polish, and although in the beginning it was just a thought, I started researching what it would take to own my own polish line. After countless emails and phone calls I finally found my manufacturer and opened my own line of nail polish. I would like to describe Law beauty essentials as a contemporary line of nail polish. Stylish, informative, and personable. A feel good brand. I've always used nail polish as a vessel to express my self and I wanted to do the same for others. 

How did you start curating nail polish ? I started curating nail polish after convincing myself it is possible. The more I started researching owning my own line, the more I started learning about all the different possibilities. My world began revolving around this idea. From finding the manufacturer, discussing colors with the chemist, choosing my bottles, caps and brush, with every new person I spoke to I asked for a referral to take me to the next step. Before I knew it I had everything in place. 

What is your personal highlight owning Law Beauty Essentials ? 

My own personal highlight of owning LAW Beauty Essentials is seeing others speak highly of my business. Sometimes when I am doubtful within myself, I remember someone once told me, “I only wear LAWS top coat, and when I forget to bring it to the salon I’m very upset” those personal/real endorsements keeps me going. 

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What is the most challenging part about owning a small business ? 

I believe the most challenging part of owning a small business is that you you need to be well rounded. You have to oversee all aspects of your business. It’s a lot to learn and it takes time. Understanding your taxes, your profits and lost, knowing your target audience, getting in touch with them, remaining consistent. All of these things and much more is what drives your business and if overseen correctly, makes you successful. 

Where do you see law beauty essentials in 1 year ? 5 years ? 

In one year, I see LAW with a larger clientele, more colors added and in more boutiques, spas. In five years I see LAW Beauty Essentials in more states, larger chain/department stores. I would also like to reach customers internationally. 

Who is your muse ? Solange. She has a style so unique. I love how endearing she is with her clothing and hair styles. I think it makes safe to say it even influences the icon Beyoncé. 

Who is your favorite Manicurist ? Right now I do not have a favorite manicurist because I’ve been visiting several salons trying to find one fit for me. 

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Do you have any advice on nail care ?

My advice on nail care would be to get them done minimum every 2 weeks professionally if you don’t do them yourself. Currently I’m using acrylic and I make sure they are filled every 2 weeks and I usually take take them off completely every two months. The removal process is a pain but when not taken off incorrectly it can cause major damage to your nails which you do not want. 

 

What is your favorite nail salon and why ? My favorite salons are black owned salons. They are very welcoming to my brand. They, much like myself, understand the competition is great and customer service will will over the client.

What is your favorite nail style ? My favorite nail style is coffin shape and negative space designs. I love the illusions on the nails. It’s chic and edgy yet minimal and simple.

What's the last album you listened to in its entirety ? Last album I listened to entirely would be Kendrick Lamar DAMN

 

If you had any other career what would it be ? Any other career would be party planning! But lucky for me as a small business owner, while trying to save, I plan my own parties so I get a little bit of both worlds. 

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What is your go to manicure color & why ? 

Go to manicure color is pink. It’s not “seasonal” you can wear it anytime. 

What’s your skin regime like, Whats your favorite skincare line? 

For the past 4 years I’ve been using the 3 step process by Clinique. I find when taking care of your skin you have to find what works for you over time. I like the face they have different options for different skin types. Sometimes my body goes through phases so I like I can switch it up within the same brand. 

I use the soap, then the toner, then the moisturizer. Very easy and simple. When things happens, such and random breakouts it discoloration, I use different serums after the moisturizer. 

What are 5 products in your make-up bag: 

Q-tips Nail polish Oil blotters Mirror Bacticin 

If you could leave a message for women behind what would it be ? "If I could leave a message behind for women it would be to own who you are unapologetically. I’m still working on that but if I was able to master that at 100% I would be in a different place. "

Dating in NYC: Life with JRDN!

Written By Pepper. B

 

If you've stumbled upon this interview your at the right place at the right time. Meet JRDN she's a tastemaker you need to see in NYC. Besides having a great Podcast " Dating in NYC "   she introduces you to a few things you need to do and see in NYC on her website. Jrdn's Podcast has gotten me through intense travel and commuting. Read more below and find out a little bit more about living life with JRDN ...

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My name is Jourdan Ash better known on the internet as Life With JRDN — a 25 year old writer/blogger who likes long walks on the block, Popeyes, and Hip-Hop. My podcast, Dating in NYC, has blossomed from an interview based segment on my blog to a bi-weekly podcast where I explore and learn about the many intricate parts of dating and romance in this (sometimes wild) city. The idea came to me after a bad breakup when I tried to force myself into the dating scene, but kept meeting the same men in different bodies. Through my podcast, I’ve become more self-aware about some of my toxic dating habits as well as more open to learn about the disconnect when it comes to romance between men and women.

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What motivated you to create the “ Dating in NYC” Podcast ?

 

Dating in NYC started as a segment on my blog,  LifewithJRDN.com , after I had got out of a bad breakup. I kept meeting the same men in different bodies and often questioned ‘what the fuck was going on?’ I started by asking a few questions on Twitter to see if other women were going through the same thing or if it was just me. After I realized women were going through the same issues, I started doing interviews and it soon grew into a podcast. I wanted to have more uncensored conversations about dating/romance and learn more in the process.

 

What’s the last song you listened to while commuting ?

“Can’t You See” J Dilla

 

If you could describe your dating life in the form of a movie title what would it be ? 

“She’s Gotta Have It”


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What are 3 things people need to mentally prepare themselves for when dating in NYC?

 

Prepare for meeting a lot of people who don’t know themselves, believe their online persona transcends or makes up for their lack of personality in real life, and prepare yourself to be extremely patient.

 

Do you think social media influences dating in a positive or negative way ?

 

Social media only has the influence that people allow it to have — which can be negative or positive. The only thing that’s tricky about dating with social media influence is people pretending to be this persona on the internet that they aren’t in real life.

 

Do you think couples should interact with each other over social media ? YES


If a person wanted to court or “swoon” you what would be the ideal date ?  

If a man wanted to court me, an ideal date would be something that shows me multiple sides of him. For example, I love rollerskating/ice skating but I’m very bad at it. Both times I went on skating dates, I was able to see how patient, caring, fun, and good at teaching they were all at once. So anything that’s active or gives us a chance to talk or learn (usually involving food before or after) is how to court me.

 

How do you feel about dating apps? Which do you avoid ? 

 

I’m not the biggest fan of dating apps, they’re more of a joke than anything.

 

You post a lot of good eats in nyc on social media please list your favorites below:

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Pizza Shop: No Favorite just yet! Still searching for the perfect slice!

Ice Cream Shop: Mikey’s Likes It

Soul Food: Melba’s (until I finally try Peaches)

Tacos: Essex Tacos

Happy Hour: Bob White Counter or Pianos

What is your go to manicure color & why ?

Red because it’s powerful and makes me feel sexy 

What’s your skin regime like, Whats your favorite skincare line?

My favorite skincare lines are Glossier and Peter Thomas Roth. 

What are 5 products in your make-up bag: 

Fenty Beauty’s Trophy Wife, Gloss Bomb, and Mega Wattstix in Chili Mango, NYX vivid brights eyeliner in electric blue, and NYX micro brow pencil in chocolate!

If you were a fragrance what would you be and why ?

I’m not big on perfume because it gives me a headache. But if I had to choose, I would be Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf.

Heels or Kicks:

Sneakers

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What are your go to haircare brands ?

I don’t really have any I’m still trying to find what works best with my hair.

Something you are looking forward to doing this fall :

I’m looking forward to exploring someone (hopefully) this fall. I’m in a great headspace right now and open to all new people and opportunities. I’m also excited about the work opportunities and the growth of my podcast.

Where to find JRDN:

@Lifewithjrdn - Instagram

LifewithJRDN - Twitter

http://lifewithjrdn.com

 

 

 

 

 

Look Good & Eat Fabulously with Christopher Stewart

Written by Pepper.B

My name is Christopher, a fab girl with a fab name. I'm born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Im a restaurant lover and creator of Eating Fabulously. Eating Fabulously stands for all things fabulous and I want women to know that you can soooo have it all, be educated, look amazing, feel amazing, be a boss, be a fab mom, be a woman on the go, know where your food comes from. And all the while doing it fabulously, of course. 

“Don't worry about what other people think of you. Be the best man

you can be and make sure they always spell your name right” 

- Unknown

Was being a chef your all time dream, ? 

Yes it was. My grandfather was a chef and he used to always have me in the kitchen with him. I contemplated being a doctor and my mom and grandmother are in the fashion industry but the cooking aspect always stuck the hardest with me. I went to the Culinary Institute of America, worked in some really unconventional restaurants and achieved my goal of becoming executive chef at 24 years old.

 

What got you into food blogging?

 I got into food blogging when I noticed there were no food blogs written by black women who also had the upper hand of being in the restaurant industry every day. I was seeing food blogs but they were always kind of the same. Really soul food focused or only covering the popular celebrity chef restaurants and I was like wait! I do this everyday and I dine out a lot, so I took that and created Eating Fabulously.

How do you decide what type of content you cover ?

 In the first 5 years of starting my blog I was covering the recipes I was making in the restaurant and writing about all these small hole in the wall restaurants I was dining at. As I got older and life was happening to me, my content evolved. Now I cover content that's still food focused but also lifestyle focused as well. Still recipes, still restaurant reviews but now I have a cocktail section with drinks from mixologist in restaurants that you can make at home; I interview people I think are dope and that the public needs to know about, and I include a lot of myself now. Things I'm into, my point of view etc.

