Wedding Blog

I love weddings. Big, small, lavish, simple, it doesn’t matter. If you’ve ever planned one or been a part of one, you know that they are a lot of work and a lot of stress. But it’s always fun knowing the inside scoop. Actress Malinda Williams, gives us just that as she prepares to say ‘I do” to her fiance, former rapper, D-Nice. Check out her wedding blog for the behind-the-scenes info.

Time to Hit the Gymn

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: What do these biceps and pecs have to do with rainy days and Diva’s. Or maybe that’s not what you’re thinking. Well, actually it has quite a bit to do with beauty. When we think of beauty, we think of the external. What appeals to the eyes. But what we look like on the outside is often a result of how we feel. One of the best ways to feel beautiful is to get in shape. Feeling fit, feels good. Feeling good, feels beautiful. And that affects how we carry ourselves in this world–how we speak to ourselves and others.

This summer I have been diligently building a fitness regimen and I must say, it feels good. I may not have reached my goal yet, but this feeling–getting in shape–has increased my strength and confidence. It is definitely a good look. So think about it. Fitness isn’t just for men. I could have posted an image of a woman wearing a size 2 in a cute jogging outfit, but truth be told, if Uncle L doesn’t make you want to get on a treadmill, I don’t know what will.

To learn more about LL’s workout routine and upcoming projects, check out the August Issue of Men’s Fitness magazine.

Beauty on the Cheap

Not long ago, I was called out. A friend mentioned that beauty products (including those featured on this blog) cost almost as much as a tank of gas. It’s true that prices are rising and savvy diva’s are cutting back on luxuries. I won’t bore you with how your “look” is always important or that I think you’d be better off to let go of your latte habit ( I mean who knows it’s Maxwell House in that cute, but overpriced mug you bought anyway?). What I will say is that there are ways to cut back on beauty expenses, so take notes.

If skin care products are your thing and you’ve run out of your department store regimen, try the old-school trick of asking for samples. Or try a drug store brand like Cetaphil. It is gentle on the skin and most dermatologist recommend it. No break out worries.

If breakouts are your nemesis, try dabbing a little honey on to inflamed skin–it reduces the redness and soreness and you have some in your kitchen cabinet.

Puffy eyes. You know penny pinchers have recommended Preparation H to reduce swelling around the eyes (don’t laugh) for years. But I’ve been told that a potato peel under tired eyes will work the same wonders. And if you can’t afford a potato, you really shouldn’t be paying for Internet access.

Now I’m not big on drug store cosmetics, but if that’s what it comes down to…I recommend Maybelline. I love their powder finish foundation. I usually have to mix two together to get just the right shade, but they last a long time and together they are still cheaper than my department store brand.

Let me know how this works for you and share some of your cost saving beauty tips with Rainy Day Diva.

Madame C.J. Walker created hair products that promoted the growth and health of black hair. Born Sara Breedlove, she worked as a washerwoman and a cook, before changing her name and becoming a businesswoman and legend in the hair care industry. Walker established franchises that used her techniques and products, promoting not only beauty, but a better life for those who were trained in her techniques.

It seems like just yesterday that I was in the bathroom playing in my mother’s makeup. Her favorite lipstick at the time was none other than Earth Red by Fashion Fair. I couldn’t wait to rub it across my lips and cheeks. While there weren’t many cosmetics lines that offered products for black women at the time, the sisters didn’t have to do without. When publisher and founder of Ebony magazine, John H. Johnson, noticed the models in the Ebony Fashion Show mixing foundations to get just the right shade, for their rich and varied skin tones, he realized that the beauty industry had ignored the cosmetic needs of black women.

After being turned down by several cosmetic companies, Mr. Johnson and his wife Eunice moved forward with creating a cosmetic line for black women. In 1973 Fashion Fair cosmetics was born. Fashion fair celebrated the beauty of black women, long before the beauty industry took notice. Those pink tubes and compacts held products that made us feel special. Fashion Fair not only made beauty possible, but also accessible–even for little girls playing dress up.

Take A Peek

Rihanna is the cover girl for the August issue of InStyle magazine. Inside she talks about her fashion choices, from hair style to clothes. I must say she is one of my favorites. She takes chances and is always together. Let’s hope she drops the name of her stylist. Check it out.

