Hot Winter Hair Styles for the Cold Months

African Pride, the premium quality, affordably priced hair care line for women of color, served as proud official sponsor of the 2015 Soul Train Awards that aired nationwide on BET Networks’ Centric TV last month.  Viewers were treated to the most on-trend celebrity red carpet hairstyles and fashions exclusively with actress and model Eva Marcille hosting the Soul Train Awards Red Carpet Style Stage.  For our ladies who want to gear up for the holiday season in style, African Pride is pleased to share a variety of tips to achieve your most stylish holiday hair ever!

Let us know what looks you’ll be rocking this winter @dressforsuccess!

Fall Beauty Tips: Dry Skin is Never In!

 

There are a lot of beauty benefits to fall: avoiding the sweat that clogs our pores during the warmer months, a significant decrease in humidity, which leaves our hair gorgeous and flowing. However, as the weather cools down, women face seasonal beauty troubles that interrupt our daily routines. This month at Dress for Success, we are here to help you combat one of the most devious fall beauty culprits: dry skin.

This impending cold weather woe can easily become more irritating than trick-or-treaters who keep knocking long after you’ve turned your lights off. Cooler temperatures mean less moisture in the air. And as the temperature drops, so does the humidity that helps maintain our dewy summer complexion. While cooler air may be great for your blow out, it unfortunately drains the moisture from your skin, leaving it noticeably parched. Even normal habits we develop in the winter and fall, like drinking more coffee to combat the fatigue we feel from earlier sunsets, contribute to developing dry skin. In fact, too much caffeine is one of the greatest causes of dry skin. And those hotter showers you take to warm up from the morning frost? Hot water actually strips our skin of necessary oils to keep us hydrated.

Think you are about to spend the entire winter irritable and scratching away? The good news is that there are many ways we can keep our skin nourished during the colder months of the year.

  • The first step is to moisturize. Investing in a bottle of thick lotion moisturizer is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t be feeling itchy all day from flaky skin. Most retailers carry generic brands that cost only a few dollars and are large enough to last you until the spring. It’s easy to incorporate lathering up into your daily routine, start just by using your lotion right after your shower.

 

  • But remember what we told you about hot showers? Save some money on your heating utilities and stop taking them! Stick to warm showers and baths, which won’t remove the oils that keep your skin hydrated.

 

  • Also, you have probably learned from a young age that milk does the body good. In fact, the natural fats and lactic acid in milk can soften and exfoliate the dead skin cells which are making you itch. But don’t waste your money on expensive “milk-infused” spa products; one of our favorite tricks is to just add two cups of milk to a warm bath. This simple step hydrates your skin and gives you a relaxing spa experience right in your own home. Add a little music and what better way to relax and rejuvenate after a hard day’s work?

 

  • But, the ultimate secret to keep you itch free all winter? Drink more water. Water hydrates the body inside and out. Eight glasses of water a day will not only best prepare you to combat dry skin, but with those sips you are guaranteed to be keeping your body healthy and hydrated throughout all the cold months ahead.

Fall in Love with Your Hair!

Guest post from Beautiful Textures™ Celebrity Stylist Felicia Leatherwood 

It’s been said that fall is “a second spring where every leaf is a flower.”  Summer may be coming to an end, but fall is a season of promise and a great time to consider a new hair style to usher in the “second spring.”   Proper hair care and maintenance are essential to looking good and to maintaining overall hair health.  “Hair whisperer” and stylist to the stars Felicia Leatherwood is working with Beautiful Textures™ to offer up a variety of tips to ensure that your hair is at its best for the new season. Humidity? Not a problem. Sun exposure? Covered.  Dryness? Moisture is on tap, thanks to Beautiful Textures’ innovative hair care solutions for women with curly, kinky, coily or relaxed hair.

