Personal Shopper–Free!

Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like to have your very own personal shopper? Well, now you can. Shop It To Me is an online service that finds the items you want at your price range and delivers the info to you. No more scouring the news ads or hours on the web–Shop It To Me does it for you. You can choose the retailers and the brands that you like. Don’t worry, you won’t receive an sale mail with a belt for $875, because you set the price range. Check it out.

Staying True to You

If you missed UNCF’s Evening of Stars Tribute to Patti Labelle a couple of weekends ago, you missed a show. Some of my favorite singers sang to Ms. Patti, including Mario, Wayne Brady, Jennifer Hudson, Chrisette Michelle and others. However, the showstopper was none other than Fantasia. She sang Lady Marmalade and Somebody Loves You Baby, even Patti had to get out of her seat. I love Fantasia because she does her own thing and she looked flawless. All of the performers wore black (with the exception of Big Daddy Kane), so the makeup really stood out and Fantasia and Chrisette Michelle did not disappoint. In spite of some of the harsh criticism, Fantasia stays true to herself and her voice and style are refreshingly unique. Just like Patti, she makes no apology for her talent. She doesn’t try to hide her gift and that’s a lesson that so many of us could take notes on.

The presenters (Vivica, Shaun Robinson, Holly Robinson-Peete, Raven Simone) wore beautiful gowns in a variety of colors, but I was most impressed with Lisa Raye McCoy. She wore a topaz gown with a low neckline and cinched waist. Beautiful. Now as you probably know Lisa Raye is going through a very public divorce from her husband Premiere of the Turks & Caicos Islands-Michael Misick. She recently sat down with Essence magazine for a four-part interview. Some of the questions that came up involved the words “opportunist” (code for gold digger) and “ghetto” (ahem). These are two labels that disturb me. I mean I think they may be valid for some people but should be used sparingly.

I mean why do women hate on gold diggers so much? Men seem to love them. Sure, there’s more to love than dollars and cents but there are enough “keepin’ yo head above water” couples that are having a hard time staying together, that in this day and age who has room to talk? Let’s face it, we all want a little something. If I had to choose between two equally handsome, intelligent, “treat me like a queen” men and one had dental and the other didn’t…well, I’m going with the one who can keep my smile bright.

Good men and “no good” men come in all income brackets and zip codes. So is it wrong to include finance on your list of wants in a man? What do you think?

And are some women mad at these so-called gold diggers because they want more or because they seem to get it?

To read Lisa Raye’s interview with Essence click here.

Today’s Beauty Feature: Gold Digger Brow Highlight by Damone Roberts (this is one of my favorites).

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Last Chance for Love?

This is the time of year when all you hear about is love. Well, at least the commercial displays of romance and affection that come with it. The truth is love, or dare I say the lack of it has created many a rainy day, week, month (for some years) for many of my sisters out there. Now I heard of this story a little earlier in the year and until now I had refrained from discussing it, but I feel compelled. There is a woman who has made her rounds on T.V. stating that she is looking to find a husband in 52 weeks. She even has a website. Her reason is that she is “older” whatever that means and has spent so much time on her career but did not find that ever-elusive Mr.Right and receive the status-elevating diamond and name change that follows, so she is giving herself 52 weeks to date and find “the one”. Sigh

Why does it have to come to this? A deadline on love. I think it is crazy. Now it was brought to my attention that this may just be a plot to get on TV, get a book deal, and subsequent movie rights. Well it was obvious after seeing the interview that she is not hoping to star in said productions, not to say she won’t get the deal. But for some reason I think she might be serious. Which saddens me. Personally, I have embraced spinsterhood. Not in a this-is-what-I will-be-forever way, but in a if-this-is where-I-am, I’m-going-to-enjoy- it, kind of way. I think there needs to be a redefining of Spinsterhood. Because let’s face it, the name, whether spoken out loud or harbored secretly in the corner of uninspired minds, is not going anywhere. Being single with no kids does not equal gloom and bloomers. In fact, there are a many soccer mom that dream of my lifestyle.

