You know how they say magazines sell more issues based on which celeb is on the cover? Well, even though I know it’s true, I never paid a cover much mind, to be honest. I’m a magazine nut – and if the pages are filled with beauty, fashion and star style, I’m buying it – regardless of who is on the front.
But the September 2009 issue of Essence
is a rare exception. As soon as I spotted Gabrielle Union
, sporting an espresso bob with side-swept bangs for her 5th Essence cover, I snatched the mag off the shelf and made a beeline for the register.
“She was mad for her new look with the sexy bangs and shoulder-length cut,” recalls Beauty and Cover Director Mikki Taylor, who led the makeover team in creating this transformation.
When I brought the issue home, I showed Mr. Spoiled Pretty. “Isn’t her hair to-die, Graham?” I asked. To which he replied, “Um…isn’t that how you usually wear your hair when it’s down?” Well, yeah…I am pretty handy with the flat iron and this is the look I’m going for. But Gabrielle’s do is the gold standard, and my limited styling prowess has only achieved bronze status – at best.
But you best believe I’m going to tack this photo up and practice, practice, practice to perfect the look. Too bad there aren’t any products to help replicate Gabrielle’s flawless cocoa complexion and girl next door dimples.
The September 2009 issue of Essence is on newsstands now.
You know how Oprah gives away her favorite things? Well, of course you do – unless you’ve been living under a boulder. Anyway, this week, I’m giving away one of my favorite things…the Stamps ladies’ favorite things, actually (my maiden name is Stamps, by the by).
My sister, Lauren, is a huge fan of Zoya’s Color Lock System Kit. And as I write this, Mama Spoiled Pretty is sporting Zoya’s Renee on her tips and I’m rocking Paz on my toes. So without further ado, I present this week’s contest, sponsored by Zoya.
Three winners will receive Zoya’s Truth and Dare Collections.
Truth Collection (above): classic, bright and straightforward
Penny – copper gold metallic
Kalmia – rose copper metallic
Salma – scarlet red metallic
Isla – venetian red metallic
Anaka – fuchsia metallic glimmer
Drew – mauve rose metallic
Dare Collection: edgy, dark and mysterious
Vanessa – blue red cream
Ciara – burgundy plum cream
Demi – purple mauve cream
Pinta – inky violet cream
Envy – gleaming Jade green
Ibiza – gleaming Sapphire blue (with a little shimmer too)
To enter the giveaway, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address. The subject line should read “Zoya Truth and Dare Giveaway.” The contest ends at midnight (EST) on Sunday, August 16th. Three winners will be chosen at random from among the entrants. On Monday, August 17th, I’ll announce the winners’ names. Please, only one entry per person; duplicate entries will not increase your chances of winning. Contest is open to U.S. residents.
If you’re petite like me, you know the pain of returning from a day-long shopping excursion empty-handed because everything in your size is hideous. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why designers seem to think we shorties ought to dress like we’re six or sixty. Elastic-waisted jeans and tops fashioned out of doilies? No thank you.
Which is why I’m currently obsessed with Maggy London. I’m going through a phase where all I want to do is wear dresses, and Maggy London has some of the prettiest, petite-friendly styles around.
At Nordstrom two weeks ago, I tried on four Maggy London dresses and they all fit perfectly. I only had room in my budget for one, so I decided on this blue floral wrap dress because Mr. Spoiled Pretty said I looked “gorgeous” in it. Plus, it was on sale. Score!
So if any of my vertically challenged sisters are in the market for fashion-forward frocks made perfectly for your proportions, I highly suggest that you try Maggy London on for size.
Check me out in my Maggy London dress, tweeting it up at L’Occitane in NYC
A few months ago when our hand soap got low, I replaced them with some generic soap I bought at the drugstore. When he saw my purchase, Mr. Spoiled Pretty looked at me like I had two heads.
“What happened to the Bath & Body Works soap we always use? I like that stuff,” he said.
So, the next day, I swung by my local Bath & Body Works store (holler at the Liberty Place location) on my lunch break and picked up two bottles of their Anti-bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Japanese Chinese Blossom and Warm Vanilla Sugar.
Now that our stock is almost depleted again and it’s time for me to replenish the soap supply, Bath & Body Works fortuitously debuts a new line that I’m sure will satisfy my spoiled spouse.
American Grown is a collection of hand soaps and body gels inspired by great American destinations. Formulated with invigorating botanicals grown in the U.S., American Grown products condition, rejuvenate and stimulate the skin. Packaged in big, bold and colorful bottles, each hand soap and shower gel transports you to the American locale from which it draws its name.
In honor of my Libby, Montana-born/Spokane, Washington bred husband, I think I’ll add the Montana Sky and Washington Apple hand soaps to my shopping list. Products are also available in Napa Grape (we honeymooned there), Siesta Key Lemon and Savannah Mint scents. American Grown hand soaps retail for $6.60 and shower gels will set you back a mere $12.50.
Graham, you’re so vain…you probably think this blog post is about you.
What do you consider to be your best and worst features?
Too shy shy? Hush hush…eye to eye? I’ll go first:
Best: My saucer-sized peepers. I’ve been told by many beauty experts that my eyes were made for makeup. Is there a better compliment for a beauty blogger? I think not.
Worst: My tubby toes, an unfortunate genetic inheritance from Mama Spoiled Pretty. Ten years ago, a little girl I used to babysit informed me that my toes look like mini sausages. She was dead serious too. Every time I wear open-toed shoes, my self-confidence drops a couple of points. And I’ve spent years trying to figure out how to slim my fat phalanges.
Have you ever been walking down the street and seen hair weave just discarded on the sidewalk? I don’t know if this is something inherent to Philadelphia, or if there are rogue extensions littering the streets of America. But I just had to post these hilarious pics of weave remnants on the pavement near my apartment.
A few weeks ago while on a walk with Mr. Spoiled Pretty, we came across not one…not two…but three pieces of weave on the sidewalk. It was as if Hansel and Gretel left a trail of tracks so they could find their way back to the hair salon.
I’d love to know how these hair weaves end up homeless. Thoughts?