  1. Up the moisture, say good bye to dry. Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners to avoid breakage.
  2. Read labels and avoid hair products containing alcohol and other drying ingredients.
  3. Make timefor deep conditioning treatments. Despite the warmer temperatures of late summer and early fall, textured hair requires extra moisture at this time now more than ever.
  4. Be good to your ends, get regular trims and in between use products enriched with ingredients like jojoba oil.
  5. Protect, protect, protect. Limit use of heated hairstyling tools and if you must, use a leave-in conditioner for added protection.
  6. Take a break from regular shampooing to allow hair to absorb natural oils. When you do shampoo be sure to finish with a cool rinse to seal the hair cuticle.
  7. Consider a new approach to managing your hair texture. Try Beautiful Texture’s new Beautiful Textures Naturally Straight Texture Manageability System™. This allows you to manage your hair texture your way with a simple four-step process that can be done at home without harsh chemicals.
  8. Say goodbye to frizz and control your curls. Despite our best efforts, curly hair styles can easily become frizzy without the proper preparation. Consider lightweight curl products such as Beautiful Textures Curl Definer. 
  9. Shine, shine, shine. Whether it’s sunny or showering, hair should be shiny and glossy. Make dull locks shine with treatment aids that also promote growth. Try Beautiful Textures signature Shine & Silken Growth Oil.
  10. Stay hydrated – healthy hair begins from the inside. Drink plenty of water to promote healthy skin, hair and scalp.

Ted Gibson’s Guide to Job-Landing Locks!

Guest post by celebrity hair stylist, Ted Gibson

We all know that you need to “Dress for Success” for your interview to land the perfect job. Your appearance is super important, however, many women forget about one of the most important aspects of your look: HAIR!! One of my mantras is “Hair Changes Everything.” It really does! How your hair is styled for your interview can affect the interviewer’s perception of you. Here are my favorite hairstyles sure to make an excellent impression on any future boss!

Sleek Bun

Whether parted to the side, in the middle or with no part at all this classic style is perfect for your next job interview. It’s neat, clean and screams sophistication!

The Bob

First impressions are super important. You want your potential new boss to take you seriously and know that you are capable of taking on the job you are interviewing for. The bob is so versatile and there is a version for everyone! Whether cut just below the chin or a “lob” (long bob) grazing the shoulders, a bob says “I’m stylish, I care about my appearance and I mean business!”

Fresh Blowout

There’s nothing like a fresh blow-out! It’s such a clean and refreshing look – you absolutely cannot go wrong! I think it’s a great idea to get a fresh blowout before any job interview. Whether your hair is short or long, super curly or straight, a blowout can do wonders for your look! Here’s how to do a Gibson girl blowout at home!

  1.  First, you will need a good blow drying hair spray. You want to look  for sprays that say they will  add volume and shine and have a heat and UV protection. Spray this throughout your hair while wet.
  2. Next, the secret to the perfect blowout is to start with your fingers. Pull your fingers through your hair starting at the roots and shoot the heat at the roots while holding the hair taut. Get your hair about 75% drying using this method. Then, part your hair in your desired part.
  3. One of the biggest mistakes women make with their at-home blow dries is that their sections are too large, resulting in flat hair. When blow drying, you want to take 1 – 1 ½ inch sections.
  4. In the salon, most stylists blow dry hair using a  boar bristle and nylon round brush, however this requires practice and skill. If you are not comfortable using round brush, use a boar bristle and nylon paddle brush. The boar bristle in the brush gives hair great body and shine.  You never want to use a metal brush when blow drying your hair  – the metal heats up too fast and can burn and break your hair off. Take one section of hair, hold your dryer by the handle about 3 inches away from your head and blow dry while brushing with the paddle brush.
  5. Once your section is dry, curl the hair up in a Velcro roller. Do this to your entire head. Once you’re finished and the hair is cool, take out the rollers and lightly rake through your hair with your fingers. Turn your head upside down, shake it out a bit, and spray with a light, flexible holding spray. Flip your head up and you’ll find you’ve given yourself a salon quality blowout at home!

