#BuyBlack Spotlight: Iman Cosmetics

I love Iman Cosmetics!!! (

*Oprah voice*

)

I started following the beauty brand on Instagram two months ago after seeing a beautifully rich wine-colored lipstick while exploring the app. I immediately liked the picture and then left a comment under the picture asking about the name of the lipstick and where I could purchase it. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they sold the lipstick and other Iman Cosmetics products at Walgreens.

I have known about Iman Cosmetics for years. I remember when it started over a decade ago as beauty brand that made makeup for women of color. But for a long time, I thought it was a high-end makeup brand like MAC or Dior that was only sold at department stores and that cost between $30 to $50 per item. This past year I have seen Iman Cosmetics featured on various best beauty brand lists in Essence and Ebony magazines. 

After finding the lip color (which is Iman Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick in Opal) in one of my local Walgreens stores in Boston (and seeing the affordable price of $10), I decided to finally try out the brand. I went to the beauty brand's website imancosmetics.com and downloaded their suggested Iman Cosmetics Beauty app, which provided customized Iman product recommendations to match my unique Color Signature, based on facial recognition technology that analyzed my skin tone. The app helped me identify my concealer and foundation matches and also suggested lipsticks and eye shadows that would work well with my skin tone. 

For my first purchase, I bought the Iman Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick in Rebel, Iman Second-to-None 

Stick Foundation

 in Clay 4, Iman

Corrective Concealer

 in Earth, and Iman Luxury 

Luxury Lip Shimmer

 in Honey from walgreens.com (also available at amazon.com). The products arrived at my house within 5 days. I tried each product out immediately and I fell in LOVE with them. 

The concealer and stick foundation matched my skin color so well and provided such great coverage. When I wore it, my friends and my family immediately noticed the difference and complimented me on my makeup. Iman Cosmetics makeup products gave me such a beautiful, healthy glow. Within a month, I got my mom and my best friend to purchase and try out Iman Cosmetics products. I also purchased two more lipsticks, another lip shimmer, and the new Iman 

Luxury Concealing Foundation

 in Earth 3. 

As a black woman, I really appreciate the quality, price, availability, and color options of Iman Cosmetics. I am tired giving my money to beauty brands that do not care enough to create products that match my skin color. Creating one or two "dark" or "brown" foundation or concealer for women with brown pigmented skin is ridiculous, exclusionary, and outdated. Black, latina, and other non-white women come in a variations of colors and make up significant portion of the female population. We need more than one or two shades to cover our beautifully diverse skin colors (I am looking at your Maybelline. Your

FIT ME Matte & Poreless Foundation

has only one color for brown skin).   Iman Cosmetics is made for us by us (F.U.B.U). Model and creator Iman is a beauty icon with a passion for creating products that match ALL women, from the very fair-skinned to the very dark- skinned. 

I have been searching for new makeup products for women of color, after my local Target stopped carrying Covergirl Queen Collection products (which I started using in 2010). Iman Cosmetics came into my life at the right time. As an advocate for supporting black-owned businesses, I have committed to making my personal cosmetics and beauty collection at least 90% black-owned beauty products by the end of 2017.

Ladies, I highly suggest you check out Iman Cosmetics. You won't regret it!! 

Here are my three favorite Iman Cosmetics products thus far: 

Iman Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick, Opal

I Refuse to Accept Less Than What I Bring to the Table

Dating in your 30s is frustrating as fuck!?! Why, as a straight, educated, black woman in my 30s, am I expected to accept less from a man than what I bring to the table?

Storytime!

I met a guy on OkCupid. Let's call him Jean. Jean is dark, tall(er than me), attractive, 30-something black man. On the dating site, he seemed nice, thoughtful, and truly interested in getting to know me and dating (with the intention of developing a romantic relationship). Jean didn’t seem crazy and most importantly did not display any fuck boy tendencies. He was attentive and communicative without being thirsty or overbearing. So, when h

e asked for my number, I gave it to him and we began to get to know each other offsite, in the "real world". 

However, as we talked more, I noticed a few things that irked me about 

Jean

Number One! He didn’t go to college. 

I understand that a college education is not the only measure of success and drive, but I did not get a feeling that he was on a career path. An electrician is on a career path because that type of work requires training, skill building, and certification (and they get paid well for the time and effort they put into their craft). Jean seemed more on a job path. And, again I know that not everyone has the freedom, drive, or resources to forgo a paying job to pursue their dream career. I myself am not working in dream career, but I am on the path. I am building networks and developing applicable skills for my dream career. But, again I know everyone's journey is different, some people's paths are short, some people's path are long, and some people's paths are crooked.  Thus, in an effort to keep an open mind, I pushed aside my feelings about his lack of a college degree. The important thing was he was employed and was able to support himself.

Number Two! He is Catholic and it is important to him. 

Religion is a touchy subject (along with politics). Somehow, we got on the subject of him being Catholic. I informed him that I was also Catholic. Jean thought this was great because he assumed that we would have no religion or faith-based issues. I immediately disagreed.  Being born and raised Catholic does not play an important role in my life. I am more spiritual than religious. I believe in God and in living a life that is as moral and caring as possible.  I disagree with the Catholic Church on several major issues, such as abortion, homosexuality, priests being men only,  to name a few. Because I am not religious, I am weary of men who place religion high on their relationship priority list-- you know, the type of men who state that they are looking for a "Godly woman". I don't know what that means and I really don't want to know. But, in the case of Jean, he seemed to be okay with my views on religion, and he even shared a few of my views on the Catholic Church. 