 

“. . .three or four ingredients, as long as they are of the highest and

freshest quality, can be combined in a straightforward way to make a

truly excellent and occasionally wondrous product.”

- Anthony Bourdain

 

What is your favorite dish to prepare for family and close friends?

 I usually make caramel pecan bread pudding completely from scratch if we are having a big family gathering like at Christmas. It's really my favorite thing to make for us because everything is made from scratch and it silences the crowd every time.

What’s the best “I’m Sorry” Meal to prepare ?

 The best "I'm sorry" meal is the meal that person loves but elevated x 10. Say the person loves steak; get the best quality steak you can afford, then elevate it with herbs, finish it with a cracked salt and a compound butter on top. These extra steps really show the person that you are sorry and you took the time to make them a great meal.

Spring is approaching and everyone will begin being more mindful of what they are eating include your recipe “Eating Fabulously Spring Salad 2017”
Spring is a great time to step your salad game up. The farmers markets are amazing for salad’s because you're getting the season’s best produce. I love experimenting with different types of lettuce (i.e. butter lettuce, raddichio, little gems, frisee, rocket) and lots of raw veggies and fruit to work with. Remember to season your salads! People never think to salt and pepper your salads before serving them but it makes a major difference

Eating Fabulously Spring Salad -Salad greens
-cucumbers
-thinly sliced red onions

-red pepper
- avocado
-eggs
-salt and pepper

Grapefruit and Rosemary Vinaigrette 1/2 fresh and ripe grapefruit
1 stalk fresh rosemary, minced
1 shallot, sliced thinly

honey
White wine vinegar
Dijon mustard, about 1 teaspoon Canola oil
Salt

In a bowl, add minced rosemary, sliced shallots, honey, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and juice from grapefruit. In slow thin streams, add canola oil, whisking until vinaigrette comes together. Taste and season with salt. Adjust to you liking, altering sweetness, grapefruit juice or acidity.

What was your favorite dish as a child?

My grandfather used to make this red snapper dish with whipped mashed potatoes and green beans with tomatoes and onions. The mashed potatoes used to remind me of ice cream they were so smooth and dense. I still replicate the green beans now.

What is one dish you hate to prepare ?

 I don't hate it but I don't really know how to fry chicken so I stay away from that! I went to culinary school and ran a restaurant but frying chicken is my downfall.

Where should someone take you to win your heart on a first date & why?

Somewhere I've been talking about consistently and they have paid attention to what I was saying. Or somewhere that has a chef's counter where we can sit and eat and watch the chefs cook. I don't cook professionally anymore but I do still love to see it in action. And be open to trying new foods! That's a major key!

How do you find food and beauty relative ? 

Food and beauty relate because how you feel on the inside reflects on the outside. So if you're eating horribly, it's going to come out in your mood and definitely your skin. If you're eating fabulously, lots of veggies, good protein, your beauty will be magnified and you will genuinely feel better.

What’s in your make-up bag?

 I wear BareMinerals original powder foundation. Maybelline concealer, a brow pencil I love from the beauty supply store, some NYX illuminator, typically a nude lipstick and gloss and some setting spray. I usually always have on lashes when I’m not wearing glasses, which are either Royal Crown lashes, Ardel or mink lashes via Lilly Lashes.

What is your skincare routine like ?

 I think I have the most simple and minimal skin care routine in the world. I wash my face with Clean & Clear brightening facial scrub and I also use Formula 10.0.6 Best Face Forward face cleanser alternatively. Once a week I go over my face with witch hazel. My mom taught me to use a moisturizer that's 10x my age. So in my 20's I was using moisturizer for 30yr old skin. Now I'm in my early 30's and I'm using L'Oreal Revitalift Double Lifting Gel. I'm totally an old soul and will still smear some good ole Vaseline on my face every now and then too. It also helps that my family has amazing skin so that's really spoiling me lol!

“I think one great tip is that you should always love yourself.

If you don't love yourself, take care of yourself, cater to yourself &

 that little inner voice, you will really not be very worthy of being with

someone else, because you won't be the best version of you.”

- Kimora Lee Simmons

If you were a smoothie what would you consist of and why ?

I would be a really amazing green smoothie with spinach, kale and dates. Dates specifically because they are sweet but still give you a little bite (like me lol )

What is your favorite pastry?

 I love sweets! I'm all about sweet but my favorite pastry is a simple croissant. By itself, as a sandwich, croissants for everyone!

Please leave behind a major food tip for women:

Learn and perfect the basics ! Learn how to roast a chicken, sear a piece of fish, cook at steak to temperature, cook vegetables perfectly, have a go to recipe for brunch and dinner. A lot of really amazing food begins with these basics. 

Meet Her HERE:

Blog - http://www.eatingfabulously.com/
Shop - http://eatfabshopfab.bigcartel.com/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/eatingfabulously/ 

Survival of the LIT-est: Pepper.b Talks with Lit Bklyn

 

 

 Denequa Williams Creator Lit! BKLYN 

Denequa Williams Creator Lit! BKLYN 

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My name is Denequa Williams, Brooklyn-bred. I would describe myself as an honest, outspoken, funny, adventurous, spontaneous, heart on the sleeve wearing, professional dreamer who was not always comfortable with who I was. It took some time to acquire this confidence that was once the mask for my insecurities and uncertainties. I am a firm believer in being honest with yourself and never allowing someone else’s thoughts about you to alter your spirit. I love to get dressed up. I believe in fairy tales, trusting your instincts, speaking on the phone for hours, loving hard, & forgiveness. I have a potty mouth. I believe in second chances. I make my own rules. I can be silly sometimes and really serious other times. I love to take pictures. I don’t trust people easily. I am a rebel at heart. I am a sucker for flowers and candles. I love sour candy. I’ve learned to see the beauty in all things. I prefer to listen to music rather than watch tv. 90’s R&B, old school reggae and occasional trap music to be more specific. JayZ is my favorite rapper. I listen to Lauryn Hill’s Unplugged at least five times a week in its entirety. I love LOVE. I believe it is the healer of all things. Everyday I am learning more and more about myself. I actually have a few hidden passions, lol, I enjoy writing, cooking, and photography.

Was curating candles your dream job?

Surprisingly, curating candles was not always my dream job. I just knew that I always loved candles and wanted to take a try at creating my own product. I have always been a creative person with a million ideas, lol. I have a few dream jobs, I’m just getting started. Curating candles is actually paving the way for everything else that I wish to accomplish. 

What is the best part about owning your own business? 

The best part about owning my own business is that I am in control of my voice and my vision and it has been a complete joy watching it come into fruition. I also enjoy meeting and connecting with the people who support my brand

What are 3 mandatory tools you think a person owning a small business needs ?

3 mandatory tools that I think a person owning a business needs are a laptop, passport, & business cards. A laptop to conduct your business affairs (email, skype, etc.) , a passport to see the world and get inspiration for your business, & business cards because every person who owns a business needs it.

If you were a candle scent what would you be and why ?

If I was a candle scent, I would be my “HOME” scent, which is a mash up of lemon sugar and vanilla. It’s warm, calm, memorable and inviting, kind of like me

Who’s your Muse ? 

My muse are my parents. I admire their work ethic. I am a product of excellence. Both immigrants who migrated to this country with practically nothing. They have taught me and showed me first hand what hard work and sacrifice look like and for that I will forever be grateful. I have no other choice but to be excellent because I had the best examples

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What perfume do you wear most often ?

My perfume that I wear most often is Tom Ford “Tobacco Vanille", and Elizabeth & James “Nirvana”

What is your go to manicure color & why ? 

My go to manicure color is Starter Wife in Essie, I love this color because it’s soft and girly and it’s like the perfect powder pink. 

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What are 5 items you need to create an ambiance ? 

My 3* items that I need to create an ambiance in no particular order are candles, comfy pillows, flowers.

What’s your skin regime like, Whats your favorite skincare line? 

My favorite skin care line is skinBUTTR, I use their cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. I also love Africa Miranda’s facial elixir.

What’s the last song you listened to while commuting or driving ? 

The last song I listened to while commuting is JayZ’s “What More Can I Say”

Talk about some collaborations you've done:

The collaborations that I have done are with Mia Ray (Glam-Aholic Lifestyle) & Mikey Likes It (Hip Hop themed ice cream shop). Both doing extremely well. Funny thing is with the collab with Mia, I never even met her, or even heard her voice over the phone. I was just a huge fan of her work ethic, and her hustle. Her vibe is sort of infectious. I had purchased one of her wallets and shared a flatlay (photo) on social media. She loved the image so much that she reposted it, that’s how she found out about LIT. She made a purchase, & I woke up one day to a friend request from her on Facebook & was tagged in a 28 minute long review of the candles. I literally started crying. I mean I know that I created a dope product. But to have someone I didn't know, someone I don't even have a relationship speak so highly of something I created was next level. A few weeks later, she reached out and asked if I did collabs. Although I knew eventually I would branch out and do it, my first collab had to be with Mia. I’m super big on energy, I went with my gut and it felt right. It felt genuine. The trust was there on both ends. I created two scents for her “Rose Ray”(rose scented) & “HU$TLE” (sweet & floral scented).

For the Mikey collab, I created two scents from their number one selling flavors “Ice Ice Baby” (Vanilla) & “SoHo” (Southern Hospitality/Butter Pecan) This was an absolute honor to be able to collaborate with a brand that I not only support but also respect. Some thing has got to be said when you are happy about your job, and that’s the vibe I get every single time I walk into Mikey Likes It. Mikey is big on community as well as customer service. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with him. 

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If you could do an upcoming collaboration with someone you admire who would it be ?

