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Stay In Your Lane

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In a digital driven society, we find ourselves spending a great amount of time surfings the web, particularly social media. As it keeps evolving, social media has become an integral part of our lives that can often lead us to various expressions of self-validation. Sometimes those posts give us a false reality of a person’s life just because they’ve “highlighted” an accomplishment of their life. So what happens when we start seeing the posts?

Scenario Time
If Layla, for example, landed an internship with a top law firm in the country she’ll get 2,002 likes. Meanwhile, if Ebony secured a full time job before her final semester during her undergrad degree, she’ll get 3,500 likes. Racquel, from high school, is married an just brought her dream home with a baby on the way, she’ll get 5,000 likes.

After reading the posts and viewing the pictures, you may like, comment, retweet, or even share the post. But what happens after that? One of the most natural things may occur, because you’re human, and you’re formulating comparisons. You’ll find yourself comparing your accomplishments and downfalls to Layla’s, Ebony’s, Raquel’s, etc. Theodore Roosevelt once said, comparison is the thief of joy and he was right.”

Comparison can be good, at times, and can be a means of motivation, though it will still affect your joy. Whether you’re comparing your accomplishments to someone else’s downfalls, that feeling of joy can fade away because you’re reminded of someone else’s success. Don’t fret, it is a perfectly normal thing but it is not healthy, yet it is avoidable. At the end of the day, your race is your race.

Everyone does not have the same tools too achieve and navigate through certain things as the next person. One of the main hacks of social media is to showcase your most positive attributes to show this “perfect” persona. No, I’m not saying it is a problem to promote and advertise your success, because I am guilty of it too. I’m saying just because you see someone promote their good news doesn’t mean it is validating your own news and journey. You never know what a person had to endure to get certain things or achieve certain accomplishments. Just like everyone doesn’t know what you have to endure to achieve your accomplishments. Your accomplishments are your accomplishments. Continue to like, comment, retweet, and share other people’s accomplishments as well as posting yours. Be secure in yourself, your work, and your accomplishments. There’s no need to compare your accomplishments, downfalls, or life in general to anyone, especially based off of their social media.

Stay in your lane, the victory lap will soon come.

“Is Your Money Moves Really Making Moves?”

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As the semester comes to an end and student organizations are having their end of the year celebrations, you may ask yourself, “how can I be more involved in this organization or even on this campus.”

Without being involved in organizations on your campus, you may feel left out off the social atmosphere of your campus. It’s not mandatory to be a part of organizations when you’re in college, but involvement could really help enhance your collegiate experience.

Just like high school, college campuses offer so many different organizations, that can range from similar interests, hobbies, identities and majors. 

Looking for an organization to join, may be a tough decision. Some organizations may be free and while others will require you to pay dues. Before paying dues for an organization, attend a few meetings and events that respective organization is hosting before making a personal and financial commitment. While I know a college student’s bank account isn’t always the healthiest, it is okay to be a dues-paid member for certain organizations. There are some organizations who host events and provide opportunities just for their due paid members, such as mini-career fairs or even networking seminars with career officials who could potentially hire them as an intern of full time after graduation.

Yes, student organizations could be considered just “social,” but they also play a huge role in creating various opportunities for students. Some students may get the opportunity to develop more leadership and communication skills, and even the chance to strengthen their work ethic individually or with a group. Those organizations can serve as an additional bridge for a student to make friends, especially at a large university.

One of the hidden gems in college is that about 80% of college is networking and the other 20% consists of course work. Take advantage of the mini bridges of networkings by joining student organizations, you’ll never know the endless opportunities your membership can bring by getting involved.

10 Spring Looks To Watch Out For

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I don’t know about everyone, but we are ready to kick off the Uggs and slide into flip flops. The big jackets, layering of clothes and bundling up is just not cutting it in April. We are ready to dive right into the warm weather and fun activities.

Here are a few looks that will be trending this Spring:

Color Blocking

Neutrals

Neons

Polka-dots

Pale Blue

Fishnets

Bike Shorts

Crochet

Mixed Patterns

Metallic Plaid

#BeyhiveHomecoming

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It wouldn’t be Beyonce, if she didn’t do everything without style and grace.

Today, the “Irreplaceable” singer launched her brand-new, highly anticipated, 2-hour project Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce, a Netflix documentary that goes behind the scene of her iconic 2018 Coachella performance. However, that’s not all. She also surprised us with Homecoming: The Live Album.

Coachella 2018

The album displays 40 of her live tracks throughout the years. As performed at Coachella, she shared fan-favorites like “Drunk In Love”, “Formation”, “Get Me Bodied” and “Single Ladies”. Among the other songs to appear on her live project, Blue Ivy makes her debut appearance with Queen B with “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “Before I Let Go”.

Mrs. Carter is known for her sporadic movement in the industry. This isn’t the first time she surprised us with a new album.

Kylie’s “Lip Kit” Inspired Adidas Collab

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Is there anything that Kylie Jenner can’t touch and make millions off of it? I think not. The 20 year-old millionaire has made a fortune off of Kylie Cosmetics, Kendall + Kylie Collection, PacSun clothing line and others in the span of three years.

