December 31, 2012

Beautiful Beginnings: 13 Beauty Resolutions to Jumpstart the New Year

Time to ring in the New Year.  We have compiled 13 resolutions to help you start the year on a beautiful note.

If you’re like 57% of the population,  when it comes to resolutions, you’ll do your best to stick to them.  But what if we tell you by the middle of the year, based upon the statistics, you will fail.

“You want me to do something, tell me I can’t do it,’ maintains Maya Angelou.

Making changes to enhance your health and beauty can be life-changing, improving your longevity, quality of life, self-esteem and overall outlook.   Keeping all of them is a tall order for any human, but selecting a few that are meaningful to you, modifying them to fit your lifestyle and following through on incorporating them into your lifestyle, will help you achieve success.

1. DON’T  MAKE IT ALL OR NOTHING: When agreeing to make changes in your life, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Start by setting sub-goals and gradually work up to your ultimate goal.  Incremental success will help motivate you and make long-term success easier to achieve.

2. GET MORE Zzz: Take control of your health. Start by getting enough sleep each night, between seven to eight hours.  You can’t catch up on lost sleep.  And, according to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, chronic sleep loss may cause weight gain, higher blood pressure,  and decrease the immune system’s power, which may make you more prone to illness, increased stress, mood disorders, and memory loss.

3. MAKEUP REMOVAL: Before bedtime , remember to  completely remove your makeup.   Sleeping with makeup can result in irritated skin, clogged pores and breakouts.   Cleansing will help control oil, shine and remove toxins, impurities and makeup that can cause blemishes.  Our Balancing Cleanser is a great choice to take it all off.

4. MOISTURIZE: Remember to make changes in your skin care regimen during winter months.  According to Dr. Burgess, lower atmospheric humidity levels in winter causes skin to lose vital moisture and become dry, dull and ashy looking.    Daily moisturizer is key to keep your skin hydrated.   Nighttime is the perfect time to deeply hydrate and nourish skin to combat dryness.   Check out our Rejuvenating Night Crème to pamper and restore lost moisture as you sleep.

5.   EXERCISE: Make regular exercise a part of your routine.  It can help promote healthy looking skin, while releasing stress and assist with maintaining a healthy weight.  And, WSJ  cited Harvard Medical School’s website as maintaining that studies “suggest that women who exercise regularly can expect a 20% to 30% reduction in the chance of getting breast cancer compared with women who didn’t exercise,” citing exercise’s ability to lower estrogen levels. Want to track your calories to lose weight faster? Check out the app Lose It!. It one the Surgeon General’s Healthy App’s Challenge.

6 . HEALTHY SKIN: Develop a plan to address acne concerns.   Acne can undermine your self-esteem so  finding a daily treatment plan that works and is easy to use will help you achieve clear skin and improve your outlook.   Our Maximum Strength Acne System  is a great way to get started.    If your acne is very severe, consider consulting a dermatologist.

7. EXFOLIATE: Don’t underestimate the importance of regular exfoliation.  It can help you remove dull surface cells to revitalize ashy, lackluster skin, renewing your skin’s natural radiance.

8. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT SPF:  It’s especially important when applying fade products with hydroquinone.  Apply it with a sunscreen to protect skin from darkening during the lightening process.   And, applying SPFs at all times will protect your skin from daily environmental assault and the sun’s UVA/UVB rays.

9 .  FIND YOUR MATCH:  Matching your skin tone is the key to a naturally flawless face, so don’t select a foundation that is not formulated for women of color.  Our skin perfecting foundations are specially formulated to cover, correct and enhance the complexion of women of color and NEVER look dull, ashy or obvious. Rather, they apply like a second skin.   It’s best to test before you select. Apply the foundation on your jawline, blending it completely.  Before you decide if it is a perfect match, let the liquid dry down.   Don’t forget.  Your skin tone may show seasonal variations, so you may want to go lighter in winter and select a darker shade for summer months.

Remember, you can request samples at with any purchase, making shade selection easy.

For more details, go to

10. REV UP YOUR RADIANCE: Apply a natural looking bronzer to your skin to energize your look.

11.  WAKE UP YOUR MAKEUP ROUTINE: Update your look.  Try out a new trend.  Master a technique (creating smoky eyes, a classic red lip).  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Find a signature style that suits you.   Enhance your beauty IQ. Watch beauty tutorials to master new techniques.

12. ADJUST YOUR MAKEUP TO THE OCCASION:   Make sure at work your makeup is office appropriate, polished, professional, subtle and not over the top, selecting shades and application that look natural on you.   Rev it up for red carpet parties with head-turning style, bolder, brighter shades and more dramatic application.  For camera-ready occasions, make the right concealer, powder, and foundation fundamental to your makeup regimen.