It was 1966 when Donyale Luna (1945-1979) became the first black woman to grace the cover of British Vogue. Born Peggy Ann Freeman in Detroit, Luna became so successful that in April of 1966 Time magazine wrote an article about her titled, “The Luna Year”.

Less than a decade later, American Vogue featured a black model on the cover in 1974. Beverly Johnson went on to have a successful career and is still considered one of the most beautiful women. Her career has inspired many.

This month Italian Vogue, goes beyond the cover with it’s first black issue. That’s right. Black is in. Photographer Steven Meisel, frustrated by the lack of diversity in the fashion industry, features only black models in the July issue of Italian Vogue including Naomi, Iman, Tyra, Jordan Dunn and Toccara of America’s Next Top Model fame. Check it out.

Ready, Dress, Go!

We’ve all been there. An unpolished shoe, a missing necklace, a forgotten blouse at the cleaners. Sometimes it seems as if the universe is determined to keep us from pulling our style together. The cure for plan B fashion is preparation. That’s right. Remember when your mom made you lay out your school clothes. You abandoned that idea in your teens, but mom was on to something. Supermodel, Veronica Webb, suggest preparing five great outfits in advance to make stepping out in style easy. It’s not about knowing what you want to wear, it’s about having it accessible, assembled, and yes–prepared. This puts a whole new twist on ready-to-wear.

I say take it a step further, creating a look isn’t exclusive to clothing. There’s nothing worse (well, maybe a few things) than knowing that your lavender eye shadow or currant lip pencil will polish your look, only to find that they are M.I.A. So be sure to prepare your cosmetics bag as well.

It may seem like a lot of work at first, but it will make your mornings so much easier. Just think, on those rainy days you can sleep late knowing that those extra 15 minutes won’t subtract from your style.


Dorothea Towles Church (July 26, 1922–July 7, 2006) made groundbreaking success by becoming the first successful black model to walk the runways of Paris. She majored in Biology at Wiley College and married young. Originally, she considered becoming an actress, but the lack of roles for black actors at the time discouraged her. She enrolled in charm school. When her sister, a member of the Fisk University choir, traveled to Paris Church joined her for what was to be a vacation. While in Paris she tried to get work as a model and was successful. Christian Dior was one of the first to hire her.

Church had to tell her husband that she was not returning to the United States. She went on to have a successful career in Paris, modeling couture gowns and enjoying the opportunities that Europe had to offer. During her years as a model, she built up a considerable wardrobe. Eventually, Church did return to the United States, traveling to black colleges, introducing couture clothing to black women in America. Dorothea Towles Church made history and was a trailblazer for those to follow.

Towles with Christian Dior

Draw the Line

Lip pencils are a staple in my cosmetics bag. There is a Cork or Chestnut MAC lip pencil in my purse at all times. Lip pencils give your mouth definition and can be worn with or without lipstick or gloss. There are so many different looks that you can create for your lips with just a lip pencil.

What troubles me Divas, is that I have encountered so many women who refuse to employ such a powerful tool in creating their “look”. They have their reasons and I find that most often they are misguided and misinformed. So today, I want to address these untruths once and for all.

One of the most common arguments I hear for not incorporating a lip pencil into a makeup regimen, is that they once saw a girl in the mall or at a bus stop and she had a black line around her lips. Tsk. Tsk. How many times have you seen someone misapply makeup? When you see someone with clown like blush or spider lashes, do you decide to never ever wear blush or mascara? No. If the girl with the black line around her lips were wearing Jimmy Choo shoes, would you swear those off too?

The fact is that lip pencils, like lipsticks, come in all colors. For a natural look, you want to choose a shade that is flesh tone. So that will vary from person to person. I love Cork and Chestnut by MAC, because that most closely matches my skin tone. Choose a color that is close to your skin tone or the tone of your lipstick. Remember beauty is about the individual.

The other reason that I’ve heard—and I don’t know who started this untruth—is that women with full lips don’t need to use a lip pencil. This is a complete falsehood! While lip pencils can be used to shape lips, they define your lips and act as a base for your lipstick or gloss.

So what is the best way to apply a lip pencil? Start with outlining your lips. Stay with me. Then, holding the pencil at a slight angle, shade the inner rim of your lips leaving the center of your lips unshaded. Add gloss or lipstick and then press your lips together…Presto! You’ve got the look.