Jenner will be introducing a new streetwear collaboration with Adidas. Couple days ago, she posted on her Instagram Story, a sneak peak of the primal colorway for the new collection.

As she designed the Reveal Your Voice Collection, Jenner used some of her very own colors from her lip kits as inspiration for the partnership. Her favorite color, Shady, lavender-blue matte, will be the essential color for most of the pieces. The rest of the collection comes in complementary colors such as sky blue, white and black.

You can check out the lavender color palette collection on Adidas along with an assortment of her Falcon shoe and other streetwear items. What is next for the millionaire? We can only wait to see what she has up her sleeve.

How To Deal With Death

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People come and go. But, in all actuality, we must all go one day. However, no one wants to hear that. Especially when it comes to a loved on or close friend.

You can read books, write poetry, or even find a hobby that can help during the grieving process. Should that work? That’s up to you and your interests. Losing someone is like a roller coaster. You’re with them when their sick. Then, you hit to that middle stage when they’re getting really sick and can’t do anything to help them. Next, you’re going downhill to make the few moments last.

It’s scary, complicated, heartbreaking and a bit confusing. Whether it’s a spouse, parent, best friend or pet; it’s never easy losing someone. The entire experience is very much of an impact and filled with lessons that you didn’t know before. Think of it like a cut. You have the first few weeks where it’s going to hurt. Then, with time, you begin to heal.

Grief is something that is often overlooked. Some people morn by being silent, removing themselves from people and simply sticking to themselves. Others, act as if nothing is wrong, cheerful and put up a front. Regardless of how you cope with losing someone, I have learned that it’s always best to express yourself that works for YOU.

Below, are just a few helpful tips to help you deal with the lose of your loved one.

  1. LET IT OUT: You don’t have to be a #hardass all of the time. It’s okay to let lose and let your emotions go. Don’t fight it. If you keep it all bottled up, it will eventually come out; either negatively or positively. It’s normal to cry. We’re human.
  2. TALK IT OUT: Now is the time to turn to someone close that you can confide in. Do you have someone to talk to you? If not, speak to a therapist. It may be uncomfortable at first because you’re sharing so much with someone that you just met. But, it can be very therapeutic.
  3. GRIEF TO YOUR OWN TIME: There is no amount of time that you should take to get over the lose of your loved one. Whether it takes months, years or you may never get over it; that’s okay. Don’t rush the process because you think you should’ve moved past it.
  4. THINK AHEAD: Just because you lost someone, doesn’t mean you have to forget about them. Put them first with everything that you do. Are you feeling stuck or unmotivated? Use them as a driving force to push yourself to do better and to make them proud. It’s harder to feel like you let them down than making them proud of your accomplishments.

Missy Elliott Receives Honorary Doctorate

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The “Get Your Freak On” artist never seems to amaze us. From chart topping songs, movie cameos and business ventures, Elliott does it all.

This May, she will become the first female hip-hop artist to receive an honorary Doctorate of Music from Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Along with Justin Timberlake and Alex Lacamoire, she will be alongside the “fellas” at the college’s upcoming commencement.

Boston Berklee College of Music

As humbled as she can be, Elliott is eager and thrilled to receive this honor based upon the years devoted to being in the industry. Now it’s her time to add to her on going accolades by being a female artist.

Berklee College announced that its recipients are being “recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring global impact.” Past recipients include Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson.

Beyonce & Jay Z: On The Run To Awards

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There is nothing that Beyonce and Jay Z can’t do for them to be fully recognized as powerhouse performers.

On March 28th, the hip-hop couple will be awarded the Vanguard Award at the 30th annual LGBTQ ceremony in Los Angeles, CA. Women entertainers such as Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Demi Lavato have been rewarded in the past.

The recognition is given yearly, in celebration to members of the entertainment community who does not identify as LGBTQ but who has made an impact in promoting equal rights.

The global icons have expressed themselves several times for all things that promote the well being of individuals. They are passionate and interested in human rights and acceptance. They are an inspiration to people all over the world by their music, craft and self awareness.

Rih’s Nephew Gets An Earful

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There’s no question that Rihanna will be dropping new music. When? We are not sure. Everyone has been on top of Rih’s social media platforms to see if she may slip up and give us a little teaser; to the beat, or lyrics, and she has not.

However, her nephew gets an earful before the singer drops any tunes. Yesterday, she shared a picture of her assistant, Jennifer Rosales with her son Aaron in the studio with headphones on.

It’s been nearly a year for her upcoming album, without any actual confirmation from the Rehab singer. There has been several rumors circulating about her making two albums – one dancehall and one pop.

In July, when asked about her future, Rolling Stones unveiled that she is “exploring her Caribbean roots” while working with some of the biggest names in dancehall and reggae. With her endless grind, she has obtained 500 records for this project with an assortment of writers and producers.

There has also been speculation that the entire country of Jamaica is preparing for her albums. There are several artists, producers and songwriters that has little snippets of publishing content.