Ted Gibson is one of the most sought-after editorial, runway, and celebrity hair stylists in the business.  His work has appeared in publications such as VogueHarper’s BazaarElleMarie ClaireVanity FairPeople StyleWatchW, and Allure and backstage at runway shows such as Chanel, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana.  He is also a huge influence and presence at both Fall and Spring New York Fashion Week styling some of the top American fashion designer labels including Pamella Roland, Carmen Marc Valvo and Lela Rose.  Ted is perhaps most known for toiling over the tresses of top celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Debra Messing, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Greene, Lupita Nyong’o, Gabrielle Union and many more.

Tone Your Beauty Routine!

The days are becoming shorter, but somehow your sleep patterns are not getting any longer and by the time you finish at the office, make dinner, shower and pack lunch for the next day, it’s already later than you realized! If the winter is wearing your skin out, instead of simply piling on the make-up to cover up, try applying toner after washing your face for a refreshing addition to your beauty routine.

Once a part of most women’s make-up routines, toner has fallen by the wayside, but this Fall we are calling for a revival of the forgotten exfoliate. Toner can be applied to the face after cleansing and helps to remove excess oil and dead skin—not to mention that it also helps to shrink your pores and can even help prevent ingrown hairs. When you’re over-tired, your face may appear drawn and pale; toner improves the overall appearance of your skin’s tone, giving you an energized glow.

At work, this is especially important as your physical presentation actually influences whether or not people perceive you as qualified. If you walk out the door looking tired and disheveled, you may attract a few odd looks, but you may also be passed over for job opportunities.  Subconsciously, when you walk into a room, potential employers will immediately evaluate you on your “warmth” and “competence,” whether they will like you and/or respect you, simply based on your appearance.

If you look dazed and like your skin has seen better days, it could be misconstrued for incompetence and you could find yourself overlooked for that new position or the next promotion.  This is especially true if your job requires you to interact with the public. Here, your presence is reflective of the company as a whole and will play a large part in influencing clients’ or patrons’ opinions of your business and its credibility.

Simply adding a little toner to your morning beauty routine during the week is an easy way to give yourself a refreshed look and a quick boost of confidence. Finish with a little brightening moisturizer on top for a polished glow that will leave your skin and your body feeling hydrated and more awake.

Shake-up Your Make-up for Spring

We’ve all heard the phrase “less is more” when it comes to polishing a work appropriate look. And with warm weather finally arriving, the last thing you want to do is cover up, but that doesn’t mean your “9-5” beauty regime should only be confined to the nude and taupe family. Spring is the perfect time to shake up your routine and introduce some new colors to your palette.  And hey, Mother Nature is playing with some new hues, so it’s only polite to follow suit, right?

Easy on the eyes

Give your lids a subtle lift with a sweep of peach champagne or sheer gold shadow over top of a neutral earth tone. This will keep your look casual and office appropriate, but give you that extra boost of confidence during the morning meeting. For a liner, skip black and try a smoky grey, charcoal or khaki. Use the sponge tip to smudge the ends—this will give the eyes soft definition and a subtle wing without the bold, cat-eye effect.

Sun a little, bronze a little, blush a little

During the spring and summer months, nature does most of the work for us. Though many enjoy their new transformation in skin tone, it’s important to protect your skin against UVA/UVB rays. Nowadays, a lot of foundations have built in sunscreen and bronzers can also help provide that sun-kissed glow without the damage. To keep it professional, choose a bronzer that’s only a shade or so darker than your skin’s natural tone. You can add a seasonal touch with a berry-colored blush. Try using a large round brush and start at the base of the cheekbones and sweep upward. This time of year, you can get away with a sugar plum or a soft, shimmery pink to add some dimension and youthful color to your cheeks.

Let your lips do the talking

The lips are always a point of contention, especially when it comes to the workplace: do you go bold, nude or sheer? The answer can be all the above! Spring is a great excuse to go bright with a coral or rich tangerine color. And to balance it for office wear, pair it with a neutral eye. Try a light grey liner with a peachy brown shadow. Or switch it up with a sheer rose water gloss on the lips and a cool clover green and tan on the lids. As a rule of thumb, play up one feature and have the rest of your palate compliment the bolder hue.