If I could do an upcoming collaboration with someone I admire, it would definitely be Elaine Welteroth of Teen Vogue. She is an inspiration to women, to people of the world. I love what she is doing with her voice and her platform. She is unafraid, unapologetic, and a complete badass.

Most exciting moment for LIT Brooklyn in 2016:

My most exciting moment for 2016 was seeing a product that I created in the December Holiday issue of Essence Magazine & also sitting on the infamous gold couch in the RocNation office getting my picture taken by THE Lenny S.

Something you are looking forward to doing in 2017: 

In 2017, I am looking forward to being on ‘Oprah’s Favorite Things” list *speaking it into existence*

What was your favorite childhood hobby ? 

My favorite childhood hobby was doing crossword puzzles in the Sunday newspaper.

If you could leave a small message for Women what would it be ? 

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If I could leave a small message for women, it would be to follow your dreams and don’t allow anyone to hinder your spirit. Understand that as women, we are multi-faceted individuals that are capable of doing anything that we put our mind to. Also, stay in your own lane, it shouldn’t be that easy to get caught up with what other people are doing, or what other people are saying about you, that’s not your business! Lastly, get comfortable with being alone, it’s when you are alone that you can truly focus on yourself & your craft, and continue to get better and be greater.

Mend.Sew.Shred Interview with @Tikedi

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Hey, I am Ti,  a twenty eight years old city girl living in the country. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York but currently live in Atlanta, Georgia, most people know me as ‘twin’..lol. TiKeDi is my baby brand that I started while in school. If you mispronounce it I wont correct you, but it’s just like saying my initials TKD, just really fast. I am a design fiend, and I am grateful and blessed that I am able to do what I love for a living. I really appreciate  things that are aesthetically pleasing and I do pay more for cute packaging. My mom thinks that  I am too liberal…and my answer to any question will always be ‘But did you vote?’ 

 

Was designing your dream job? 

No, designing was not my dream job. Although I have always been creative and my mom always allowed me to explore my creativity and options in life, I come from a family that believes in traditional careers. Having Jamaican parents and family roots, I grew up with people that were very opinionated, I had a vision of what my life was going to and should of been in my head. When I started college at seventeen  I did not know what I wanted to do, however because almost every member in my family is a nurse, the most natural decision for me at the time was to pursue a degree in nursing. I started the pre nursing track upon my entrance of college but my heart was never in it. After my freshman year, I spent about a year and half trying to find my niche. Legit, I went through four or five majors during the course of three semesters. Designing itself, was a mistake, long story short… I was laid off and needed an income.

 

You have a unique process when creating your pieces,? What sets your style apart from others

What makes my process unique is that I believe in imperfect perfection. Truthfully, although I started my brand out of a need, it became bigger than me and my bills that needed to be paid. I genuinely love what I do and I believe that it shows in my work. One of the hardest things for me is seeing people take my pictures and styles, and passing it off as their own. I used to get so upset when it would happen, but I’ve learned not to give those people and it any of my energy. I realized that feeding my energy into dishonest people and situations were and will always be a hindrance to me, not them. That is valuable energy that could be used to fuel my creative process, plus people always tend to want the original. Yes! TiKeDi is largely based around distressed and shredding but when you look at the details and see a TiKeDi piece, you know it’s a TiKeDi piece. I myself, am a plus size woman so I design for every woman, regardless of size. I am not going to make a line that strictly caters to plus size woman or create something that can only fit individuals that are a size 0-10.

Talk about some places and some people we may have seen your designs on? 

Man, TiKeDi has been blessed. Like any life process we go through our highs and lows, however, we have touched a lot of people. A few years ago we would have never thought we would be associated with or having pieces requested and worn by half of our clientele, all of which is due to my sister who has a pulse on who what and where.TiKeDi is in boutiques in both New York and Atlanta. On top of boutique placement our pieces have been used at shows during NYFW in 2014, TBoz on her TLC reality show in 2013, VH1 Love and Hip Hop 2015, Young Thug BET Awards 2015, Young Thug Danny Glover Video, Kendrick Lamar Street Dreaming Video, India Arie music video. Outside of television our pieces have been worn by Teyana Taylor, Brittany Hall, Ashunta Sherriff, Tionna Smalls, Makeup Shayla, Hrush, Alexis Branch, Dondria and countless bloggers, just to name a few. 

One of your garments was recently seen in Harper's Bazar speak a little bit about that ? 

Yes, that was an amazing feeling because it was unexpected. But Hrush, the Kardashians makeup artist wore a couple of our pieces during her time at NYFW so when she featured an article on Harper’s Bazaar website talking about her time at NYFW and the details of her looks, TiKeDi was featured in it as well. Literally 8 slides of TiKeDi on freaking Harpers Bazaar.

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What is your personal style like ? 

My style is constantly evolving but a few things that stay consistent is black and comfort. Right now I am in a phase where less is more. I live for a good oversized tee, or v neck, and the perfect skinnies. Oh yeah, the higher and thicker the platform, the better. Recently it has come to my attention that I am ‘goth’ but that is not how I identify, I like to think of myself as an NYC downtown girl.

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If you were a lipstick what color would you be and why ? 

If I were a lipstick I would be a chocolately nude, I am so into nudes right now when it comes to makeup and I think it is  because it matches my personality the most. It seems so cool and calm, yet makes a statement at the same time. It is a little bold without being loud. Some may think its boring and others love it. Yup, chocolately nude I would be.

 

5 things you cant travel without ? 

Five things I cannot travel without are my computer, phone, Instax camera, headphones, and a cute bag. 

 

What's the last album you listened to in its entirety ? 

 I have ran Emile Sande Long Live the Angels down, but the last album that I listened to, which was today is John Legends Darkness and Light

Who is your muse ? 

My sister Asia is my muse. It is crazy because we are complete opposites in every way but whenever I am designing or thinking of a new style she is the first person I think of. She is the prototype because sometimes she throw shit together and on someone else it would look like shit, but because of her personality for her it works. And then there’s other times where she is completely downtown edgy and I just love it, she’s a chameleon. 

Favorite place to find hidden gems when shopping ? 

My all time favorite place to find hidden gems is in….(dun dun) WALMART. I freaking love Walmart! They are so underrated but for me it is a gold mine, especially the men section. I will  go in there for cheese and I end up walking out with bags of shit.

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What is hardest part about running your own shop? 

The hardest part about running my shop, is stopping. There’s 24 hours in the day and I feel like I work 22. Hell truthfully I think I work 21 hours everyday though. You know your business is your baby, and I think that is truer now with us millenials. We’re holding off having actual babies because we’re out her fostering and growing something of our own, putting our own stamp on things. Doing this causes me to be so hard and judgemental on myself, as well as sacrificing a social life and love life for my work life. Seriously, I’ve been finding myself on dates thinking, urggghhh this is a waste of time I could be home working on such and such.

 

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What is the most fulfilling thing about running your own shop ? 

The most fulfilling thing about running my own shop is seeing what I’ve done out in the physical world. It’s one thing when it’s in your head, and then when you create it you’re like ‘ok, ok’ but when you put it out and offer it up to others and they fuck with it as much as you do….that feeling is everything. Like I said, your business is your baby, no one ever wants their baby to be rejected or criticized by others.

 

Something you are looking forward to accomplishing this year 2017? 

 I am looking forward to releasing a cut and sew collection for TiKeDi, I am currently developing VIII XXIX by TiKeDi which is basically the infusion line to what we already have. I have so many ideas that I just need to get out so I cannot wait to get it solified.

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Being a business owner often requires you to be a jack of all trades what are something hidden talents you have ? 

This is an understatement of all times, I have to wear so many hats running my own business that sometimes I question myself. But something that I am really really good at is making things really pretty. So when I am not designing for TiKeDi, I am desigining under TKD Designs….yes I am a web and graphic designer beasting both the back end and front end of people websites. I always joke that I wish I knew how to hardcore hack because ultimately that’s what I want to do, hack the hell out of someones computer, phone, or bank account, just because I can. 

 

Favorite childhood hobby ?

My favorite childhood hobby was drawing. I remember growing up I used to draw all the time (which is weird because I don’t know how to draw now). But when I was younger my mom would always find an art class for me and a writing class for my sister. When she was going to college, she enrolled us in classes as well. One of my favorite things that we used to do, was every Saturday my mom, sister, and I would spend the day creating and doing arts and crafts at the dining room table in our apartment. Then we would head to Downtown Brooklyn, shop a little and eat fish and chips.

www.shoptikedi.com

Instagram: @Shoptikedi 

When you decide to change the life you like in order to have the Life You Love: Fit Mom Michele Marsili

 

Interview with Pepper.B

Think like a queen.

A queen is not afraid to fail.

Failure is another steppingstone to greatness. 

-Oprah

I am a former Sales Executive and makeup artist turned stay at home, work from home wife & mother. I am a fitness coach and have a passion for beautiful things and connecting with people. I have 2 dogs and live in the San Francisco, Bay Area. I feel like I’m an introvert stuck in an extroverts body. My experience in the beauty industry really made me realize a lot about myself. I can take a lot of heat and make shit happen. I was leaving on a plane every week for work, crying in my hotel room all alone and I missed my son and family so much. I realized I wasn’t prioritizing myself or my happiness.   

What made you decide to get into fitness?

One day, I was scrolling through Instagram and a friend that I follow was posting a ton of workout videos. She was working out from home, with her baby and I thought that was pretty cool. The next day, I was getting ready for work, drinking my 2nd cup of coffee and noticed a grey hair. I’m about to be 27, I wasn’t gonna let that happen. I needed change.