Then, it happened. The deal breaker! He asked me what I was looking for in a man. 

I told him. I am looking for a man who is educated, career driven, and open-minded, loves traveling, eating good food, drinking strong drinks, and trying new things. Most importantly, I am looking for a man who is interested in building a relationship based on friendship, love, laughs, communication, and respect. 

His response: Do you think that you are expecting too much??? 

What in the entire FUCK!!! I told him: No, I know what I need to be happy in a relationship. I am not expecting less from a man than what I bring to the table. 

After I said this, Jean continued to press me about my relationship needs. He said that he is looking for a woman who is nice, respectful, family-oriented, and educated. Jean told me that I am expecting too much that may put stress on a relationship. I was flabbergasted and a bit annoyed. 

My list is not long. This is not a

"What Chilli Wants"

list. (Remember that show where Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas from TLC fame was looking for a husband but he had to fulfill a long checklist of requirements, including not smoking, not drinking, not eating pork, not having more than two baby mamas, and being fine with a six pack and a big penis.) 

I am not looking for a man that fits 50 things on a must-have list. I am looking for love and happiness in a relationship, not contentment. I would rather be single than be in a relationship in which I am expected to lower my standards and push aside my wants, my desires, and my needs all in the name of having a man. 

I do not need a man. I want a life partner who is also my best friend, lover, protector, co-parent, cheerleader, and ride-or-die. I am willing to comprise on my preferences on height, race, age, body type, income, musical taste, and family background. 

But, I am not willing to accept less than what I need, want, and deserve.

With all that said, I end with this message to the all the "Jean's" out there:

Boy Bye!

Figuring Out Weight Loss: I Lost 17 lbs in 2 Months

Today marks two months since I started this 50 lb weight-loss journey on July 25, 2016. I am proud to announce that I am now 17 lbs lighter.

Honestly, it has not been easy. There have been many days that I wanted to run to Shake Shack for a delicious

double smokeshack cheeseburger 

or stay in bed instead of going to the gym (and, there were those moments when I snuck and ate a piece of my brother's wings plate). But, for the most part, I pushed through those feelings and thoughts and made the healthy choices, with the help of the Super Shred Diet by Dr. Ian Smith and the Nike Training Club Lean Fit fitness program.

I choose to share my weight-loss journey with you all to show that it can be done. You don't need to starve yourself or live in the gym to see results. You just have to be ready and willingly to make healthier choices---to walk more, to eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water, pick up some light weights, and eat smaller portions. If you can gain it, you can lose it.

Today I celebrate my major weight loss. But, my weight-loss journey is far from over. I still have 33 lbs to get back to my ideal weight. Tomorrow I start a new 6-week diet program, the

Shred Diet

by Dr. Ian Smith. I hope lose another 9 lbs by Thanksgiving.

If you are looking to lose weight, I encourage you to join me on this program or try the Super Shred Diet.

Week 8: 

Save

Save

#BlackGirlMovement National Conference, April 7-9

I am in New York City this weekend to attend the first Black Girl Movement National Conference. I am so excited about attending this event/this special moment in history. As a black girl, I feel that issues I have faced in my lifetime are not often addressed. I am extremely proud of my alma mater Columbia University for developing and sponsoring this much-needed meeting on the state of black girls past, present, and in the future. 

If you are interested in checking out this black girl magical moment, click

here

for more details or check it out on livestream

here

.  

Black Girl Movement: A National Conference” is a three-day gathering at Columbia University in New York City to focus on Black girls, cis, queer, and trans girls, in the United States. Bringing together artists, activists, educators, policymakers, and black girls leaders themselves, this first national conference on Black girls seeks to address the disadvantages that Black girls in the United States face, while creating the political will to publicly acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and leadership.Girl Movement: A National Conference” is a three-day gathering at Columbia University in New York City to focus on Black girls, cis, queer, and trans girls, in the United States. Bringing together artists, activists, educators, policymakers, and black girls leaders themselves, this first national conference on Black girls seeks to address the disadvantages that Black girls in the United States face, while creating the political will to publicly acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and leadership.

#PhenomenalWomenMonth : Old Skool Ladies Hip Hop Classic "I Wanna Be Down" Remix

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Old Skool Ladies HIP HOP ... Classic I WANNA BE DOWN // BRANDY...

Old Skool Ladies HIP HOP ... Classic I WANNA BE DOWN // BRANDY // QUEEN LATIFAH .... #PressPlay

Posted by Vintage OLD SKOOL on Sunday, March 20, 2016

Talk about "Black Don't Crack!" : 1995 (image on top) and then 2014 (image on the bottom)

#PhenomenalWomenMonth: Ain't I A Woman? by Sojourner Truth

Ain't I A Woman? 

by Sojourner Truth 

Delivered 1851 at the Women's Convention, Akron, Ohio 

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.