Starbucks & 7 Rings: Wild & Fluffy

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Ariana Grande has released the new Cloud Macchiato, added to the Starbucks menu across the country. She is now the new face for the drink; but can we blame her?

Grande is all about being creative, outspoken and all things pink. The drink is named after her perfume and some of her favorite things such as cloud emojis, sugar and caffeine. Can we now see the similarities between the pop artist and the newly fluffy drink? I think so.

Iced Cloud Macchiato

The multi-billion dollar company is in need of a re-branding after their stunt couple months ago. They are now gearing their products to young consumers while maintaining their sweet drinks and snacks. College students function on coffee. They use it as a form of energy and way to move around.

The Iced Cloud Macchiato is like a burst of sweetness. The drink is available in caramel and cinnamon flavors and can be served hot or cold. It is also replaced by regular liquid milk with Starbucks’ trademarked Cold Foam. Some have said that it’s like a cloud in a cup. Unlike there other drinks, this will be a permanent addition to their menu.

Many of Grande’s fans are taken back by the partnership with Starbucks, but she’s been completely open about her coffee obsession. This will not stand in the way in the new meaning of Grande. Her love for clouds is evident to the point in which she’s now doing business ventures such as perfumes and corporate companies.

Mercury’s March Retrograde – Landing A Job

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Horoscopes are a way for everyone to try and feel as if they are unique and very much distinguished in the crazy-filled world. Often times people are hesitant to believing in what the stars have to say. On the other hand, there are people out there who don’t believe in horoscopes because of the similar characteristics among the signs and current credentials to be an astrologist.

Planet Mercury is known as the ruler for communication, thought processes and data. However, planetary retrogrades are subjected to be a time for everyone to take a step back from the areas to reflect. It’s a time for processing the past and not trying to force things.

On March 5th, Mercury entered the retrograde in the sign of Pisces, starting the first of this years’ three week period of crazy and inexplicable things going wrong at the office. A co-worker might jump out of their seat unexpected or someone might throw a stapler; it’s that type of retrograde. Mercury retrograde is a bad time to start new things, but the signs below may have better luck when finding a job.

  1. Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19): This may be a good time to give your tech gear and upgrade. Use this time to network and get back to what matters. Focus on specific messages for your social media presence. Make yourself marketable and promote your brand.
  2. Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18): Aquarians, you are in a good place to pursue your money moves within this retrograde. Your interest in earning more income can start you on a path for new career opportunities.
  3. Pisces (Feb 19 – March 20): It’s time to rework your public image and start thinking of your long term goals and aspirations. Be clear and communicative. People are not going to read your mind; let your expectations be known. Use your creative thinking to upgrade your life.
  4. Taurus (April 20 – May 20): Taureans are in a special place to take advantage of your work space. Use your skills to reach out, put yourself out there and connect.
  5. Cancer (June 21 – July 22): Expansion is a theme for Cancer at this time. Rather than looking for a new job, start your own business. This is your team to dream as big as you can be. Put the steps in motion and take the steps forward.
  6. Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 21): This retrograde period may help you come full circle and reconnect with a dream that you’ve been abandoning for some time now. Now is the time to merge the past into the future.

Side Hustles & School Life

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When going away to college, your main focus is studying and getting through the 4 years as soon as possible. However, we are prone to get distracted due to the collegiate environment, organization interests and getting lit. But, what we don’t often think about are the means of cash flow. Are you parents giving you a weekly or monthly allowance? Are you going to get a job to have extra money on the side? These are questions we tend to ask ourselves a few weeks into undergrad.

College is your stomping ground. Having side hustles while being in school can be looked at as a great skill to obtain. It may help you within your major, or even help you master qualities you didn’t know you had. Finding a side hustle can be easier than you think. From writing papers, to being a DJ, to even becoming a self taught chef, the hustles are endless.

Below you will find some ways to increase your bank account, while finding the right hustle for you.

