Introducing: Cleanse by Lauren Napier


On a flight from Dubai to New York City, celebrity makeup artist LAUREN NAPIER found herself trapped in a window seat. Unable to leave her seat to refresh her face, she was struck with an idea that would change how we cleanse our skin, on the go: “I was delirious from nearly 30 hours in transit, I wanted to freshen up my face, but I couldn’t. The bulky package of cleansing wipes I had, was all dried out.”

CLEANSE by LAUREN NAPIER is a set of twelve individually packaged facial cleansing wipes, that fits neatly into your traveling makeup bag, briefcase or evening clutch. “Because let’s face it, sometimes we want to cleanse before cocktail hour, we want to cleanse before spin class, sometimes a gal doesn’t make it home and refuses to leave her face all over his pillowcase,” laughs Lauren.
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How Much is Too Much to Pay for Cosmetics?


If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I post a lot of images of my daughter, who recently started dabbling in make-up. Because I was not allowed the wear the stuff when I was a teen, I was super happy to vicariously re-live those years through her.

Whereas I couldn’t even get lip gloss outta my parents when I was young, I have done the exact opposite with my daughter and given her a make-up collection that has made her friends green with envy.
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Iman to Introduce Her Own Line Of CC Creams


A year after introducing their own line of BB creams for darker skin tones, Iman Cosmetics is now ready to move on to the next big thing in make-up: CC creams.

According to an article in WWD, Iman Cosmetics CC Correct & Cover Powder to Crème Concealer will retail for $15, $5 less than the company’s BB creams, and will be available online December 15th and in stores nationwide on January 1, 2014.

Unlike BB creams, which offer minimal coverage, CC creams generally contain a bit of concealer and offer medium to full coverage.
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Maintaining Your Summer Figure


Warm weather, skimpy outfits and the prospect of wearing a bikini are often motivators to get in shape for the summer. But what about the fall and winter months when we are mostly covered up? You can maintain your summer body if you follow these simples tips that help you learn the key to weight maintenance.

Tip 1: Don’t cover up. Sure, it may be cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear big bulky clothes that hide your figure. Layers of clothing can often hide a weight gain of as little as five pounds. That five pounds can quickly turn into 15 that you never even knew you gained because you were so covered up. So keep warm, but keep it tight as well. Fitted clothes remind us that we have a figure maintain.

Tip2: Watch those comfort foods. When it’s cold outside our bodies crave warm stick to your bones kind of foods. However, eating heavy soups, carbs and meat will lead to substantial weight gain. Instead, try to keep to your summer meal plan. Lots of steamed fish, salads, fruits and vegetables will keep you full, while keeping off the winter weight.

Tip 3: Continue to work out. Cold weather is no excuse to hibernate. Stay social. Instead of meeting the girls at the pool or the beach, take the party to the gym. Better yet, put on a warm sweat suit and go walking or running in the park.

Tip 4: Stay sexually active. Sex is a great workout tool. It gets the heart racing and really activates those endorphins. It’s also a great way to tell if you have gained a few pounds you may not have noticed. If you tire more easily and those leg muscles seem to give out quicker, it may be a sign you have put on a pound or two. So keep the lovemaking going during those winter months. And ladies- stay on top. Riding really works those thigh muscles.

Kenya Moore Wants You to Grow Your Own Hair


“Real Housewives of Atlanta” co-star Kenya Moore is embarking on a new business venture. The former Miss USA said back in 2012 she was joining the reality show circuit to promote her line of natural hair products, and true to her word, Kenya is now ready to unveil her new project to the world.

Kenya took to Twitter earlier this week to announce her new venture, saying “#teamtwirl I’m excited about my hair care line. I’m not selling fake hair… shampoo, conditioner, etc. 2 grow #realhairlonger #twirlonthat. I actually embark on business ventures that make sense… With a business plan that will grow wealth and an empire #not$10bundle.”

Kenya went on to sing the virtues of her products, saying they are for all hair types and contain no sulphates.

Kenya is the second housewife to unveil her own line of hair products in recent months. Fellow housewife Porsha Stewart recently unveiled her “Naked” line of weave products, which she touts as “hair so real, it feels like your own.”
No doubt Kenya’s above comments were aimed at Porsha, who routinely found herself on the wrong side of Kenya’s good graces last season.

So, did Kenya release her hair care line to take a bite out of Porsha’s sales? I personally doubt it. The ladies are appealing to two completely different markets. Plus, Kenya’s line hasn’t officially hit the market yet. lists something “Gone with the wind fabulous is coming…,” so we assume it will be unveiled any day now- most likely when the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” returns to the air later this fall.

Beauty Products You Regret Buying


My dresser and bathroom cabinet are littered with beauty products that I once had such high hopes. From coconut oil to lipstick, I have made my fair share of purchases I wish I could take back.

Below are just a few of my beauty missteps- please share yours as well.