 

Was fitness always your lifetime goal ?

As a kid and teenager, not really. I had my vegetarian binges in high school but nothing hardcore. Once I started to grow up, I watched people that were a few years older than me, start to look grey and overweight. Some of them had kids, some just looked burned out. I remember freshly graduating high school, and crying to my best friend, that I didn’t want to look like ‘that’ after I had a child. Fast forward to today, I made sure that there was no way in hell I was gonna let that happen. 

You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” - Steve jobs

What is your workout routine like?

I wake up every morning at 6:00AM and try to hit my yoga mat by 6:30AM, after 30 minutes of yoga I will incorporate core and butt routine. I’ve been really into using a medicine ball or weight for oblique twists. Every day I focus on something a little different, but always practice yoga.

 

Do you like working out at home better thAn the gym ? if so why ?

I love working out from home! I used to have a gym membership, and would go one to three times a month if that! Bad, I know. I remember a 3 month period where I didn’t go at all, and this was before I had my son. I like working out from home because I host a challenge group that includes people from across the nation to participate. We schedule our workouts and post our progress so we can see where everyones at, as far as reaching their fitness goals. I need the accountability from my challengers! Without anyone holding you accountable, it can be very difficult to achieve that long term goal.

 

What are common excuses you hear that prevent people from working out consistently?

Too busy, in pain, and so and so is coming into town. Haha. I think for the most part it’s not a matter of not having time, (because we can all wake up earlier and go to sleep earlier) it's a matter of not prioritizing their health. 

Do you think Meal Prepping is important in order to lose weight?

Meal prepping for me is a game changer! Yes! If you can discipline yourself to meal prep healthy and whole food one time a week on Sundays, you have no excuse to eat poorly throughout the week. Right now, my challengers are on a meal and portion control plan where it gets your eating habits in check quickly. My rule of thumb is weight loss is 75% diet and 25% exercise.

Who is your Muse?

Nicole Richie. Maybe it's because she’s a Virgo and born in the Bay Area haha. I love that she appreciates beauty and doesn’t give a fuck if she fits into the mold or not.

Talk a little bit about your son.

My son is so peaceful and independent. We also share the same birthday, he’s my baby Virgo twin except a little sweeter than I.  Growing up, all I wanted to feel loved and supported no matter what or who I was. I want to give that to my son.

What is your Zodiac Sign?  Virgo- Leo cusp

Talk a little bit about being a fitness coach?

I’m pretty new to this whole fitness thing and a big reason I became one was because I wanted to pursue an avenue that promoted a healthy lifestyle. I was tired and turned off of people celebrating this ‘work hard, drink energy drinks, and eat whatever’s in front of you to be on your game’ lifestyle. I want to add value to people's lives. I wanted to feel good about myself. Coaching has allowed me to connect with people on what I feel is a positive and self improvement level. It’s not a competition. Another perk is, I always have to be on my fitness game, which has changed my life physically and spiritually. I really love it.

What are 5 easy tips you can give women working out from home?

  1.  Wake up an hour earlier to fit it into your busy day

  2.  Drink water right when you roll out of bed

  3.  Schedule your workouts like they are an appointment

  4.  Buy a yoga/workout mat

  5.  When you're feeling unmotivated to workout, put your workout clothes on

When do you feel beautiful?

I feel beautiful after I’ve practiced yoga. Yoga really brings me at peace with myself and connects me to world. I think beauty starts with how you feel on the inside.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." -Steve Jobs

 

What are 5 items you can't leave home without?

  1.  Water bottle

  2.  Lip stick

  3.  Sunglasses

  4.  Gum

  5.  Snacks, always gotta be prepared!

What’s the last song you listed to in your Ipod?

Needed Me - Rihanna

 

If you were a smoothie what would you be and why?

Spicy Mexican Chocolate smoothie!

Because it’s a classic flavor that most people like, but it’s not for everybody and a little different.

 

What foods do you avoid?

Any thing that comes frozen and is pre cooked or made to be microwaved. No hot pockets or TV dinners for this mama.

Other than that, i’m not picky and I eat a lot more since i’ve been working out consistently. I’m always hungry!

 

What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself?

  • Resilient

  • Courageous

  • Communicator

What food is your guilty pleasure?

I loved baked sweets. Please keep it away.

 

What is a message you have for women?

Don’t waste your time going through the motions if it doesn’t make you truly happy. I guess that can be applied on many levels with relationships, jobs, friends. Don’t do it. When you find yourself doing that, it’s time to make another move. Practice listening to your intuition. Value yourself and be true to who you are. You are noT supposed to fit into someone else’s agenda. You’re in control.

Join Michele on Instagram @mamas.michele

 

World Changing Sex: The More Love You Make the More Lives We Save

Captured by Pepper. B

"L. IS DEDICATED TO THE REBELLIOUS NOTION THAT PEOPLE EVERYWHERE DESERVE BETTER"

How did you decide the name L. for your collection of condoms? Talia wanted a brand that can stand on its own and be a product that isn't gender specific. Normally when shopping on the intimate aisles there isn't anything that stands out and grabs your attention. This product is attractive to both men and women. Visually seeing the L signals you to create your own meaning behind the letter L. such as lust, love, or like.

How did your career as a photojournalist inspire you to create this product? After working for Red Cross and United nations as a photojournalist Talia wanted to focus more on women and their lack of access to reproductive rights. Talia didn't grow up with HIV at the forefront of her household, growing up she didn't encounter many people who infected with this virus.

With AIDS being the #1 killer for women in Africa followed by maternal death both being deaths that can be prevented. Talia want to contribute to this issue as well as build awareness. There is a plethora of young girls who drop out of school, due to teen pregnancy. Supporting women of all ages was something that was vital for her. 

"WHAT YOU SEEK IS SEEKING YOU" RUMI

Prior to launching L. where did you want your photojournalism career to take you? Prior to photojournalism Talia was a painter. Talia always had a longing desire to help others. However Talia never envisioned her products being sold globally in Target, CVS, and Whole Food. This is only the beginning for L. but it is headed in remarkable directions and changing lives daily.

Was there anything you saw visually that took place in Africa that made you want to bring awareness to the HIV virus? There were several assignments Talia documented, transgender sex workers in LA, Documentations in Haiti. Talia captured a photo of a woman who was being bather that was dying from the HIV virus and happened to capture this moment. Witnessing the state of the body Talia knew this was something she needed to help with.

What is your company motto or slogan? "Give a fuck" Making something users want. Make a product users need. L. is engaged with customer feedback. Having transparency with their consumer builds more awareness.

"...PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS SHOULD LEAVE YOU HAPPY AND HEALTHY, WITH KARMA ON YOUR SIDE"

Do you find that today less people practice the use of condoms? There needs to be more transparency with sexual education says Talia, the sexual education piece is vital when it comes to men, women and young adults. This is an evolving topic, as this topic evolves the technique of modernized sexual education should too.

"THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE, BUT FIRST IT WILL PISS YOU OFF." -GLORIA STEINEM

Do you find having a one hour delivery service to doorsteps for condoms is effective? Speak about this process. L. Condom is hand delivered by a courier who travels by bike who doesn't know what he is delivering. This is something that makes this process unique.

What areas is this service available? Brooklyn, Manhattan and SFA

What are benefits of L. Condom? They're low scent, sensitive on skin, and made with the highest quality ingredients, without the harmful chemicals. L. Condoms are manufactured according to FDA standards, ensuring that quality and safety are of the utmost concerns. A quality control team monitors every step of the manufacturing process and only the condoms that successfully pass the electronic testing are then sealed and package for our customers.

"L. PURCHASE SUPPORTS WOMEN AS AGENTS OF CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT."

What is your biggest accomplishment with L. Condom? L. Condom has grown immensely into a movement that works with over 2,800 female entrepreneurs and has distributed over 1 million health products in Sub Saharan Africa.

What are your plans in the future for building more awareness? People who purchase become advocates and the brand is spread by word of mouth, the awareness is built by having an amazing product that allows people to give back. It all starts with you. When you buy an L.  product, one is donated to a female entrepreneur in a developing country access to basic health products dramatically impacts women's lives. Today the #1 killer of women globally (ages 15-44) is AIDS, and the top reasons girls drop out of school is largely attributed to teen pregnancy. Both of these issues can be significantly changed through access to condoms.

One quote you live by? What you seek is seeking you. -Rumi

"IN FACT THERE IS NO 'OTHER' ANYWHERE. IT IS ALWAYS US AND ONLY US THAT WE WOUND WHENEVER WE HARM ANOTHER. TO MAKE IT SAFER FOR THE FEMININE IS TO MAKE IT SAFER FOR EVERYONE. WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER THE ENTIRE SOCIETY BENEFITS." -ALI

Did you get a chance to check out Pepper.B in Self Magazine ?

10 LIFE-CHANGING MAKEUP TIPS FROM INSTAGRAM AND YOUTUBE PRO'S
Amongst many great social media pros such as Jaclyn Hill. Pepper shares her beauty tips that are crucial for every beauty lover. Check out this  amazing read by Jessica Cruel Senior Editor of Self Magazine Digital.

When you’re constantly testing out the newest liquid lipsticks and waterproof mascaras, you’ve got to know the best makeup removal techniques. The Instagram pros rely on a double cleansing method. "Bass uses vitamin E oil from Trader Joe’s to remove stubborn eye makeup. Then, she cleanses with makeup wipes."

A dry, cracked pout  will ruin your perfect lip look before you can even apply product. The pros incorporate a weekly lib scrub into their skincare routine. The exfoliation gets rid of the dead skin cells that can make your lip lacquer look uneven. “I mix brown sugar and honey in small jar and that gets rid of the dead skin,” says Bass."

