Just recently I was perusing my bookshelf and came across What You Owe Me, by the late Bebe Moore Campbell. She is one of my favorite authors and this book was a great read. What You Owe Me, is about a woman who starts a line of cosmetics for black women in 1948, only to be betrayed by her business partner. She dies bitter and defeated. Fifty years later her daughter, using her business savvy and ambition, vindicates her mother. This is a beautiful novel, not only about cosmetics, but how to stay beautiful inside even when life, shady business partners, your family, and possibly even your upbringing place you at a disadvantage.
Just remembering the story, even though fictitious, made me think of all of the people who have contributed to the beauty industry and its evolution over the years. So much has influenced our perception, celebration of, and quest for beauty: stars, trends, cultures, inventors and industry pioneers. So this summer I plan to hop into the time machine and feature a person, trend or culture from the past that had an impact on beauty in their own time and possibly ours.
This week, I’ll start with a personal favorite: Eartha Kitt.
Eartha Kitt has often spoken of her difficult childhood, but she is known and loved for her for her talents and beauty. Ms. Kitt sang in different languages and was even encouraged to deny her southern African-American heritage and claim a more exotic country instead–Burma. Ms. Kitt refused to deny any part of herself. She brought a different kind of sex appeal to audiences of the time, with her intriguing features and unique voice. Eartha was classy and demure. She was a good girl and a bad girl rolled all into one. Who can forget her as Catwoman in the television version of Batman?! Wow!Today in her early eighties she still performs. Her book, Rejuvenate! (It’s Never Too Late), details how she keeps herself in such good shape.
Eartha stepped out of the box and surpassed people’s expectations of what a black woman could do. And we are grateful that she did.
A good manicure is essential. Not only does it make your hands and nails feel and look fabulous, but it is a fairly inexpensive treat. If you’re forced to stretch out your visits to the nail salon, be sure to maintain your look by removing chipped polish. We shouldn’t have to guess if the polish is on or off. A natural nail, is always a better look than chipped nails. And ultimately, pay attention to your cuticles.
You should soften your cuticles weekly. Use cuticle oil. Just a small drop on each cuticle will work wonders. Rub it in and you’ll notice how much softer your cuticles are. Use an orange wood stick to gently push back your cuticle. Not only will it improve the look and feel of your nails in between visits, it will also make it easier for your nail stylist on your next visit. Try Lemon and Jojoba Cuticle Oil by Carol’s Daughter, $9.50. The smell is delightful.
You might also want to try Lemon Ginger Mint Manicure in a Jar and the Lemon and Rose Hand Cream, also by Carol’s Daughter.
L’Occitane’s semi-annual sale is going on now! For the next 3 weeks you can save up to 50%! They even have some products in a bigger size for a better value. The sale ends July 18. I know where I’ll be this weekend. See you there.
One of the must-haves for your make-up bag is mascara. It completes your look and draws attention to your eyes. And if you’re in a hurry, with little time to apply your makeup, it adds a touch of glamour in just a little time. When it comes to mascara, you cannot go wrong with Lancôme. Before you run to the Lancôme counter, I must tell you that they have several kinds of mascara, depending on the look you want. So don’t get overwhelmed! My favorite–and a staple in my cosmetics bag–is Hypnôse. Hypnôse is a volume building mascara. It thickens your lashes, really bringing out your eyes. Available in Brown, Black and Deep Black, $23.50. If you want to lengthen your lashes try Lancôme’s L’Extreme.
Here’s a tip, when wearing a volume building mascara use more than one application. Apply to one eye, then the other. Then repeat application with the first eye. Do not allow the mascara to set in between. This is the real difference between, wearing mascara and ‘wow, your eyes are so pretty’.
Now if you’re on a budget, before you opt to run to the local drugstore to replenish your Mascara, Try MAC’s ZOOM Lash $11
Las Vegas is home of the International Beauty Show June 28-30. If beauty is your profession, then this is a conference you don’t want to miss. You’ll learn the latest techniques, skills and trends in hair, nails, and esthetics. Visit the link above for more information and to register.
You remember that song. You sang it every day at recess in elementary school. And you clapped your hands with enthusiasm and without hesitation. You knew that at that very moment you were happy. Fast forward a few decades and maybe you’re not so sure. While happiness eludes many, and an all points bulletin has been put out on it by others, I can honestly tell you that it’s not far away. There’s no forwarding address. Happiness hasn’t moved. It’s right there with you, in the moment. There may be worries, challenges and disappointment residing nearby, but happiness still lives. It’s just a matter of choosing to knock on its door.
As soon as we wake, our problems, anxiety’s and fears creep into our thoughts and occupy our minds. Make it a habit to welcome happy thoughts into your mind first. Take a few moments to notice –even in the smallest things–what makes you happy. Be thankful for those moments and allow yourself to linger…and smile.
If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it…
When you look good, you feel good. So pull your look together, it’s a shortcut to happiness. I’ll leave off here, but the July issue of Essence magazine has a wonderful article on this very subject Your Pursuit of Happiness. Check it out.
Welcome to Rainy Day Diva. This blog is all about beauty. I love beauty products. Makeup, scrubs, bath salts, spas…I could go on. If it is a good product in a pretty package, I can’t pass it up. But we all know that there’s more to beauty than meets the eye. So I’ll add a bit of humor and inspiration from time to time. I also love a good book and a sale (especially shoes). If I know about it I promise not to keep it to myself.
By the way, I visited one of my favorite stores this weekend–L’occitane to try their new Citrus Verbena collection. I fell in love with the Citrus Verbena Sorbet Body Cream, $32. The scent is light and refreshing. It cools the skin as it moisturizes and evaporates completely, which is a must for the summer heat. I also recommend the Verbena Refreshing Towelettes, $8. They have the same scent as the Sorbet Body Cream, definitely refreshing in this humid weather on the East coast.
Citrus Verbena Sorbet Body Cream, $32
Verbena Refreshing Towelettes, $