1. Coconut Oil: This beauty cure all has received a lot of hype lately. Hype I gladly bought into. However, after about six months of using the stuff religiously I can safely say the hype is unwarranted. It doesn’t do anything for dry skin or hair. I put coconut oil on after a shower, go to bed and wake up with ashy legs. Seriously. As a matter of fact, I actually find the stuff to be quite drying… even when used liberally.

2. Mac “Freckletone Lipstick: For some reason MAC’s “Freckletone” appears on quite a few “Lipsticks every black woman should own” lists. I fell for the hype and purchased this color from Nordstrom’s online. The shade looked iffy to me, even though sistas like Beyonce and Fantasia are rumored to wear it. I should have listened to my gut because when it arrived and I put it on, I looked like a damn fool. Even with lip liner I looked ridiculous. Sure, I could have “worked” with the color, tweaking it to match my skin tone, but for $15, it needs to be rockin’ straight out the box for me. This shade is the mother of all fails. Stay away from it… far, far away.

3. Flexitol Heel Balm: Now, I don’t have busted feet like those shown on the box for this foot cream. However, I was attracted to the great reviews this cream has received from those just looking to keep their feet well groomed and moisturized. However, after using this cream I have found it to not be worth the $12-$15 you are likely to pay for it. The soles of our feet are one of the hardest places to moisturize on the human body and this cream, like most, does a terrible job. At this point I have actually given up on finding a good moisture cream for my feet.

Feel free to add on, ladies.

Must you Love or Hate Natural Hair?

Must you Love or Hate Natural Hair

He said: “For natural hair to look good, it has to be perfect. Even if one hair is out of place it can make it look nappy.”

I would say I was disappointed, but as a woman with natural hair, the things I hear on a week-to-week basis don’t even surprise me anymore. Why does it seem like either people love your natural hair or hate it? Is there no in between?

Love: I’m at an open mic event and three guys compliment my hair saying, “I really love your natural.” One even wanted to touch my curls (kind of weird).

Hate: Over the Christmas break I visit my sister (whom I haven’t seen in months) and her first expression upon seeing my 3-day-old, desperate for moisture pompadour is “Dang, your hair is nappy!”

Love: On my way into Caribou coffee, a girl almost runs me down with her car trying to get my attention to tell me how much she loves my hair, ask me how I did it, and if I think it’ll look good on her.

Hate: Upon seeing my cousin Christmas Day (who, I must point out, I just saw on Thanksgiving) he looks at my hair funny and asks, “What, are you growing dreads?” To answer that for you, my sistas, no I am not.

I honestly never know what I’m going to get anymore but I’ve learned to prepare myself for any and all comments, especially from my family. The funniest thing is, more than when I had relaxed hair, people seem so eager to give me praise or ridicule about my natural hairstyle as if I asked for their opinion!

I digress.

Back to the opening comment, why does natural hair have to be “perfect” to look good? Why is looking nappy a bad thing? Why if I were growing dreads did the idea need to be met with a stank face? What is it about this kinky, coarse thick hair that upsets people so?

Perhaps it’s because of its versatility possessing the ability to look wild and sassy with free flowing curls, transform into an elegant, chic bun with a twist and a hair pin, or still make its wearer the baddest chick in the room even when it’s low cut and barely there?

Or maybe it has to do with its unique texture that easily absorbs moisture and maintains its fabulous style where others might frizz, poof, or shrivel up in the face of humidity?

My guess is because of the freedom it provides as so many women embrace what makes them unique and dare to go against the norm and what society deems as beautiful and rock their God-given locks the way God gave them.

Although this “trend” of natural hair is on the rise, it’s not as prominent as relaxers and weaves. This fluctuates depending on where you reside, but for every one natural girl, you’re bound to see three “long hair, don’t care” natural-is-just-too-much-work girls.

And this is all well and dandy, but just because there is more of something doesn’t make it better than.

My natural is not perfect because I am not perfect, but that doesn’t take away its beauty. Contrary to what some may think, kinky is gorgeous, nappy is beautiful, and one hair out of place, just like one perspective, doesn’t take away from the overall attractiveness of my crown and glory. Love it, hate it or be in between.

Service is her passion, writing is her platform, women and the Black Community are her avenues. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Marks aspires to help make a difference in society through the messages in her writings. She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Check her out at:

Have You Tried BB Crèmes?


The BB Crème craze that started in the Orient and slowly made its way to Europe and the U.S., still shows no signs of slowing down. However, if you are a black woman and wanted to try these creams you were pretty much out of luck… until now.

Supermodel Iman recently launched her line of BB Crèmes and so far they are getting great reviews.

BB Crèmes even out your skin tone and don’t leave you looking or feeling like you have a face full of foundation on.

I recently sprung for my own tube in Earth Medium and to my surprise, it looks just as good on my daughter as it does on me, even though our skin tones are vastly different.

Unlike foundation, BB Crèmes don’t have to be an exact match and adjust themselves to match the color of the user.

Iman’s BB Crème comes in six shades, include an SPF of 15 and are paraben-free.

Check out the simple instructional video below, as well as other reviews from You Tube users.