'"The same contouring routine doesn’t work for everyone. Women who are fair-to-medium shades don’t have to use cream to contour,” says Bass.'

Beauty, Fitness & Health with Personal Trainer: Body Gawd

"Live life with no REGRETS"

Atlanta Personal Trainer: Body Gawd

 I'm Tasha, aka Body Gawd. I'm a personal trainer based in Atlanta GA. I specialize in 'health wellness. I love food, therefore I have to workout everyday for the rest of my life. I'm very open honest & I try to be as truthful as possible when it comes to health consciousness.

What got you into such an intense work out routine?

 I’ve always been an athlete since I can remember however life started happening & I went to college & gained weight. I got into a relationship & gained more weight lol. It was really just me becoming more conscious of my health & how I was going through life that made me change. I wasn’t necessarily trying to lose weight, I just wanted to be healthy & I haven’t turned back since then.

How often do you work out a week?

I work out at least 5‐ times a week, & sometimes more than once in a day

What foods do you avoid?

I stay away from soda, candy, cookies. All sweets in general because they are so addictive. I also stay away from chips things like that because I loveee salt & it is definitely  not my best friend

What’s the biggest misconception about you?

I think that there are 2 big ones. The first being that just because I’m curvy have a nice body that I’m either a vixen model or a stripper. The second is that I’m not very smart. I think people look at me & compare me to the vixen types of women & automatically assume that I’m not smart because of that. But I am very very intellectual lol.       

If you were a smoothie what would you be? 

If I were a smoothie I’d be a mix of peach, papaya, mango. I absolutely LOVE mango but overall its a very tropical fun flavor I’m all about being outside in the sun & having the most fun I can.

When do you feel most beautiful? 

I feel most beautiful  when my makeup is slayed my curls are poppin 

What’s in your make‐up bag? 

 I have at least 4 different products for my brows lol, liquid liner, bronzer, matte foundation, a nude lipstick, & concealer. The basics.

What’s your favorite feature?

My favorite feature is my hair, my cheekbones, & my boo‐tay lol

What polish color would you wear on a special date and why?

I would wear black because I love black & I just feel like its sexy & mysterious.

How important is diet while working out?

Diet is so important. People think you can out work a bad diet but you cant. if you work out but eat the same as you did before, your weight will never change. Your body will just balance out.

Where did the name “ Body Gawd” come from?

So I started out as CurvyFitt & that just came to me because I knew my abilities as far as exercising but I’m not your “typical” trainer. Switched it to BodyGawd recently because I feel that I’ve reached a new level as far as my business & just overall as a person.

Where is your favorite place to workout? Do you find a gym necessary?

My favorite place to workout is outside in the summer. Its definitely not necessary to have a gym because in the beginning of my journey I didn’t have one. So to all of the people who use that as an excuse, you can stop now!

Who’s your dream client to personally train?

Personally I don’t have a specific person in mind, but I would love to do a show about helping women who are overweight lose weight & show that as far as fitness as health, there isn’t a certain type of “look”.

What area do you focus on most working out?

I do lots of cardio, abs, & of course lower body exercises the most. I get cut up really easy, so I don’t have to focus so much on arms, back etc.

Why don’t you believe in waist training ?

I don’t believe in waist training because it’s a temporary fix. It also damages internal organs plus most women who wear them aren’t even wearing them properly. I personally know people that have scars & tissue damage from wearing waist trainers so I don’t suggest that anybody wear them.

Do you suggest buddy workout vs. solo work outs?

 I started out on my own & at times it got boring & was very easy to get discouraged so I definitely suggest partner workouts as long as you've the same general goals

Whats next for BodyGawd?

Traveling is definitely in the vision I have for myself. I want to go to different places, give people good workout inspire them to keep going. I’m building my brand so I’ll be starting a youtube channel soon with workout videos tips more. I really just want to show women that no matter your size or shape, you can be whatever you want to be & to be inspired by yourself. be your own bodyguard.

"NEVER give up don’t let anyone tell you You can’t do something. Be happy with you while you are working for what you want."

 

 

Beauty Break: Nakia Adams Founder of Womanhood

"Just be. Be present, loud, bold, compassionate, active, alive,be the woman you aspire to be."

Nakia (nik) adams is an artist, content curator, and the founder of womanhood - a resource and networking community built for millennial women to be encouraged to live as their true self. After earning a degree in psychology in 2012, she vowed to dedicate her time giving back to her community and has partnered with two growing organizations: black girls code and take care of harlem. With passion and purpose, Nakia is now working as data specialist for the city of New York and shares her spare time with family, friends, and helping individuals create life changes!

One major quote you live by: "and here you are living despite it all." - rupi kaur

What does women empowerment mean to you? In literal terms empowerment is defined as a multi-dimensional social process that helps people gain control over their own lives. I believe the word itself speaks volumes empower - "in power". 

My version of empowerment comes from tools that I use in my professional, and personal life that propel me to act on issues i find important.

Empowerment looks like sister and brotherhood, empowerment can be found online re-tweeting a quote you that resonated with you.  

"My biggest gift is my heart and my biggest curse is also my heart."

When you do you feel most beautiful? I feel most beautiful in the morning. When the sun is rising and I've completed my daily meditation session.

Favorite feature? My favorite physical feature would have to be my cheekbones, but my favorite non-physical feature is my Ambition.

What’s inside your make-up bag?

  • Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Foundation
  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, Copenhagen
  • Mac Lipstick, Stone
  • Mac Lipstick, myth
  • Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
  • e.l.f. Small Angled Brush
  • random Foundation Brush
  • e.l.f. Cream Eyeliner

What drove you to create Womanhood? Womanhood was assembled in 2014 as a support group, and resource platform for millennial women. Our mission has grown since then to a community where women can unionize in a comfortable atmosphere, in which they can network, learn and connect with one another.

I was driven by my relationships and connections with women. I kept having the same conversations with friends about healing, how to practice self-care, relationship issues, finding yourself etc. I decided to create a space for women to come together and talk about all of the problems, the causes and we collectively seek solutions.

The idea to form a sister circle started a few years prior to the launch of womanhood. I had a blueprint of notes stored in my phone that I shared with one of my close friends Stephanie Samuels. She encouraged me, and supported me through the beginning stages of womanhood, and I felt the timing was right, the women were receptive and unity was needed.

3 women, you are most inspired by? This is a tough one because so many women have inspired me to become the woman that I am today. But if I had to choose three they would be Karen Civil, Janet Mock, and Frida Kahlo. Those three women are the makings of me. 

If you were a dress what would you look like? If I were a dress I would be neoprene, form fitting, and available in all sizes. 

If you were a lipstick what color would you be and why? If I were a lipstick I would be My-Red. The reason why, is  because I've searched and searched for the perfect red for me, but I've been unsuccessful. 

What are 3 things you must travel with at all times? The three things I must travel with at all times are my phone charger, headphones, and a journal or notepad. 

The last song you played on your ipod Acapella - Kelis 

Biggest career accomplishment: My biggest accomplishment thus far has been being featured and recognized on sites created by women that I visit on a weekly basis.

  • Herself 
  • Saint Heron 
  • Yetti Says 
  • Nai’s Vision 
  • Be Moxie 
  • Her Beauty Speaks
  • Darla Magazine
  • Pinned x Stitched

What do you feel your biggest gift is and your biggest curse? My biggest gift is my heart and my biggest curse is also my heart. 

What upcoming projects do you have for 2016? 2016 has already been so good to me. Lots and lots of opportunities in the works if anyone would like to stay in the loop please subscribe to the Womanhood Newsletter.

Favorite childhood hobby? My favorite childhood hobby would have to be jumping double dutch. I was a pro :) 

One inspirational message you would like to send women? Just be. Be present, loud, bold, compassionate, active, alive,be the woman you aspire to be.

"I feel most beautiful in the morning. When the sun is rising..."

Beauty, Magic & The Hood Witch

"I feel like I’ve always been a very majestic little creature."

Name: Bri Luna

Los Angeles, CA 

Taurus sun/Taurus Moon

Entrepreneur. Mother. Magic Maker.

What drove you to create The Hood Witch website? My grandmother’s really were my biggest inspiration for the site. One being a mexican curandera (healer) and the other a very spiritual woman from the south, they both really taught me a lot in their own way.  I wanted a place to share practical rituals, art, music, health + wellness.  Also to provide tools such as crystals and herbal smudges for others on their journey who may not have access to reliable stores that offered these items. I  wanted to do this in a modern non-dogmatic approach, both visually and in my writing. I wasn’t interested in having this very serious, stuffy, or self-righteous spiritual website. I wanted something for the modern mystic, we live in a very fast paced world where it’s hard to unplug and unwind. My biggest focus was to share some practices to help empower and also help people discover new (old) methods of healing.  With that, came the idea to create  a members only community for our readers to join and share more in depth conversations about their personal practices and spiritual journey, and off  of major social networking sites like Twitter, or Facebook. It’s been amazing,  we now have over hundreds of members from all over the world, and from so many varying spiritual practices and skill sets, I love  it.  

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised amongst Sunshine, Palm trees, and stars in the magical city of fallen angels. Los Angeles, CA. 

What’s the first crystal you’ve purchased, what age were you and why? hmm, the first crystal I ever purchased was when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old.. It was a tiger’s eye (a stone of protection and courage). I purchased it by myself in the mall at one of those stores that had tons of large crystals, dream catchers,  and they played pan flute music. Natural Wonders was what the store was called, I think. I bought the tiger’s eye because honestly,  I liked the name. 