  1. Makeup Artist: Do you like to beat your face every weekend to go out with your friends? Do you like splurging at Sephora or MAC every time you’re at the mall? Here’s your chance to be a self taught artist! Use your friends as mannequins and test on them. You can develop your craft for colors, blending and perfecting the perfect brow by simply using your resources right under your nose. This can potentially turn into a hobby after graduation for some extra cash or even go on to do celebrity beats.
  2. DJ: Are you into different types of music? Do you like mixing and scratching? Put your fingers to the test. You can become a DJ while being booked for your school events. Organizations and clubs at other institutions can get a hold of you and start booking you for their events. You’re networking and making a name for yourself while doing something that you never thought of. Who knows, if this is something that you master, you can move on to being on the radio or traveling.
  3. Paper Person: Love to write? Have a knack for creating stories? You can start writing student papers. You can charge by the paragraph or page. Do you have to do extensive research? Add to the price. Earn a buck while doing something that takes you hours. You can also do resumes, cover letters and personal statements for more experience. Become in-tuned with your career development center and apply it.
  4. On-Campus Chef: Are you a foodie? Do you like cook? Here’s your chance to test out your culinary skills. Acquire signature dishes that you can make in your sleep. Advertise to your peers in the dorms, at programs or even on social media. Build your clientele. Before you know it, you’re catering for your school.
  5. Graphic Designer: Do you have a keen eye for detail? Do you think your artwork is relatable? Put yourself out there. Help entrepreneurs with their brand by bringing their visions to life. Play around with layouts and colors. Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. Watch tutorials. Paint the town with your graphics.
  6. Tutor: Are you living in the library? Do you hide behind books? You might as well earn a few bucks while being a nerd. Hey, I didn’t mean it like that. Is every subject your favorite? Do you only like Math and Science? That’s fine. Request to be a tutor in different departments on campus. You can tutor your peers or even branch off of campus. Who said book worms can’t have fun?
  7. Hairstylist: Are you always switching up your style? Can you never decide on a hair color? Are your friends always running to you to braid or wash their hair? Why not give hair a try? Like I mentioned before, use your friends to your advantage. Practice on them. See what works and doesn’t. Before you know it, you’re having people in and out of your chair. From weaves, to natural hair, you’ll be able to do it all.
  8. Blogging: Are you a writer? Like to write creatively? Why not tell your collegiate experience? You can create a fan base. Promote yourself and your brand. Open yourself up to advertisers. You can receive a check by simply having people read your content. You can use your college campus as a tool for more readers.
  9. Photographer: Do you find yourself taking pictures just for the fun of it? Turn those prints into paychecks. You can set up different pricing for your peers, depending on the type of shoot. Reach out to organizations in case anyone needs a photographer. Along with entertainment groups for parties. Let’s not forget about birthdays and graduations. Cha-ching!
  10. Start Your Brand: What is it that interests you? Are you into fashion? Create your own clothing line. Advertise it to your student body. See how they react to your product. Branch out to other campuses if it goes well. Are you into music? Is your institution talented? Seek out talent. Do your research on management, consultant or even if you’re the artist.

College is the place for you to figure out what it is exactly you like to do. Waiting until you graduate can sometime become problematic if you’re not applying yourself. Do internships, gain experience and learn from your mistakes. If something doesn’t interest you, move on. Don’t waste your time struggling. Get those side hustles in while you can.

The Celebrity Stylist Rundown.

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Without the help of their stylist, celebrities like Cardi B, Beyoncé, and Kendell Jenner probably would not be the style icons they are today. In 2016 Beyoncé received the CFDA Fashion Icon award honoring her effortless style throughout the years and her ability to create memorable looks that we all would’ve liked to recreate; like who hasn’t tried to mimic that iconic Crazy In Love intro look with a 20 something Beyoncé in a white shimmery tank top, blue booty shorts, and red pumps. Although, considered a Fashion Icon, Queen B’s style was not developed overnight, for twenty plus years by her side was Ty Hunter (@tytryone), her very own personal stylist who helped tap into her love for fashion and ability to turn looks.

Behind every fashionable celebrity is their stylist(s) from Rihanna being backed by Jahleel Weaver to the icon Céline Dion draped in the influence of Law Roach, there is almost always a quiet powerhouse backing them because as we all know it takes a village. We’ve seen Kollin Carter turn the Bronx native Cardi B from Fashion Nova baddie into a Cinderella fairytale in Christian Siriano at Rihanna’s 2017 Diamond Ball.

Jahleel Weaver (@illjahjah)

Jahleel Weaver the man behind the bad gal, is not only Rihanna’s stylist but the Junior Creative Director of all things Fenty clothing and accessory. The New Yorker has been able to help maintain the image of the Barbados born singer as we know her today; Edgy, Innovative, and Trendsetting.

Remember when Rihanna was the first to be seen in that crystal Gucci bodysuit and mask in 2017 at Coachella or those YSL boots that Rih snagged Phresh off the Runway?? Well, we do and shortly after, 2017 became the year of the Gucci crystal bodysuit and YSL slouch boot thanks to Jahleel and Badgalriri’s influence.  

Law Roach (@luxurylaw)

Law is a stylist for the likes of Céline Dion, Ariana Grande, Zendaya, Tiffany Haddish, Mary J. Blige, and the list goes on. The Chicago native has built himself from the ground up and stays booked and busy as a judge on America’s Next Top Model and as Co-Creative Director for Daya by Zendaya. Throughout his career Law has been able to turn his clients into adored Fashion Icons; He has worked Zendaya since she has been a Nickelodeon actor and from there he has helped her blossom into the newset youngest face for Lancome’s newest campaign and snagging her a collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger.

Marni Senofonte (@marnixmarni)

Marni Senofonte in her own right is a style icon among fashionable Millennials and is a no-holds-bard all out kind of girl; she is known for her rule-breaking fashion that has landed her a collaboration with Mattel to curate looks for a line of Barbies modeled after her aesthetic. As one of Beyoncé’s three stylists, Marni is responsible for plenty of the looks we saw during Beyonce’s Lemonade era including the Formation World Tour. Marni was also the mastermind behind Beychella where she commissioned Balmain’s Creative Director Oliver Rousting to create Beyoncé and all 100 of her dancer’s custom looks for Coachella. Prior to Beyoncé, Marni has worked with Kelly Rowland and is currently helping Kendall Jenner take over the world one look at a time.