Now this is not an “I don’t need a man” rant, because that kind of talk is a cry for help. But the fact is, I’m not going to advertise myself like a reduced package of SPAM online! This tactic reminds me of when you were in grade school and someone would pick the ugliest boy in class, the one that was cross-eyed and didn’t know his colors and then they’d say, “last chance for love”? Desperation is not only NOT a good look, it is one of the main ingredients in Man-Repellent. That is, unless you want someone who wants a lonely, desperate, “older” woman with a good job and benefits (including dental). Anybody seen Tyrone?

Maya Angelou once said: “Whining is not only graceless, but it can be dangerous. It can alert a brute that a victim is in the neighborhood.” This sounds like an invitation for baby mama drama, ex cons and outlaws, anger management flunk outs and down lo…never mind. I wish her the best.

Until I find that true love, my man, I’m going to keep going, keep glowing and be the flyest spinster I can be. I mean half-past homely never helped anybody. But that’s just how I feel, your thoughts?

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Good Scents

There’s something about a nice fragrance that makes you feel special. Whether it’s perfume, lotion, or aromatherapy a good scent is inviting and calming to the senses. My favorites are Lolita Lempicka (believe me people notice this one) and McQueen. Now when it comes to skin, bath and body, I love Sweet Honey Dip Chocolate Brown Sugah Body Butter and Scrub by Carol’s Daughter. It’s for dry skin. It will keep you smelling delicious without a heavy, greasy feel.

Another favorite is Ginger by Origins. It is available as a spray, cream bubble bath and candle.

When it comes to scents for the home, a lot of people like fruity, sweet smells, which I find can be a syrupy and overpowering. While I still like to use candles and incense (try Honey by L’Occitane), I also like the calming effect of rosemary. You can take just a few sprigs, dry or fresh and add to a small, simmering pot of water. It will give your home what I call a “spa-scent”. You can also add a little lavender to that for a layered scent.

Right now I’m in the market for a new fragrance. So what’s your favorite scent?

Hot Chocolate Break

It’s that time ladies. It has been a minute since the last chocolate break and honestly I was nervous about posting another. I mean some of you took issue with Jamie Foxx being included in the last break (sorry, Jamie) and a few of you mentioned a fettish for white chocolate (I’m not mad). So today’s post is short. In the meantime tell me who would you like to see included in the next break?

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This Is How We Do It

I’m still a newbie to the blog world and Rainy Day Diva is the definitely the little blog that could. For those of you who are just finding your way here, I welcome you. Rainy Day Diva is not your typical beauty blog. We talk makeup. fragrance, style and trends, but we also add some inspiration, motivation, and a few of my observations. I will mention celebrities on occasion, but don’t expect to get the latest on Little Growl or Young Geezer. I do not claim to be an authority on all things fabulous. I’m living and learning like everyone else. My goal is to add a little refreshment to your day and maybe even your life. Rainy Day Diva is about balance, not a quest for perfection and not becoming a “make-do” woman either. It is about setting a standard so that you don’t lose yourself in your circumstances.

Speaking of circumstances, I had to catch a flight for a business meeting last week. A 5 a.m. flight is the only one that would give me just enough time to change and chill before a noon meeting, can you believe that? Anyway, since I had to be at the airport in the wee hours of the morning I was tempted to rock some jeans and sneaks, but I remembered what an executive stated at a conference I attended a couple of years ago: When you travel for business always travel as if you could walk directly from the plane into the boardroom. So, against my natural inclinations, I dressed for work, makeup, suit and all. Guess what happened? Technical difficulties, 2 hour delay, missed my connection and arrived at the hotel at exactly 11:45-fifteen minutes before the meeting. And who did I see standing in the hotel lobby? Several execs including my VP and co-workers. Wasn’t I glad that I wasn’t toting a raggedy duffle bag, wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt and some Saturday morning clean-the-house jeans? You know the ones. We are talking fashion meets office politics 101.