When did you become more involved with your spirituality? I feel like I’ve always been a very majestic little creature. Magic and mysticism has always fascinated me since as early as I can remember. I was a very energetically sensitive child, so I loved learning about the paranormal, ancient lost civilizations, and occultism.

Who’s your muse? I have so many strong and powerful women that I feel are my spiritual muses. Frida Kahlo, Eartha Kitt, Vali Myers, Goddess Kali, Elvira, Grace Jones.  

Do you meditate if so how often? I consciously try to meditate daily, usually in the early mornings and before bed. It helps me balance and center myself for the day. Meditation for me can also be while i’m doing the most mundane things, like just walking around the city or driving for long distances zoning out and listening to a really great playlist. 

When do you feel most beautiful? I feel the most beautiful when I’m treating my body right, eating healthy meals, and getting plenty of sleep. I love getting my nails and hair done. I’m a taurus so I love luxurious shit. Sleeping in a big bed of fine linens and pillows, facials and regular hot stone massages. Beauty inside and out.

"Always trust your intuition..."

What’s your favorite feature? I love my eyes, because they’re big enough to see through your soul, like an owl. They’re powerful and yet  soft, and my sharp winged black eyeliner really plays them up. I tend to make direct eye contact when I speak,and that sometimes creeps people out,  I’m good at reading people.  

If you were a nail polish color what would you be? A really poppin’ neon or a fierce matte Black.

What are 3 beauty products you can’t live without?

  1. Black Liquid Eyeliner
  2. Anastasia's Brow Kit
  3. Frederic Malle perfume

What are 3 essentials you need for home when changing the mood or energy in your house? Candles (preferably Diptyque), Flowers, and music, I love old records. 

What’s your biggest accomplishment thus far?  My biggest and best life accomplishment has been growing a human, nothing’s really topped that, and I doubt it ever will. but being featured in Vogue is a pretty big deal. 

Describe your personal style:  I love pairing over the top accessories with very casual attire. So like, I can be wearing a pair of filthy vans, with an elegant vintage fur coat and a vintage turquoise Squash blossom necklace that probably cost more than my outfit. I LOVE vintage jewelry, I love big chunky rings. Accessories are my favorite thing, more than clothes anyway.

What are 3 essentials you need when traveling? Money, My iphone,  a bundle of White sage. 

-If you were a tea what flavor would you be and why? I actually really enjoy creating my own tea blends using organic flowers and herbs. I would be  a really fragrant rose tea, I love rose in everything, essential oils, perfumes, tea. It’s so soothing, romantic, and one of the highest vibrational frequencies of  oils you can use on your body. 

Talk a little bit about your collaboration with Floss Gloss? Last spring Floss Gloss & The Hoodwitch decided to join forces. We created a trio of opaque pastels called The Daydream Trio set. The colors were these dreamy unicorn colors. When people think WITCH they think black, vampy red, and other darker colors but that was too predictable, too gimmicky. Working with my girls Aretha + Janine  was really  easy because we honestly just get each other, it felt really natural. Not to mention our visual aesthetics are on the same wave, so it was a lot of fun. We had my good friend Sober (http://www.djsober.com/) design the crystal ball with my signature  stiletto nails for our  logo & packaging and it was all just so perfect the way it came together! 

What’s your favorite book in your online bookshop Bruja Bookshop? Well, our books are constantly changing. We don’t stock multiple copies of the same book because they’re all hand picked vintage/rare esoteric and metaphysical books. At  this very moment, I’d say The Jungian Tarot And Its Archetypal Imagery by  Robert Wang.

What’s the last song on your IPod? The last song I played was “Slow Tapes” by a band called Angel’s Dust. I’ve been really into their EP lately. It’s SO good!

Weekly on your site you select a Goddess of the week what do you do to make yourself feel like a goddess? Drinking red wine in a bathtub scented with essential oils, and being surrounded by lots of candles. 

A message you would like to share: Always trust your intuition. If something feels off, it is.

"If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."

-Nikola Telsa

 

Quitting Your Day Job & Pursuing Your Passion: Interview with Melissa Butler

  Melissa Butler, Owner or The Lip Bar

Melissa Butler, Owner or The Lip Bar

What inspired the creation of The Lip Bar? Frustration with my job! Upon graduation, I moved to New York to work on Wall Street. It didn't take me long to realize that I wasn't happy and then I decided to stop complaining  and change my situation. If I would've loved my job, The Lip Bar may not be here. But I was hell bent on getting out of there and never being in a similar situation. I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit - the line of a business was a complete shot in the dark. But only in darkness can you see the stars. 

Where are you from? Detroit

Favorite childhood hobby? Ummmmm that's tough. Talking back to my mom, just talking in general. I talked way too much! My mom prob wanted to strangle me. Sorry Mom.

What sparked your interest for beauty? I came from a finance background and was a frequent purchaser of lipsticks. Never a big makeup girl, but I've always loved lipsticks. A while ago, I decided to be better to my body. You get what you give, right? So I began taking more holistic approaches: I stopped eating chicken and turkey (I already didn't eat beef or pork) and I began reading the labels of what I put on and in my body. I was disgusted

at all the chemicals I was digesting. That was the end of my eating and using super toxic products and when it came to lipstick, it was impossible to find products that were fairly natural in their origin. And the natural cosmetic companies were utterly boring. I knew I deserved better and so, I created better and decided to share it with the world. Quality cosmetics can and should be made without the excess crap, and with that idea, my interest in beauty along with The Lip Bar was born. 

Describe your everyday makeup look? I'm very simple when it comes to makeup. I don't get too crazy and it barely looks like I have any on. I normally dab on a little concealer under my eyes. I'm obsessed with eyeliner and mascara, I put on a light bronzer, a blush shade one shade darker than my complexion and of course, I finish with a pop of color on the lips. No shadow, no contouring, no highlighting, no foundation.

What's currently in your makeup bag? An ingot freedom pallet with blush, stila eyeliner (I'm gonna try the liquid one next, I'm such a wimp), MAC concealer, mascara (could be Givenchy Phenom eyes, Benefit They're Real or anything else. I always try mascara) and about 10 Lip Bar lipsticks. You never know what could happen. 

Who is your muse? The Universe

How did you come up with the name for The Lip Bar? It's called The Lip Bar because I thought it was a really good way to make lipsticks fun and to encourage self-expression. Oftentimes, we rely on cocktails to ease and or reinvigorate our moods. And far too often, we allow the media or men to dictate what we look like. Name it The Lip Bar was a stance against the standard of beauty that we adopt. It's my way to give the same courage to women as cocktails give them to pull out that thing that's buried and hidden within- their uniquely beautiful selves. It's the marriage of fun and unapologetic self-expressions. 

 

"Everyday you work for someone else; you're following their dreams"

What color would you wear to a first date? Interesting question. i don't have a particular color. It's more of a style. Always feminine, bold lip color, but never too sexy. And it's never 100%. I don't want a guy to fall head over heels with my looks and only see that. 

What do you feel is missing from the beauty industry? Individuality. Everyone tries to look like celebrities and I hate it with every fiber in my body.

Name one color from The Lip Bar that best describes your personality? Hot Toddy (a brick shade). It's bold, but mature. Striking but subtle. Sexy but classic. Sassy and spontaneous. It's confident and out to prove nothing to anyone by itself. Wait. We're talking about lipstick. Hahahaha. 

When awesome things happen, I'm genuinely happy but I'm never drawn into them. It's because I'm very ambitious and almost expectant of milestones. The way I see it, the only way is up. That may sound cocky but  I don't mean it as such. Even unforeseen events that disrupt my initial plans are all learning lessons. So when I get amazing news, I thank god and I move forward. Otherwise, one can easily get complacent and complacency is the enemy of progress.

Refinery 29 feature: What???? This is crazy!!!! As I jumped up and down. Being sold on nylon's website: What???? how do they even know we exist? This is the coolest sh*t ever.

Being sold on Urban Outfitters: I got in the shower and prayed. Thank the Universe for another chance in pursuit of my goals. Being featured on The Bethanny Show: I'm going to be on TV???? My mom is going to freak out. I hope TV doesn't pack on an extra 10 pounds. 

One quote you live by? Happiness is a choice.

Manicure Time with the Owner of The Bed of Nails

"Be inspired, Always!"

What is your inspiration behind The Bed of Nails shop? My inspiration was to create a quality driven nail salon that catered to women and men that embodied excellence and luxury. I didn't want to only cater to nails but also provide a sense of R.E.L.I.E.F. - a Relaxing Escape with a Lush Invigoration and Essential Feel. Your nail experience should make you feel great and you should be confident about your salon and your manicurist's abilities.

What sparked your interest for nail art? I love nail art because it's an easy form of self expression - you can showcase whatever you're feeling at the moment. I believe nails are your best accessory because you might not have a ring on or a ton of jewelry but when your nails are done and you're holding a glass of your favorite drink or shaking someone's hand your nails set the tone. It shows a level of sophistication.

You have worked several fashion shows, what show was your favorite or most memorable? My favorite or most memorable show would have to be the Alexander McQueen show this past February  for the Autumn/Winter 2014. The attention to detail from the set design and the meticulous selection of the beauty looks to embody the vision and add to the excellence that was the collection was mind blowing. The makeup, hair, and nails, the collection and the set it was all part of a story and it unfolded masterfully. It was a complete work of art!

What is the biggest misconception about you? The biggest misconception is that I'm mean and not friendly.

What color nail polish would you wear on a first date? It would depend on my mood. I'm never afraid to go bold because that's me and you either take it or leave it.