When considering new looks and colors at work, tailor your choices to your environment. Is your company conservative? If you’re working at a bank, you may want to skip the Marilyn Monroe red lips, but if you’re in an artistic-driven industry, you may be able to show off your edge a little more. New to the office? Take cues from your co-workers. It takes a while to adjust to a different environment, but finding a way to express your own sense of style within those office walls can be the most liberating of all.

For some tips on how to apply your make-up, check out this past post from cosmetics queen Bobbi Brown herself!

 

Sunscreen & Skincare: Incorporate SPF into Your Beauty Regime!

 

Somewhere between Victorian parasols and 1980’s foil reflectors, tanning came back in style. I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened, but women went from shading their pristine complexions with dainty accessories to baking themselves with coconut oil under the hot summer sun. But today, more and more women are realizing that taking care of their health means taking care of their skin, and that sunscreen is the first step to a more beautiful complexion. That’s right. The skincare movement is back and it’s made sunscreen its top priority, because you simply can’t have one without the other.

As a nineties baby, I’ve come to experience the ongoing battle between wanting that perfect bronze glow and fearing the consequences of too much sun exposure first-hand. On family vacations, I would slather on the tanning oil and refuse to wear sun block much to the disapproval of my parents’ watchful eye. We may have been 20 degrees from the equator—home to the strongest UV rays on Earth—but, as far as I was concerned, I was even closer to the perfect sun-kissed skin tone.

Now, as a third-year college student, I still encounter that age-old question: To tan, or not to tan? And, in a world where tanning beds are chic and sunscreen is taboo (thanks, Jersey Shore!), it can be hard to choose the right answer. Thankfully, the cringe-worthy beauty mistakes of my teenage years managed to teach me at least one thing: sunscreen and skincare never go out of style. But don’t take my word for it. Medical experts and beauty gurus around the world are saying the exact same thing.

According to WebMD, applying sunscreen on a daily basis can help reduce your risk of skin cancer and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. In fact, a recent study found that young and middle-aged adults alike can actually slow down the process of aging by up to four and half years just by regularly using sunscreen! Best of all, sunscreen is a cheap alternative to expensive anti-wrinkle creams and it’s super easy to incorporate into any beauty regime.

Not everyday is a trip to the beach, but by working some SPF into your skincare routine you can make every day a youthful one with products that enhance your natural beauty and prevent sun damage from harmful rays. Check out these four tips to get started!

1. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen as a primer. Sheer makeup does not provide enough coverage to protect you from the sun, but using a broad-spectrum sunscreen as a base for your foundation will block both UVA and UVB rays.

2. Wear makeup with SPF for an extra layer of protection. Get natural-looking coverage with a tinted moisturizer that nourishes and protects with SPF 15. Layering this on top of your sunscreen will lock in the protection you need to make it through the day.

3. Don’t forget your lips! Your lips burn just as easily as your cheeks! Burt’s Bees lip balm is an all natural solution, or you can add a fun pop of color to your look with a tinted balm!

4. Apply a long-lasting lotion for outdoor adventures. Coppertone Sport is waterproof and sweatproof! Plus, its broad-spectrum protection is oil-free. 

 

Putting Your Best FACE Forward

by Bobbi Brown, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Face Forward and learn how to be your own makeup artist and achieve a polished look for interviews or on the job. Beauty expert, makeup maven, business stalwart (and Dress for Success Board member!) Bobbi Brown gives us her personal tips on achieving a professional look that says, “She’s Pretty Successful!”

Clean, fresh, natural looking makeup sends the right message at work– that you mean business. Looking professional and work-appropriate is simple and achievable. Looking your best is simple and achievable.  All it takes is knowledge, a few easy steps and the right products. Just follow my signature beauty routine:

Pre- Makeup: Skincare is essential for skin that looks and feels its best. Before applying makeup, cleanse and moisturize with the right formulas for your skin’s needs. Diet, weather, and stress can affect skin on a daily basis, so adjust your skincare routine accordingly. Cleanse dry skin with a cream or oil-based wash that moisturizes as it cleanses. For oily skin, choose water-based gel cleansers with oil fighting ingredients. Moisturizer is the key to fresher looking skin, and it creates the perfect base for makeup. For normal skin, use a lightweight moisturizing lotion or cream. When skin feels dry or sensitive, use a rich hydrating cream or balm. For oily skin, choose an oil-free formula that hydrates and helps control oil production. Hydrate the delicate skin around eyes with a lightweight eye cream to ensure under eye concealer goes on smoothly.