Kollin Carter (@kollincarter)

Kollin Carter, stylist to Cardi B and apprentice of Law Roach is responsible for debatably one of the best glo ups in the rap game ever. Kollin has turned just a regular, degular, schmegular girl from the Bronx into fashion’s newly adored rap girl. When he isn’t busy pulling from the Mugler Archives for Cardi, Kollin is busy assisting the rapper in designing her Fashion Nova collection that has previously sold out in a matter of a few hours. We all love the story of an underdog rising to the top and the paring of Kollin and Cardi is one of those memorable moments in fashion and pop culture that we adore.


Zerina Akers (@zerinaakers)

Moving her way up in the fashion industry from being an intern at W Magazine to being a stylist for one of the biggest names in the industry, Zerina Akers has used her knowledge from LIM Business College to excel and create memorable moments in pop culture. Along with Marni Senofonte, Zerina was one of the pivotal stylists for Beyonce’s Lemonade and since then has been dawned Wardrobe Curator for Queen Bey. Because of her close work with Beyonce, she has been able to snag the developing duo Chole x Halle who is signed to Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment. Zerina’s other notable works are from her styling direction for The Carters Ape Sh*t video where she has Beyonce decked out in custom head-to-toe MCM, Versace, and Burberry by Ricardo Tisci. Her styling powers are simply just un-matched and I think we all strive to be a little like Zerina.

Trademark Frenzy

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kardashian christmas

When starting a business or organization, it is always important to trademark your brand. You’ve spent a lot of time putting things into place, coming up with different ideas and working towards making your business flourish; that you wouldn’t want go to waste.

The Kardashian clan has taken the word “trademark” to another level by trademarking their children’s name. The youngest members of the family are beginning to step into the family business; one toddler at a time. But, this isn’t a surprise.

Sisters, Kim, Khloe and Kylie, have moved forward to file official court documents ensuring that their children’s names are trademarked. Rob and Kourtney Kardashian were excluded from all legal paperwork.

If the courthouse approves their request, the Kardashian-Jenner sisters can legally create brands in the names of their babies. Despite their parents noble presence within the entertainment industry, pave the way for these baby-prenuers.

Let’s not forget the brains of the bunch, Kylie. Couple months ago, Kylie dropped one of her biggest collection, Storm, capitalizing off of her daughter. She’s setting the way for her babygirl to have a name for herself before she can say her first words. But, can we blame Kylie? I don’t think so.

This family knows how to market and sell their Kardashian brand across the world. So why not start at an early age?

The Mugler Moments

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In recent weeks, we have seen the archives of French Fashion Designer Thierry Mugler put on full display upon some of the most notable women in pop culture today such as Cardi B and Kim Kardashian West. Mugler has always been one to push boundaries and cause a stir amongst the fashion industry and he has lent some of his most precious pieces to women who mirror what he has done in terms of breaking all of the rules. On Sunday, Cardi posted a video to her Instagram personally thanking the designer and explaining to everyone the rarity of getting your hands on a vintage Mugler piece.

In November of 2018, Rita Ora graced the red carpet for the Evening Standard Theatre Awards in London in a 1997 Spring/Summer Couture pale pink satin gown embellished with feathers around the bodice.

February 8th, 2019, Kim Kardashian West was spotted in New York City rocking a full-length sequin vintage snakeskin Mugler piece from 1983 paired with velvet Yeezy boots.

Days later February 10th, Cardi B was bitten by the Mugler love bug and arrived draped in the finest archival Mugler moments the entire evening for her special Grammy Night. Cardi walked the red carpet in a 1995 Fall Couture piece inspired after the Sandro Botticelli painting ‘The Birth of Venus’. Later that evening Cardi performed in a sheer leopard print bodysuit from the same 1995 Fall Couture show with jewels at her chest and waist as well as an attachable piece that she kept from the original runway look. When the time came for Cardi to snag her Grammy award she wore an all-white fringe piece from the 1997 Spring Couture collection; we all can agree that Cardi had a very magical evening.

February 17th Kim K attended the Hollywood Beauty Awards in a very sexy 1998 Spring/Summer Haute Couture cutout dress that sent shockwaves across the internet. Kim and her family are no stranger to rocking vintage pieces from the likes of Dior, Chanel, and Gucci just to name a few.  

In the past, we’ve seen Beyonce be one of the only female celebrities to consistently pull from the Mugler Archives for projects such as I am Sasha Fierce and her Mrs. Carter World Tour Promo; so it’s exciting to see this resurgence of Mugler Haute Couture. In theory, Mr. Mugler is becoming friendly with accessing the archives these days because he will have an exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) titled Thierry Mugler Couturissime. The exhibit features more than 140 outfits made between 1973 and 2001 and will be on display from March 2, 2019, to September 8, 2019.