What nail polish best describes your personality? For the name I would have to saye Essie. "Eternal Optimist" but for color I would say Deborah Lippmann "Video Killed the Radio Star" - its and electric blue.

What 3 polish colors do you think every woman should own? A red that compliments your skin tone, a neutral that brightens your skin, and a wildcard color that takes you out of your box. You can never be predictable!

What is your biggest challenge being a young business owner in New York? The biggest challenge that I've faced is funding. Opening a brick and mortar salon at 25 is unheard of and financially isn't something easy. I'm young with no prior business history or serious credit so most institutions weren't willing to take a risk on me, but I'm more than grateful for my family.

What was your reaction for the following moments:

Grand opening of Bed of Nails Surreal, and overwhelmed by the amount of love and support and at the idea that it was all real and finally happening. I could touch a part of my dream.

Feature in Refinery 29 The feature in Refinery was completely mind blowing. It felt like the world noticed and all of the hard work and dedication had finally paid off. I know Refinery is a niche market but to so many people its religion. To be recognized by them in a completely organic article, and reviewed as number one in Best New Nails Salon in New York City was amazing and awesome at the same time.

Where do you see the Bed of Nails in 5 year? I see Bed of Nails with several locations across the country and I see it becoming the premier nail salon that sets the trend for all. We might even have products, who knows!

One quote you live by? "Be inspired, always!" -Candice Idehen

Floss All Season: Owners of Floss Gloss

 Janine, Co-Owner of Floss Gloss

Janine, Co-Owner of Floss Gloss

What inspired the creation of Floss Gloss nail polish?

  • Janine: Floss Gloss was created out of a necessity. Aretha and I needed our own line because we had so many pet peeves about what was readily available to us; ugly packaging, bad formula, misleading color from the bottle to nail.
  • Aretha: The need.

Where are you from?

  • Janine: Coronado, CA, but I am a military brat and have lived all over the country.
  • Aretha: Austin, Texas

Favorite  childhood hobby?

  • Janine: Being at the beach or just being outside. Loved being outside, bike riding, and arts and crafts. I was heavy into all sorts of crafts as a kid; knitting, painting, friendship bracelets, nail art (Klutz junkie basically)
  • Aretha: Running amuck

"But they don't want that, they want that bout it bout it shit"

What sparked your interest for nail art?

  • Janine: Like I mentioned, I was a Klutz kid. Someone gave me the Nail Art Book as a pre-teen and I became obsessed! It really sparked my nail art passion and I was already into arts and crafts. I kind of lost touch with nails when I went to college, just so overwhelmed with work, until I met Aretha! She really re-invigorated my passion and I was back doing nails and nail art with her and my roommates in my junior/senior years at CCA (California College of the Arts).
  • Aretha: The lack of colors and Janines passion.

Who is your muse? 

  • Janine: Honestly, no muse. I pull inspiration from strong women in business and fashion, music, and art, but I really do not have a single muse. I think because Aretha and I are our own demographic we become the muses.
  • Aretha: Master P, Danzig, Stone Cold Steve Austin

If you could use 3 words to describe Floss Gloss what would it be?

  • Janine: Excessive, color(full) and creative.
  • Aretha: Excessive, lavish, innovative

What color polish would you wear on a first date and why?

  • Janine: I would recommend Fast Lane (neon red) or Dinge (dirty pink) - neon red like Fast Lane is passionate and exciting. Dinge is tamer, a pastel dirty pink that is sophisticated and professional,  but still a little different and dingy. Close runner up's would be : Tanlines, Wavepool, Picnic or Biscuits.
  • Aretha: Wavepool, Boys Like Blue, It's Accessible and They're Slow.

What nail style is your favorite?

  • Janine: For shape, long square nails are always a classic! Recently I've been wearing a 'coffin' or tapered square. Thanks to Vanity Projects to pushing me into that shape, I feel so lady-like.
  • Aretha: Pierced

Biggest challenge being apart of the nail industry?

  • Janine: The biggest challenge is running the business side as well as staying creative and forward in the nail industry. Aretha and I are still the only two employees.
  • Aretha: Being tiny.

What inspires your names for your polish colors?

  • Janine: The colors themselves, the inspiration for the collection or the mood of the polish.
  • Aretha: Anything.
 Aretha, Co-Owner of Floss Gloss

Aretha, Co-Owner of Floss Gloss

What polish best describes your personality?

  • Janine: Tough! Either Wet or Stun.
  • Aretha: Con Limon because I can be sour but I'm sweet in the end.

What is your favorite song to play while you're primping? 

  • Janine: In a perfect world the best line up of MTV Jams. Like my favorite motivator to hit the club, but if it's just music, HBK Gang, DJ Mustard anything or our homies Till Team 6 in Oakland. TT6 has amazing djs/homies [Neto187, SoWhat, Nano] and the SWERVE mixes are my favorite - still.
  • Aretha: Great question. Clirith Ungol- Edge of a Knife, Iron Maiden- Running, Gangsta Boo- Still Gangsta, Trina- Reach Out

Where do you see Floss Gloss in 5 years?

  • Janine: Still in business and with increased sales and nationwide distribution. And of course being on top of the cult nail polish brands. I just want to win. 
  • Aretha: With way more colors and retailers, hopefully doing the same thing but better.

What nail polish trend do you hate?

  • Janine: TEXTURED! Just rub your nails in kitty litter right before it dries. I can't stand the texture trend.
  • Aretha: Matte finish, sorry ladies I like to gloss.

Who is your favorite nail artist?

  • Janine: This is really tough! Been following and in love with Spifster before tumblr was really tumblr. I love Christina Rinaldi aka Prima her style is amazing and so clean - I love it. Gah there are so many I love! Britney Tokyo, Regina Rodriquez, Natalie Minerva, Stephanie Stone, Sophy Robson, Whitney Gibson. I'm such a fiend.
  • Aretha: Brit Tokyo, Nailswag, Spifster, Nailsyall, Holly Falcone, I love em all doin it.

"...I was a Klutz kid. Someone gave me the Nail Art Book as a pre-teen and I became obsessed! It really sparked my nail art passion..."

What inspires your seasonal campaigns?

  • Janine: Anything from music, nature, pop culture, fashion. Really it's what Aretha and I are feeling and really wanting to explore and get it out to the public.
  • Aretha: Whatever comes up that got it.

What is your most memorable accomplishment with Floss Gloss?

  • Janine: So far, having vogue request to meet with us. 
  • Aretha: Doing a color with Gangsta Boo of Three Six Mafia

One quote you live by?

  • Janine: This quote by the Dali lama has really stuck with me. "Man: because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. The he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if her is never going to die, and then dies having never really live.
  • Aretha: "But they don't want that, they want that bout it bout it shit" -Master P

Blending Beauty: She's Ryan

"I want the world to see me as a leader. Someone who started from nothing and gained everything from experience, hard work, trial and error...the goal is to inspire."

With a raw, distinctly polished voice, married to bold, provocative lyrics set in the most sexy, fresh look, it's not hard to tell why She's Ryan aka SIR is a force to be reckoned within today's entertainment industry. The 23 year old former photographer, current model and actress is emerging as a vibrant singer-songwriter creating spunk, hard hitting upbeat pop/rock/R&B. She's Ryan boasts many talents that set her apart from her contemporaries and her brand SIR reveals the blueprint for domination. She's Ryan has quickly transitioned from a sharp shooter behind the lens into a multi-talented artist that rocks the stage with dance moves that would have anyone mesmerized. With buzzing music that quickly catched fire, such as her recently released feature with Mad Decent artist, The Party Squad "I'M ABOUT TO KILL", She's Ryan has proven that she can stand strong among many genres of music. 

She is published in articles (online/print) such as Inked Magazine, The Source, and Vibe vixen to name a few. She's Ryan has also been a host to the biggest festival in NYC, AfroPunk. With a degree from NYC's most creative institute, Pratt. She's Ryan not only graces the stage but creative directs her entire brand. She has made great strides with her recently released debut music videos for entitled "WHOA", "SIR" and "NEVER GROWING UP". In addition, she is currently laying the finishing touch on her upcoming EP and has consistently performed in New York City, Boston, Connecticut, and other areas in the Northeast region. Whether it's her original sound, edgy lyrics or high energy sultry performance, she is an amazing multi faceted talent that adds a breath of fresh air to today's musical landscape. One thing is certain, once you've caught a glimpse of She's Ryan, it's completely clear to see that a true store is born!

What is your favorite feature? My favorite feature are my eyes. Or people's eyes in general.

When do you feel most beautiful? I feel most beautiful after the gym. After I've had the most intense workout, and I sit in the sauna and sweat out all of the toxins from my body. My skin is naturally flushed with a red undertone and i look like I'm glowing! It's weird, but i feel most beautiful with a natural glow.

What beauty trend do you hate currently taking place? I love the concealer trend that's happening. You kow, highlight your t-zone using a light concealer than your natural skin color, then sculpt into your face with a darker color to contour....I get it, it's fun but when done incorrectly, it looks absolutely horrible. I believe this beauty trend is absolutely gorgeous when done the right way.

What tattoo do you have that's most symbolic to you? The tattoo that is most symbolic to me is the hanya mask on my right arm. I got it when I was 19, working in a tattoo shop, and my boss at the time (who also taught me how to do tattoos), sat me down and gave me my first tattoo. It was 5 hours long and the only reason I wanted it, was because he has the same exact mask on the same arm as well. I look up to im so much, so I feel connected to him through this piece. Thanks JAZ.

