BLB Beauty Blog

Let's talk beauty! Beginning January 2013, my role as beauty columnist for The Island News will shift into a new gear in which I want to hear your suggestions, questions, comments and desires regarding the beauty buzz.  Facebook me, inbox me, blog me, tweet me! Just reach me! Weekly, via social media, we will discuss your topics and I will focus with my responses in print via The Island News, Beaufort, SC! #beautyismybusiness

Beauty is my business!

...the nature of the business

Sep 30, 2014
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"A Vision of Beauty"

By Takiya Smith

For the past couple of years my children and I have made it a New Year tradition to create our own unique Vision Boards. January 1 has come to be our time of reflection over the previous year as well as a resolution of the new one to come.

A Vision Board is nothing more than a simple arts and craft project with a twist of creativity, individuality and a focus to make those things a reality. No matter what day the first falls on, I take that day and time off to spend it with my kids flipping through magazines, newspapers and literature to pull, cut out and piece together my wants, desires and goals for the new year. We all have dreams but it’s not until we can see a vision that those dreams begin to take on the shape and form necessary to give it life. A Vision Board helps to give us that constant reminder of our dreams so that we can keep focus on formulating a plan that leads us to that dream.

So let’s talk beauty, health and wellness as a part of that dream. The holidays are over, the guest have all gone and the leftovers are just left. For most, the chart-topping new year’s resolution is to lose weight, be healthy or to get fit. Nothing wrong with that except the fact that for most, this resolution sits stagnant as just a dream never becoming a true vision nor reaching reality. Coupled with unrealistic goals, lack of commitment or time management, the task seems more daunting than rewarding.

A Vision Board can not only be a fun and quirky way to set goals but it also allows an underlying message to yourself to stay focused on the task at hand. Whether it’s tackling weight loss, trying a new hairstyle, saving money, running your first marathon, creating world peace or investing in a new wardrobe see the dream, set the pace and focus on the vision.

Takiya La’Shaune Smith, licensed cosmetologist, mentor and owner of Beautique Lash & Brow, is an author and beauty columnist promoting inner and outer beauty, self-esteem, preservation and awareness. Follow her blog at www.blb-boutiques.com, find her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TakiyaLSmith, email her at Takiya@Takiya-LaShaune.com

Giving the Gift of Beauty

By Takiya Smith, December 14, 2011
Synonymous with the season, and just as the Bible teaches, it is better to give than to receive.  The holidays come with feelings of joy, excitement and the enjoyment of fellowship with close friends and family.  Parties galore and gifts aplenty add to the sheer spirit of this festive season as we look to close out one year and begin another anew.  For most, this is a time of cheer and reflection but for many the holidays are times of despair and grieving that some of us could not begin to comprehend.  The memory of a loved one lost. The sadness of  being alone at a time known for gathering. This holiday, as we take time for ourselves and family, let’s come together as a community and make time for others as well.
With that said, and in honor of giving, Beautique Lash & Brow would like to introduce our very first annual “Giving the Gift of Beauty.”  Here at Beautique, we recognize that beauty is not everything but that it can be a key starting pick-me-up to a rejuvenated, energized and new you, allowing you to present a fresh face and move forward.  Teaming up with our local beauty professionals and the community, Beautique Lash & Brow will honor two well deserving recipients with a total and full hair, skin, nail, face, body and clothing makeover.
We are looking for community support in this annual event and simply ask that you nominate a male or female candidate who meets the requirements of deserving a fresh start makeover. Go to our website at www.blb-boutiques.com to  view requirements and guidelines as well as make submissions for nominees.  The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 23.

Beauty Inside & Out: The Salt Water Flush

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  • Aurora (Sunday, November 25 12 01:51 am EST)

    Howdy terrific blog! Does running a blog similar to this take
    a great deal of work? I've no knowledge of computer programming however I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, should you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off topic however I simply had to ask. Thank you!

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By Takiya Smith, December 1, 2011
This week’s article closes out a series on internal cleansing, also known as the body detox.  In line with discussing matters of external beauty, such as hair, skin and nail care, our internal beauty regimen is just as important. Along with healthy eating, a proper diet and regular exercise, an occasional detox can do wonders for a tired, sluggish and toxin filled body.  The Salt Water Flush, alone or along with the Master Cleanse, is another simple and purely organic method of cleansing your bodies system.
While the Master Cleanse targets our blood flow and lymph nodes to flush out harmful toxins, the Salt Water Flush works literally from the other end, flushing out the colon.  Again, as with the Master Cleanse, it is best to perform this flush during a fast, however, caution and consultation with your physician should be exercised prior to any drastic changes in diet and exercise.  The Salt Water Flush is nothing more than what the name proposes; salt and water which are drank to flush out the colon.  The flush is drank only one day at a time, early in the morning upon waking.  It is advisable and encouraged to do this during a time frame in which you can stay home or at least near an unoccupied toilet, as the flush will begin to work within 30-60 minutes of drinking. Results will vary per individual, as to how long or how often the flush takes places, however, if mixed properly, a flush should occur no more than once or twice and you may resume your day as planned.
Mixing the flush is simple and only requires one quart of lukewarm drinking water and two tablespoons of non-iodized sea salt. The flush should be drank in one setting, as quickly as possible, taking long gulps and not small sips. As for the taste, it’s not quite like homemade, ice cold tea, yet a squeeze of lemon or lime juice can be added to appease your palette. The flush will not work with regular table salt and again, consuming the proper amount of water along with the sea salt ensures satisfactory results.  If you are utilizing this along with the Master Cleanse, you can begin drinking your lemonade mixture after the first movement, as normal.

