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My Black is Beautiful

About a month ago, I saw a tweet from Houston’s Voice about My Black is Beautiful, a contest designed to unite African-American women and promote their beauty inside and out. According to the website, this is their first “nationwide search for six empowering women who can help us inspire black women and girls to become their best selves.”

Those six will become ambassadors who will possibly make appearances at events and appear in product ads for the contest sponsor, Procter and Gamble. Well, *drumroll please,* I’m one step closer to becoming one of those six: I’m a finalist!

From April 26 to May  17, the search took place in four markets: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and DC/Maryland. However, the audition process actually began April 11 when anyone who was interested had until midnight to submit an application online. Out of those who applied, 100 semi-finalists were chosen for a live interview in one of the four markets I listed above. I went to the Dallas interview May 10, met some wonderful ladies and came home with CoverGirl products from the Queen collection.

Dallas Semi-Finalists
Dallas Semi-Finalists
CoverGirl Queen Products
CoverGirl Queen Products

Out of the 100 semi-finalists, the top three from each market advanced to the finalist round (for a total of 12). Videos and pictures of the finalists from the live interviews will be posted to the My Black is Beautiful Facebook page. From May 28 to June 1, the public will vote for their favorite six who will then be named grand prize winners.

My goal is to be one of the six! Winners will be finalists for one year and also will travel to the 2014 Essence Music Festival – an event tied to the contest.  You can vote for me here.

One more note: I have to mention that my dress was designed by my good friend Ksania Lerner. I believe true beauty does come from within and that confidence is sexy and I definitely felt ready to take on anything in that dress. Check out more from her line, Alexenia.

Remember: May 28-June 1, Please vote here!

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Pose for the Camera Now…

I put down the microphone and picked up..well, nothing. All I had to do was walk! I was a model in the 2014 HCC Annual Fashion Show on May 2  at the Central Campus Learning Hub. After the event was over, I didn’t want to leave the runway!

10256830_2104037131038_3597141239966193788_nThis year’s theme was “Masters of Design,” which featured 12 collections by HCC fashion students. The students create their garments in a year-long course (the collections class) and those selected from there participate in the show. Being in the class does NOT guarantee a spot in the show, so as they might say in the fashion world, the competition was fierce *cue finger snap.*

Normally, I interview the designers backstage as part of my coverage for HCCTV, but this time I thought, why not get involved? After attending one of three casting calls held by the HCC fashion department, I found out I was chosen and the next stop was attending a fitting to find out who I’d be modeling for.

I modeled for three designers: Stephanie Ku – Integral Terrain, Rahill Abdur-Raheem – The New India, Mckenzie Twitty- Classique.

As a fan of America’s Next Top Model, a piece of my little catwalk dreams finally came true! And yes, it really is crazy backstage. Everyone is running around all over the place quick changing outfits, lining up models and touching up makeup and hair. The latter was provided by Visible Changes and my PERFECT makeup was thanks to Alaina of Color Du Jour.

10246485_2104038051061_9175469820469338220_nAll models scored goodie bags and one of the treats inside was a necklace from Charming Charlie. Plus, a professional photog snapped pics of the collections backstage.

Here’s the complete show:

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A Night in the City

Lions and tigers and giraffes! Oh my! Well, that’s what I said anyway when I saw this cashmere and silk scarf at Elaine Turner in CityCentre next to Town and Country Village in the Memorial area.

ScarfNaturally, as a scarf collector, I had to have it! Plus, hashtagging #shopelaineturner when I posted a picture of it to Instagram instantly made me eligible to win an Elaine Turner clutch, so that was an added incentive  (though, no word yet that I’ve actually won). Elaine Turner was just one of the participating retailers and restaurants in the CityCentre Night Out event hosted by the online news magazine, CultureMap.

Proceeds from the event benefited the American Cancer Society and shops like Dryden Kreps (featured in the photo gallery below) offered discounts for shopping there such as 20% off a purchase (Elaine Turner) or gift cards for a certain amount spent that could be used toward a future purchase. I ate at Grub Burger Bar where you could have free fries or a shake with any burger order.

CultureMap’s editors also attended CityCentre Night Out and gave fashion tips on how to wear the latest trends. I met Clifford Pugh, editor-in-chief of the site, and Joel Luks, listings editor and producer, at Dryden Kreps, and Heather Staible, fashion contributor, at Elaine Turner.

The socks in the pics are by designer Vivek Nagrani, who has made a name for himself with his colorful sock and underwear collection. Even President George H.W. Bush is a fan. I loved the socks representing different soccer teams so you can showcase your support for your favorite World Cup contenders right down to your feet.

Stay Stylish!