Later I spoke with a friend who had gone to a job interview in the a.m. only to see the person that interviewed her for the job at the gym in the p.m. She was so glad that she had invested in some cute, matching work out gear–not a holey shirt and some stretched out lycra. Can you imagine how that would have killed her interview image?

Have you ever had one of those “Whew!” moments? Or maybe it was more of an “Aw,man”?

Today’s Quote:

Prepare for rainy days, don’t create them.

Comfort Zone

I am by no means a decorator. I don’t get excited about textiles and fabrics. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a nice living space. But if you don’t get turned on by swatches of paint and carpet stores, you know that creating the perfect space in terms of home decor can be as challenging as putting on false lashes or mastering smoky eyes (without looking like a bandit) can be with makeup. Not to mention that some of us live in places that are square foot challenged, over-crowded with the multiple tastes or needs of family or just plain cluttered. You may not have the time, talent or dollars to do a complete home makeover, but you can start small.

Create one sacred space. A place that you can go when you need to chill out, hide out, or take a time out. It doesn’t have to be a room, it can be a corner or a closet. I’ll never forget, many years ago on Oprah, this one woman had cleared out her closet, put up a curtain, decorated the inside, and that was her meditation room. For me that sacred space is my bathroom. It’s tiny. So, I added some spa books and accents to give it some life and a theme and it works for me. You’d be surprised what a book, a candle, and a decorative box can do to spruce up an area and create a relaxing atmosphere.

So what is your sacred space? Do you have an idea for creating your own comfort zone?

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Investing In You (pt.2)

Last week we talked about investing in ourselves. We talked about how to find those extra dollars to keep our look together. So this week I wanted to follow up that conversation, because I know for some of you the issue is not as much about money as it is about knowing what to do and finding the inspiration to do so.

Well ladies, inspiration is all around you. Just pay attention to women you see that have the look you want and then there is the tried and true magazine stand. Believe it or not, I’ve encountered a few people who have told me that magazines are a waste of money. Now I am going to make many a financial advisor cringe, but I have to tell you that the phrase “waste of money” is a relevant term. If you’re drab and you know it, and you know you need help, is $3.99 too much to invest? The same people that raise these objections are the same ones who can afford to knock back Wallaby Darneds at Outback on Friday nights.

If you were lost on a road to nowhere would $3.99 be too much for a map or one day of VZNavigator on your wireless phone? If you were in pain would $3.99 be too much for aspirin? Your image is important. I know, the financial advisors would say a map and aspirin are necessities, right? Well, have you ever seen a financial analyst looking broke down?! I haven’t. Have you ever seen Suze Ormon with her hair NOT done? How about Michelle Singletary without lipstick? I know, Glinda Bridgforth without eye makeup? My point exactly! Now they may not buy $5 lattes at Big Bucks, wear Louboutin’s or shop at Neiman’s, but they present themselves well because image is everything and you need a job just like they do. So when it comes to beauty and image don’t take their advice to the extreme. Invest in you!

You don’t want to end up looking like Ebenita Scrooge or worse–the Sea Hag. Once that settles into your spirit and your way of being it’s hard to get it out. I’ve seen it happen.

Stop blocking inspiration. Bitterness and jealousy are inspiration blockers. Don’t get all hung up on what celebrities have and what other people have that you miss the inspiration. Celebrities clue us in on trends all the time, that is why the designers give them stuff for free. It’s called marketing, is it really that different from when the Macy’s commercial comes on? You don’t get mad at the models on the commercial do you? I thought not. All that, if I had money, a chef and a trainer and a….whatever. Does this look inspire you, is that your color, trend, etc.? Will incorporating some of that work for you?

When you see women who are put together, take note. Don’t sit around with “she thinks she’s all that.” Ah, yeah…pretty much. Allow yourself to be encouraged, educated and inspired. That is how you begin to invest in yourself.