If Ryan was a lipstick, what color would it be? Matte Black

You have the most amazing abs, what is your workout routine like? Thank you! I run, run, and run some more! I am a big fan of being outdoors. I love it, the fresh air, the sun, people watching. So I literally get up and run a few miles a day. If I don't run, I go to bootcamp fitness training classes 3-4 times a week, where we work full body and run. I'm a big fan of squats, lunges (all while having weights in hands of course), and planks. These workouts work your whole body, so instead of just doing boring sit ups, you're becoming completely fit and gaining a six pack all at the same time!

 

 

What is your skincare regimen like? I'm really simple. I exfoliate in the morning with an apricot scrub. After the scrub I use natures toner. A product that I've used for years to keep an even complexion, witch hazel. At night after washing off all the makeup, I make sure to moisturize my face with vitamin e oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. The reason for this is because these oils don't clog your pores like say a cocoa butter would. They also naturally help with complexion, and can be used on the whole body. It's great.

Biggest misconception about you? Of course, because of the tattoos, colorful hair, piercings...I am judged beforehand as someone weird, or sketchy. Like I won't be able to engage in intellectual or even casual conversation because 'I'm strange'. I was once hired to speak on a panel to younger women aspiring to be music artists, and was told by the person who hired me...once you start speaking, everyone's views on you change. 

I didn't take offense to it but it just reminded me that unfortunately, people will always judge, ignorance is alive and well and to always remind myself personally... 'never judge a book by its cover'.

What beauty trend do you love? The natural cut crease with a subtle cat eye! I love! It can make even the smallest eyes look like big beautiful almond shaped eyes. It's great. 

Who was your childhood beauty muse? Aaliyah

Who is your current muse? I have a few women who physically intrigue me. The one who's gotten my attention the most is FKA Twigs.

What are your 5 favorite makeup products you are currently using? 

  1. NYX liquid liner
  2. Sponge Beauty Blender
  3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Kit
  4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Plate
  5. Make Up Forever tinted primer for when I'm putting on shadow and want it to last all day long.

What accessory can you not be caught dead without? I love my rings!

If you have only 15 minutes to leave your house and could do one beauty step and grab one accessory what would it be? The one beauty step would be filling in my eyebrows with a nice full, natural, looking eyebrow. I look younger and a lot more polished. Of course the accessory would be my rings!

What accomplishment thus far has changed your life? The accomplishment that changed my life was when my unreleased song, "Trouble" was played on MTV's new reality show "House of Food". Since then I've gained new fans, gotten recognized by people at MTV, and have been on the radar of more people who can present more life changing opportunities to me. It was super exciting.

What quote do you live by? Be grateful for all that you have NOW, because without appreciating what is already here, it is impossible to receive anything else.

What's to come in the future for Ryan? The EP is dropping! My self titled EP "SIR" will be released at the top of the year. It will include six songs, and a bonus track.

Beauty Break with Rich White Ladies

Tokyo Diiva

"...we crossed paths at the right time and it's been history since."

What is the biggest misconception about you? I'm not sure actually, I'm not aware of what people think about me besides I'm fabulous and I'd have to agree. Anything besides that is not only a misconception but an illusion.

When do you feel most beautiful? At night on a full moon

Who is your childhood muse? Sailor Moon

What is your favorite movie? Pretty Woman

What are your 5 favorite makeup products you are currently using? YSL foundation, NARS blush, MAC moisture cream, Bobbi Brown concealer, and Pink Treat lip liner from MAC.

What accessory can you not be caught dead without? Perfume, if I don't smell delicious I don't feel sexy

Last song you listened to on your iPod? Wild Child - Iggy Pop

How did The Rich White Ladies come about? Scotty and I have been friends for years, the stars aligned and we crossed paths at the right time and it's been history since.

Your least favorite beauty trend? Overly concealed eyebrows gag me everytime.

Who is your favorite female entertainer? Of this day and age I'd have to say Rihanna. She's young, rich, and high. Of all time, I would have to go with Madonna.

If you could star in any popular movie what would it be and why? Cleopatra I meannnnn?? Haha I feel I'm an egyptian goddess reincaranted. If not that I'd have be in X-Men and probably be Mystique.

Favorite 5 stores to shop for your wardrobe? If I told you, I'd have to kill you

What quote do you live by? Eat diamonds, shit glitter.

Is there anything special routine you do, to prepare for a performance? Shots! shots! shots!

What's your biggest fear? Not being happy.

What's your favorite feature? My ass and aura

You are always busy! and consistent what advice do you give for other females in the industry? Don't be mad.

Scotty Rebel

I landed my first solo record deal at Universal/Motown in 2010 after after being offered four deals from other labels. I've worked with SOUNDZ, Ne-Yo, Rock City, Tricky and The Dream just to name a few. I released my song "Jack N Jill" in 2011 which got spins on radio and play on music choice. I then a year later, got a new record budget under the New Motown making me one of the few new artists in this era to be signed for 1.2 million. I then released Bang ft. French Montana which was premiered on 106 & Park, and played on MTV jams all summer of 2013. Now I'm proud to be working on a new signed project to Motown with my best friend Tokyo Diiva which I love so much. It's a kunt feeling, I must admit.

At what age did you discover your niche? Around 8

Whos is your biggest influence? I can't name just one, I have so many I love, such as Madonna, Gwen Stefani, and Eurythmics.

If you were a lipstick color what would you be and why? I'd be a matte black. It's fierce, bold, and dark just like me and my wardrobe.

What are your 5 favorite makeup products you are currently using? I'm loving Bobbi Browns stick foundation, MAC Diva lipstick, Ardell double up lashes, Urban Decay glitter and my holy can't live without Smash Box photo ready powder.

 

 

 

What accessory can you not be caught dead without? Glasses and hats, I love feeling incognito.

Last song you listened to on your iPod? I don't own one.

Your favorite beauty trend? Cat eye

Who's your favorite female vocalist? Pink, her tone and raspy voice is just ughhhh.

If you could star in any popular movie, what would it be and why? Oh, Resident Evil. I actually really want to act, I'd love to do a fierce scary/action movie for my first roll.

Favorite 5 stores to shop for your amazing wardrobe? Solestruck, Dolls Kill, Wild Style, American Vintage and any rock or punk inspired stores.

Is there anything special you do to prepare for a performance? To celebrate before I go on, shots of jack

What's your biggest fear? What's fear?

What's your favorite feature? My eyes

"...I love feeling incognito"

 

 

Beauty by Day, DJ by Night: DJ Miss Milan Interview

A woman in charge and making it happen in New York City is none other than DJ Miss Milan. Not only is she one of the hardest working newer DJs on the scene but her fiery personality and great dance moves is what really captures people's attention. DJ Miss Milan is one of the more unique beauties on the scene and she commands the crowd off skill alone. However, it is hard to not get captivated by her looks.

What time of the day do you feel most beautiful? As soon as I wake up, I always feel so refreshed and ready to take on the world. My face is well rested and so relaxed plus I believe in starting the day off on a positive note feeling like "I woke up like this!"

What's your favorite feature? My favorite feature would have to be my eyes and lips, growing up i didn't like my eyes because I always thought they were so small like I wanted slanted cat eyes. But as i got older and learned how to 'be sexy' through the eyes, now I love them. My lips are just nice and full I love how they look natural or with a nice gloss/lipstick.

Least favorite feature? Can't say I have one because I've taught myself to love everything about me, because that's what makes me a unique individual. The least favorite feature can be the best feature in my opinion.

How do you prepare style and makeup wise for a gig? Well usually for big events I have my personal makeup artist Cleecia come and do my makeup for me, but if not I'll just do it myself. If I'm doing my makeup myself I go for a fresh, clean look. I usually use L'Oreal liquid foundation and powder because I find it to be less heavy on my skin, some wispies eyelashes, bronzer, gloss or a nice matte lipstick and call it a day. My style depends on the event itself so I can dress from really classy where I'm wearing a ballroom gown down to some sneakers and jeans.

Who is your favorite icon? Beyonce, she literally has the whole package, style, beauty, brows. She is everything!

Three songs on your playlist you play while you get ready? Rihanna ft. Drake Work, Young Thug Bestfriend, and Cameo Candy

What accessory can you not be caught dead without? Earrings, I can't stand being out without earrings. I literally bring an extra pair just in case I lose one or a back, anything I just can't be without them.

If you were a lipstick, what color would you be and why? Red because that color always stands out no matter what kind of shade you are which is basically me, I stand out anywhere.

Favorite childhood hobby? Singing and playing basketball

What's your biggest fear? Not living out my dreams and being unhappy.

What's one beauty trend you wish to end now? The colorful lipsticks like blue, green, and yellow. Don't get me wrong it looks good for a photoshoot concept but as everyday wear it breaks my heart to see it.

One trend you wish to bring back? Natural looking eyebrows, I feel like some of the eyebrow tutorials don't like natural enough. Hate the square or overly done eyebrows, natural the better.

What is a life changing moment you've had in your flourishing career? Life changing moment would have to be when I quit my job and said I'm going to do this DJ thing fully. I had no plan B only because I didn't believe in one. I believed in myself to make it. Ever since I did that everything has been happening, just needed to take that risk to see the reward.

Last song you listen to on your iPod? I'm always put on to different artist so recently I've been listening to Lil' Uzi Vert 'Luv is Rage' album, really dope if you're into that kind of music. But I listen to everything.

If you could star in any popular movie, what would it be? I don't have a specific movie but anything with some action and comedy, I definitely would love to star in. 

What quote do you live by? 'Live Life' it's so simple all you have to do is do what makes you happy and enjoy the moment.