Concealer: For the most natural look, choose yellow-based shades of concealer, foundation, and powder. When a shade is skintone correct, it will blend flawlessly and look like skin. To lighten dark circles, apply concealer under the eye, up to the lash line, and on the innermost corner of the eye using the concealer brush. Smooth and blend concealer by gently patting with fingers. For extra-dark circles, start with pink- or- peach toned corrector, then layer on concealer.

Foundation: To find your perfect foundation shade, swatch a few shades on the side of your face and check the colors in natural light. The shade that disappears is the right match. Use your fingers or a makeup sponge to spot-apply foundation where skin needs to be evened out (around the nose and mouth where there’s redness). For full, all-over coverage, use a foundation brush to apply and blend foundation. To cover blemishes, spot-apply Foundation Stick or a blemish cover stick in a shade that matches your skin exactly. Pat with finger to blend.

Powder: For crease-free, long-wear makeup, apply loose powder in pale yellow over concealer using an eye blender brush or mini powder puff. Apply powder in your skin tone-correct shade to the rest of your face using a powder puff or powder brush.

Blush: Smile and dust a neutral shade of blush on the apples of cheeks with a blush brush. Blend up towards the hairline, then downwards to soften color. For a longer lasting look, layer a pop of bright blush (applied just on the apples of cheeks) over the neutral shade. For an extra glow, dust shimmer brick compact on cheekbones with the face blender brush.

Lipstick/ Lip Gloss: Start with clean, smooth lips. If needed, gently exfoliate lips with a damp washcloth. Neutral lipstick shades sheer formulas, and gloss, can be applied directly from the tube. Use a lip brush to apply darker and brighter colors that require precise application.

Lip Liner: For natural-looking definition and to keep color from feathering, line lips with lip liner after applying lip color. Use the lip brush to soften and blend any hard edges.

Brows: Using a slant-tip tweezer, pluck any stray hairs between and below the brows. Pull hairs in the direction they are growing, in one quick motion. Define brows using eye shadow (match it to your hair color) applied with an eye brow brush.  To apply shadow, begin at the inner corner of the brow and follow its natural shape using light, feathery strokes. Set unruly brows in place with Natural Brow Shaper.

Eye Shadow: Sweep a light eye shadow color from lash line to brow bone using Eye Shader Brush. Dust a medium Eye Shadow color on the lower lid, up to the crease, using the Eye Shadow Brush.

Eye Liner: Line upper lash line with a dark eye shadow color applied with the eye liner brush. For a longer-lasting look, dampen brush before dipping into shadow. After lining the upper lash line, look straight ahead to see if there are any gaps that need to be filled in. If you also line the lower lash line, make sure the top and bottom liner meet at the outer corner of the eye.

Mascara: Choose your mascara formula based on your needs and desired effect. Thickening mascara gives individual lashes a denser look and is ideal if you have a sparse lash line. For lashes that are enhanced, but still natural looking, choose defining and lengthening mascaras. Water-proof mascara is a good choice if you want a long-lasting look or if you r mascara tends to smudge. When applying mascara, hold the mascara wand parallel to the floor and brush from the base of lashes to tips. Roll the wand as you go to separate lashes and avoid clumps. If you choose to curl lashes, be sure to do this before applying mascara; curling lashes after mascara makes them more prone to breakage.

If you’re new to makeup or pressed for time, try concealer, blush and lip gloss for an instantly pulled-together look.

Bobbi Brown is the CEO and Founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. For more from Bobbi Brown, visit www.EverythingBobbi.com or www.BobbiBrownCosmetics.com