13. REMEMBER, YOU ARE AS BEAUTIFUL AS YOU FEEL:   It’s that inner sparkle that will help you  stand out so be sure to radiate it and draw everyone you encounter to you with your beautiful attitude.   So, sparkle pretty.


December 4, 2012


Ho Ho Ho!!  ’Tis the season to shine, true beauties, in festive shades of plum and sparkling gold and silver glitters.   Let the holiday parties begin!!  Let’s glam it up!!

How to get Elsa’s ‘ Sugar Plum’  Fantasy  look:

It  starts with flawless skin.

.  Radiance Rules: Cleanse, treat and moisturize with Black Opal’s skin care products for problem-free, radiant skin.

.  Hide & Chic:  Conceal any imperfection with our Flawless Concealer.

.  Get Even:   The secret to smooth, even-toned skin?  Black Opal True Color Foundation

.   All Set:   Look skin perfect and keep oil from shining through with Black Opal Invisible Oil Blocking Powder

Achieve Alluring Eye Looks

  1. 1)  Apply Eyeshadow single in Wifey.  Be sure to emphasize the crease area, applying evenly and blending upward into the brow bone.
  2. 2)  Using the same shade, also apply under the bottom of lash line and extend past the outer corner of the eye creating a highly desirable cat eye effect.
  3. 3)  Play up eyes with a pop of color.., apply  gold glitter eyeshadow of your choice in the center of the lid and sweep lightly across eye.

Pucker Up Power For Your Pout

Get pretty with pink and plum shades.

Line lips with Plumberry Lip Definer.   Blend toward the center of the lips to create dimension

Slip on this pretty pink pick, Cinema Sweets Dual Lip Gloss, for that perfect hint of colour.

Use Plumberry Lip Definer to line the lips, blending towards the center to create dimension. Lightly dab the light pink shade of Dual Lip Gloss in Cinema Sweets on the lips for a hint of color.

Finishing Touches

  1. F1)  Get intense. Use Black Opal Liquid eyeliner in Black along the lash line. To intensify the eyes, use Eye Definer in Licorice on the water line inside the bottom and top lids.
  2. 2)  Complete the look with two coats of Lash Defining Mascara to really play up your  eyes.  Flirt the night away by adding false eye lashes.
  3. 3)  Go high brow: Arch and define brows with the Brow Defining Kit by applying wax base first and filling in sparse areas with color matching shadows.

Click here to download the how-to PDF

Watch for our next holiday beauty blog coming soon.  Getting gorgeous for the holidays is so much fun.  Don’t you agree, true beauties?

November 12, 2012


Today, our nation officially celebrates Veteran’s Day, honoring 22 million American veterans. Since 1954, it has been our tradition to salute our military personnel for their unwavering service and commitment to keeping our country safe.   But our military makeup  continues to evolve, with Black women assuming more prominent roles in all areas of military life.

Did you know women are hearing this call to service in record numbers?   That’s according to a recent Pew Social Trends Demographic Survey:

.   Did you know there are 1.8 million women American veterans?

.    Did you know that we have since a significant spike in actively enlisted women, from 55,000 in 1973, to more than 200,000 actively enlisted women in 2010?

.   Did you know that women now account for close to 19% of those enlisted in the  US military?

.   Most significantly, close to one-third  (31%) of Americans enlisting in the service are Black women.   That’s double the percentage of African American women in the civilian population.   That impressive percentage is outpacing  enlistments of all women and Black men.

.  And, African American women are being  sent overseas in greater numbers, and more recently, seeing more active duty.  Study says that since 2002, close to one-quarter (23%) of the 150,000 women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have been Black women.

.  Meantime, Black women are seeing more opportunities for recognition, including promotion to officer status. Approximately 5,000 women have been elevated to positions as officers.

According to new findings, while female officers overall are said to enjoy lower rates of promotion and retention, Black women are an exception, enjoying the same rates of promotion as men, at least at the start of their careers.

.  And, on an encouraging note, perhaps they will see more promotions later on in their careers, too, as evidenced by some of these  recent firsts:

-       Elevation of Major General Marcia Anderson to two star general in the US Army.

-       Promotion of Marcelite Harris to First Air Force female General

-       Vice Admiral Michelle Janine Howard to the Navy’s three star officer

Let’s salute all of our incredible military personnel as the work tirelessly to protect us. And, let’s keep them in our hearts and our thoughts so they can return home safely…..with the resources and support necessary to thrive.

SOURCE:  Department of Defense, Department of Veteran Affairs