Boss Girl Gardiner

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Krystyn Gardiner is the definition of a boss. Gardiner is the owner of Paintistry by Krystyn, LLC which offers makeup (semi-permanet) and brow grooming services in Houston, Texas. She is originally from Beaumont, Texas, which is about an hour away from Houston. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development & Family Sciences and Health Informatics & Health Information Technology from the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Master’s of Business Administration and Supply Chain Management Certification from the University of Texas at Tyler. She is currently completing her Master of Science in Cosmetic Science from the University of Cincinnati.

While Gardiner’s educational background is impressive, so is her craft and skills. Gardiner began her freelance artistry services around 2014 at the age of twenty-four. With the help of determination and a strong support system, it didn’t take long for Gardiner to start up her business! Her overall goal is to expand her brand into a “well-known and functioning” company before starting her other ventures.

Gardiner’s business does not only caters to those who can afford her services. Gardiner’s business plays an encouraging role in her community by her offering free makeovers to deserving students and volunteering at events that are offered in the community to uplift entrepreneurship, networking, and students. While Gardiner is excelling with her artistry, she is also working on projects that will benefit local women seeking to accomplish their own goals. Gardiner advises future entrepreneurs to “just do it.”

“Success isn’t overnight so you have to truly want it,” Gardiner said. “There’s going to be a time where the business takes off and you’ll need to be prepared when it does.”

Appreciating Animation

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Animated films are always a great source of entertainment that provides a myriad of choices in telling a story through a visual medium. However, it seems that many of the newer animation films out there don’t get the credit they deserve because they are being squeezed out by animation heavyweights like Disney/Pixar, Illumination and DreamWorks. One example of this is the 2008 MGM animated film, Igor.

In a semi-modernized twist on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this movie centers on a hunchback lab assistant named Igor, played by John Cusack, who dreams of being an evil scientist. However, because he was born with a hunch on his back, he is stuck being a mistreated lab assistant to the worst evil scientist, Dr. Glickenstein, played by John Cleese. But, when Glickenstein’s latest invention goes awry and kills him, Igor gets his chance to enter his invention under the guise of it being Glickenstein’s. His invention is a monster that can win big at the “Evil Science Fair”.

However, the monster’s evil bone isn’t activated when she is brought to life and names herself Eva, after mispronouncing the word “evil”. Igor attempts to brainwash her but when the channel on her brainwash is changed to lessons in acting, he comes up with a new plan to make her evil, while the two accidentally fall in love in the process. A side plot to this movie is that the King of Malaria, the fictional country where the movie is set, lied to the citizens about mysterious storm clouds that have loomed over Malaria for ages in an attempt to make them evil.

This movie is one of the most underrated animated films and has taken a license on a story that would have never been realized. It should have received at least one award for its unique animation style and storytelling, but it went mostly unheard of. Another way to see how centered animation is would be based on who wins the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Last year it went to Coco, which was a joke compared to its competition. Other movies in the running for that category were; The Boss Baby from DreamWorks, The Breadwinner, Illumination’s Ferdinand, and Loving Vincent.

For those wondering, the obvious winner should have been “Loving Vincent” because it was the first film to be animated by using oil paintings in the style of Vincent Van Gogh. Not only does the style of animation make this film Oscar bait, but the story really does capture the viewer’s attention. The story of getting the final letter of artist Vincent van Gogh to his brother keeps viewers captivated by wondering what is the importance of this letter. This film was acclaimed for this and should have gotten some Academy Award based recognition for it.

However, when Coco won it was a huge slap in the face because for once there seemed to be a chance that Disney wouldn’t win that award. Years earlier, the Disney/Pixar film “Inside Out” won the award, beating out the emotionally thrilling Studio Ghibli film, “When Marnie Was There”, something that has brought a tear to the eyes of most people that see it.

Not many animated films seem to get the credit they so richly deserve but this hasn’t stopped them from winning. It has been a while since I have seen a Disney or Disney/Pixar movie that was worthy of an Oscar. The last one to me was the 2009 film, Up starring Ed Asner. Movies that have good stories should be recognized for their achievements but should remain, nominees, when faced with greater competition.

At the 2019 Oscars, I would like to see something that deserves to win do just that. While most people are probably rooting for “The Incredibles 2” or “Ralph Breaks the Internet”, I’m holding out for a hero. In this case the underdog, “Isle of Dogs” by Wes Anderson or any foreign animated films. Though Isle of Dogs is not an achievement in animation, it shows just how great the story-telling abilities of animators can be better than “The Incredibles 2” would. If “Isle of Dogs” doesn’t take home gold, I’ll hold out on the hope that Disney doesn’t win.

I’m Living In New York ..

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During my younger years, New York City was an icon to history. Buildings that housed opportunity-seeking immigrants stood proudly among the other buildings in the neighborhoods, and people were outside taking in the old styles. Now, it’s just a symbol of how far-reaching the effects of gentrification can be.

Those same tenement buildings are being knocked down for “luxury” apartments to go up until we can’t see what might be right behind it. Often times this can be an annoying problem with keeping the aesthetics of a neighborhood the same. However, this isn’t exactly a problem that anyone seems to be fighting for.