When the celebs are out and they are not all dolled up–they are not in their marketing gear at the moment and they are ordinary people. Don’t laugh. It will come back on you. I laughed at somebody one time and for six months I couldn’t even match socks. I knew I had a problem and there was nothing that I could do until it just wore off.

Don’t lose yourself to your circumstances. Balance is the key. Lopsided life improvements are not the answer. You know, I’m going to save and improve financially,but I won’t care about anything else. You’ll end up with a bunch of money and a miserable spirit and basically look a hot mess. I’ll get the perfect body, but I’ll go broke doing so. I only care about my inner self, and so on. Investing in you, requires striking a balance. We’ll revisit this again, but y’all got this.

So tell me how do you invest in you?

Free Makeup?!

You read that right. You can get department store makeup free. Due to some type of lawsuit, stores like Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fith Avenue are giving away Lancome, Clarins, Calvin Klein and more–Free! I don’t know all of the legal particulars, but it really doesn’t matter. All you have to do is visit the makeup counters at these stores and ask for the freebies. Now, they are on a first come first serve basis and this deal ends Monday.

Don’t be discouraged. I know some folks that got plenty of Hypnose (my favorite mascara) just last night. So don’t walk, run to the makeup counter at the Macy’s nearest you. Free is the best price you can get. Just save some for me.

This is the perfect time to try something new. So let me know what goodies you get and send me a review.

Okay, I was called out on my movie review of Seven Pounds. So I am going to clarify it once and for all. If you haven’t seen this film and intend to do so, you should grab your mouse and click on your way right now. I thought I had made my feelings clear on this movie, but after reviewing my initial review, I can understand how some were confused. So here goes:

This was some crazy mess! There I typed it. Now, let me explain. I think Will did an excellent job as did every actor that worked alongside him in this film. The script was great as script writing goes. The problem for me was the subject and the ending. A jellyfish? Really?!? What was stingingly obvious (pun intended) to me is that this movie was not written for Will and I applaud the casting directors and producers for their choice, but still…a jellyfish?

What bothered me is what was the real message here? It’s ok to take a bath with a jellyfish as long as you do some good for someone else beforehand. Ahhh, but you’re doing harm to one person…you. I would have rathered him use some of that time and money on his mental health benefits and get some help (seriously, people do not use their mental and dental benefits enough as it is).

I cannot celebrate a person who was in that much pain and lost–even in a film. I wanted him to win! His good deeds did not redeem the fact that the person he couldn’t help was himself.

And on a lighter note, I just don’t want to see Will Smith get worked over by a jellyfish. No! That’s just wrong. A few losing rounds with a robot or an alien are ok, but a jellyfish…NO!! That scene could have been a whole lot shorter. I’m telling you if it had been me, after the first sting I would have changed my mind and I would have wore that jellyfish out! There are so many handy weapons in a bathroom, Epsom Salt,Comet…Oh it would have been on.

You know Saturday Night Live is going to do a parody with someone wrestling a squid or an octopus out of a bathroom toilet, right. Now that is going to be hillarious. What should they call it…Seven Rinses…Seven Flushes…no I got it…Jelly Flush…

Now, if you’re wondering why I didn’t state this so plainly before, it’s because this blog is not about dogging people out for the fun of it. You can get that over at any miserable, simple and bitter blog–at last count there were a million of them out there. If you’re visiting RainyDayDiva, it’s because you want something different. Having said that, you reminded me that you also come here for honesty and the humor that is uniquely and refrsehsingly, moi. So I promise not to forget that in the future. You can stop calling me out in the salon and on my cell( I might change my number).

However, for those of you who saw the movie based on my original review, I must inform you that RainyDayDiva will not offer any refunds on movie tickets. I do understand that your 11 year old is now afraid to visit the aquarium, but the movie was PG-13, so that was on you. Please visit your nearest mental health care provider.

Will, keep doing you…we love you.

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