One example of this is 1 Manhattan Square, located at 227 Cherry Street and 250 South Street in Lower Manhattan. This building has come under a great deal of controversy from neighborhood residents because it is a staunch reminder of how gentrification can change the neighborhood. The building, located on the site of a former Pathmark, is a massive 56 stories tall with a new supermarket going in on the ground level. Now there is a 13-story portion that is dedicated to affordable housing.

However, this portion is not going to be a direct part of the main tower and will instead be located next to the main building. Many have considered this a “poor door” and has been viewed as a way of masking that the building must have some affordable housing. Along with this, the building doesn’t fit with where it’s situated, which is among housing projects and other apartment buildings.

New York City, among many other places, has been quick to dismiss gentrification as a means of improving the city. However, this, in fact, can create more problems than the city already has. Many people consider the idea of what the rising rent and mortgage prices of homes and apartments in New York City, not many consider what happens to the soul of the neighborhood.

The word soul is the one that many people attribute with this problem because it is a compilation of their memories, their experiences, good and bad, plus some of the best attributes a neighborhood can have. However, since the rise of gentrification in New York, as well as many other cities, across the country, this soul has been wiped out of the neighborhood. With ever glass tower, people no longer see the reflection of the good times they had in small tenement apartments or the games of hopscotch they would play on the sidewalk.

New York State’s motto has been, I Love New York for a long time, but now, whenever I look around New York City, that affirmation has become more of a question. Now, more than ever, I just look up and say, “And I Love New York?”

Vegan V-Day Treats

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Chocolates, teddy bears and champagne are always the most talked about go-to gifts for Valentine’s Day. We look forward to unwrapping that big box filled with an assortment of chocolates. From fillings to coverings, we want it all. However ladies, we live in the generation where everyone is worried about eating right and looking right.

We have created a list of Vegan Valentine’s Day treats that you and your loved ones can enjoy.

  1. Brach’s Jube Jel Cherry Hearts
  2. Ring Pop Cupid Packs
  3. Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates Dark Chocolate Truffle Assortment
  4. Peta Vegan Almond Butter Caramel Cups
  5. Sweet Pete’s Vegan Valentine’s Treat Tote Basket
  6. Rose City Chocolatier Chocolate Boxes
  7. Smarties Love Hearts Candy Rolls
  8. Chocolate To The Rescue Bar
  9. Peta Vegan Almond Butter Caramel Cups
  10. Skittles
  11. Swedish Fish
  12. Willy Wonka Sweetarts Hearts
  13. Trader Joe’s Belgain Dark Chocolate Non Pareils

Deodorant & Antiperspirant: Myths & Facts

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Although used hand-in-hand, there is a major difference between deodorant & antiperspirant. You’re probably thinking who cares; as long as I smell good but I’m here to give you the 411 on what’s what!

Deodorant includes various preparations or solutions that destroy or mask unpleasant odors. Often times, deodorants neutralize perspiration. Antiperspirant is a substance or preparation used to prevent or reduce perspiration.

Fun Fact: Antiperspirant doesn’t prevent odors. Instead, it blocks your sweat ducts with aluminum salts, thus reducing the amount of perspiration that is able to reach your skin.

Our bodies are naturally working to its best ability to intake the necessary minerals and nutrients to dispose of built up toxins and unwanted waste through our sweat glands and other routes of excretion. The release should be as free as the absorption.

Here are some types of sweat glands:

Aprocrine; which develops in association with hair follicles and opens to them less to do with sweat. (skin, eyelid, ear) on the skin, this includes armpits, groin, and nipples.

Eccrine; which opens ducts directly on the skin’s surface to regulate body temp. On the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, there’s something called a lymph node, where bean-shaped structures in the body’s immune system swell when exposed to bacteria and viruses.

Now let’s get back to what’s in antiperspirants. Antiperspirants include many things that are harmful to the body.

  • Aluminum (endocrine disruptor linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s)
  • Petrolatum (can be contaminated with carcinogenic toxins)
  • Talc (linked to cancer)
  • Parabens increase reproductive toxicity and disruption of developmental hormones. they mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells

Deodorant would be the best option because it doesn’t disrupt the free flow of release. it just neutralized the smell of your body odor.

By using an antiperspirant, not only are you stopping the toxins from being released but when an outlet is blocked, the bacteria have the ability to multiply and reroute to other areas in the body where they are Apocrine glands increasing the likeliness of cancer.

Thinking about trying a safer brand of deodorant? There are brands such as Eternile, Garner’s Garden, Nubian Heritage, Granny’s Natural, Nandi’s, Mycocreations and Smooth Village. These brands are safe and environmentally friendly.

Create your own deodorant? Here’s how.

Shea Butter 3 tbsp Coconut Oil 3 tbsp Baking Soda 3 tbsp Shea Butter
3 tbsp Cornstarch Powder or Arrowroot Powder (You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oils)

Sensitive Skins                     
3/4 cup Arrowroot
1/4 cup Baking Soda 4-6 tbsp Coconut Oil

Deodorant Spray                                                                                                            
1 1/4 cup 80 Proof Vodka 1/4 cup Sage Leaves 1/4 cup Thyme
1/4 cup Lavender Buds 1 peel Lemon/Lime

If you plan on adding any essential oils into your homemade deodorants try sage, lavender, tea tree, patchouli or lemongrass.

Be well, health is wealth.

The Luck of Feb

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#Girlpreneurs 2019 isn’t on its way or around the corner anymore. It’s here! Why not rally up some good energy to make sure that you’re starting the year off with your best foot forward? We’re in the second month in. Let’s make it count. There are countless New Year traditions that people do to bring blessings and good luck their way. Some may be doing a thorough clean up or sage-down of their homes. Others are putting together their vision boards or scrolling down their Instagram feed looking for a new diet to commit to. But, a common tradition to bring positive vibes your way, and also something that we all enjoy doing way too much anyway is eating!

One traditional New Year’s meal that shows up on dinner tables each year is the Southern-rooted black-eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread plate. For generations, grandmas everywhere have sworn by the phrase “peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold”— well at least mine has. And while this may just sound like another cute old lady saying, the grandmas may have been on to something with this recipe. Here’s why you might need this plate on your table this New Year:

Black-Eyed Peas:

This dish doesn’t just resemble coins, but they’re also meant to bring you some coins throughout the year. As the peas cook, they swell, and this process is meant to reflect growth and prosperity in your own life. Back in the day, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this Southern crop was considered food for the livestock. But, as time went on, people realized that they aren’t only filling, but they taste bomb too! This holiday, try making a black-eye pea soup or adding some rice to the dish to get your year started the right way.

Collard Greens:

If getting to the bag is one of your main goals this year, make sure you have a healthy serving of collard greens on your plate to get that good energy flowing! Green is the color of new life, renewal, nature, and obviously, money. You are what you eat, and I definitely wouldn’t mind looking like some money in 2019. Use a recipe that includes smoked turkey necks or a big ole ham hock to add that classic Southern flavor.

Cornbread:

Okay, so when you go in for the first slice of warm, fluffy cornbread, playing “Golden” by Jill Scott is an absolute must. This final addition is said to bless your year, your pockets, and your aura with a continuous glow because of the way that it rises when cooked and its rich golden color. As you make this addition to your New Year plate, you can officially declare 2019 “The Glow Up Year”. To add an extra savory Southern taste, use bacon bits throughout your soft, flaky pan of gold.

Remember #Girlpreneurs, these are traditional dishes meant to symbolize the blessing that you want to bring to yourself in the New Year, not magic spells. Good eats are only a small part of being prepared for success. Stay focused, be persistent, and always make sure you’re doing things to protect your positive energy!

Phone A Friend: Toxic Relationship

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Don’t Help.

We’ve all had a friend who’s been in a toxic relationship. You can spot the fumes of a disaster from a mile away. Since you’re their closest friend, you believe it’s your job to throw that “S” on your chest and save the day. All your focus goes into saving your friend. You want them to experience true happiness and you know it isn’t in who they are with.

So, you pick at their significant other, threaten them, distance yourself, argue with your friend, give them endless speeches, yet nothing gets them to leave that person. So what do you do? NOTHING! Leaving a toxic relationship is like getting over a drug addiction. But,they need that high.

The high of being with someone. Thinking it’s love. Better than being alone. It just makes sense to stay addicted. Getting your friend to stop takes a lot of time, patience, and strength; something your friend lacks. You’re getting whiplash from watching them run back and forth between freedom and destruction

I understand it may break your heart watching from a distance as your friend’s life crumbles from this relationship, but it is not your job to help them. As much as you want to drag your friend, your sister, or your brother, out of that relationship it can’t be done by you. If they can’t see there is something better for themselves there is nothing you can do to help them see.

Unlike Bird Box, forcing their eyes open will not help them see the beauty in the ugly monster that they are with. Whatever higher power they believe in is the only thing that can save them. Their strength comes from within and above. Whatever their above might be; however, you are not it.

Love Them.

As J. Cole once said, “Don’t save her, cause she don’t wanna be saved.” But he forgot to add “only she can save herself.” And that’s the truth. Be patient with your friend. Understand that venting is not asking for a solution but lending an ear to listen. Realize that she needs support and not more abuse.

They will remember that more than the arguments you both have over that toxic person. When they are finally fed up and ready to leave and have gathered enough real strength to make one of the biggest choices in their life (because venturing to the unfamiliar will scare anyone), they’ll thank you for all your love and support.

TGPG Playlist: Top 10 Of The Week

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The month is winding down ladies. Take a second, relax and listen to some of your favorites as you get through your busy week.

R.E.M – Ariana Grande

Good Form – Nicki Minaj

LMK – Kelela

Countin’ Up – Rico Nasty

Throw A Fit – Tinashe

Bickenhead – Cardi B

Yernin – Sevyn Streeter

Freak Nasty – Megan Thee Stallion

Blaxolitation –  Noname

Love Lies – Khalid & Normani

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