Beauty Inside and Out: The Master Cleanse Detox

By Takiya Smith, November 24, 2011

Last week we discussed the subject of an internal beauty regimen, the body cleansing detox. I shared a few key tips on the purpose of a detox, what it can accomplish and even made mention of one of my personal picks, the Master Cleanse detox. This week, I want to share with you my personal experience, a testimony of sorts, to the benefit of a total body detox. Besides the use of natural, organic ingredients working together to flush and purify the system, a good, healthy detox yields healing qualities as well.
My very first experience, as well as knowledge with detoxing, came about three years ago, in the midst of my suffering severe allergic reactions.  As a child and well into my adult life I had never experienced an allergic reaction until my early thirties.  Late one evening, after eating some fast food, I broke out into a wave of hives accompanied by flu like symptoms.  After enduring the symptoms for 24 hours and many doses of Benedryl later, the bout subsided. However, from that day on through an entire year, I suffered random reactions that grew worse with each outbreak.  I was tested for every possible allergen known to man and put on every possible medication invented, yet nothing worked, nor was I diagnosed with a probable allergen or cause.  The outbreaks were so bad that I was prescribed an Epi-pen “just in case” I went into anaphylactic shock, as my throat had now began to swell during outbreaks as well, sometimes while I slept.
It was a downright miserable time in life for me, yet I kept my faith in God that I would be healed of these agitating episodes.
A year into the attacks, and explaining the ordeal to my Pastor and his wife, she recommended the Master Cleanse. Three days later, fully detoxed, I experienced my worst but last ever reaction as my system flushed out all the toxins and pollutants that had filled my body.  Within that year, no medication had given me the relief or result that the detox had.  It has been three years and I am still reaction free.  From that year on, detoxing has become a way of life for me and I continue to see tremendous results in my overall health, body and skin.
As with any changes in health, exercise or diet, please always consult your physician for what is best for you.

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Beauty Inside and Out: A Happy Body is a Detoxed Body

Beauty inside and out: A happy body is a detoxed body

By Takiya Smith, November 17, 2011
With so many topics of health and wellness, there is so much offered on the web, in print and in stores to give insight on how to obtain and maintain a healthy, balanced body.  Diet and exercise create a great foundation for a successful lifestyle, but like the general population, most of our day to day schedules only offer fast food as a staple in our diets.  A rushed, hurry-up and-get-there walk from the house to the car is the only exercise offered as we head in to work and drop down behind our desks.  Fad diets are no fun and usually result in senseless starvation, and trends leave just as quickly as they came.  So why not take a look at changing your health forever instead of altering it just for the moment?  One great way to do so is regularly detoxing your body.
The purpose of a body detox is to rid the body of all traces of impurities and toxins in your bloodstream and lymph nodes.  Such impurities can consist of harmful sugars, salt, caffeine, bacteria and minerals that only do the body harm over prolonged time.  Most all detox plans are basic, easy and utilize simple products already in your kitchen cabinets or stocked on your grocers shelves.  My favorite detox, the Master Cleanse, also known as the Lemonade Diet, consists of drinking a minimum of 6-8 glasses of eight ounces of water per day.  Added to each glass of water are two tablespoons of each of the following: 100% pure lemon juice, grade B maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Purified or distiller water is best and should be drank lukewarm, not cold.  If obtainable, organic products are best, but not a must.  Fresh squeezed lemons are great as well, but again, not a must as long as the juice is 100% pure and not from concentrate. The purpose of the maple syrup is solely to provide the body with the nutrients needed to sustain itself during the detoxification process. Grade B maple syrup, darker and richer in color,  has less refined sugars than Grade A and allows the body to burn it off quickly.
It is highly recommended that the detox be done consecutively for a minimum of 3 days, however, can be done for up to 21 days.  The only catch to this well-kept jewel of a secret is that the detox must be done in conjunction with a fast and a salt water flush to cleanse the intestines as well.  Though three or more days of no food may have you contemplating throwing out this article at the very moment, it’s not necessarily impossible. The cleanse can be altered to include light foods and a minimum number of days per individual, however, a noted and almost immediate “side effect” of the fast and detox is the rapid, but healthy, weight loss.
Before any changes in diet, exercise or health related issues, please always consult your physician first for what is suitable for you.

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The Metro Male: A Manly Must

By Takiya Smith, Novermber 10, 2011
Over the past couple of months, and rightfully so, pretty much all of my beauty articles have focused on women.  Talk of eyelash extensions, eyebrow threading, makeup, hair, skin, nails, and all things girlie have no doubt sprinkled the articles. All for the sake of beauty, fashion and women, however, it has come to my attention that a good bit of readers following my articles are male.  Surprised, and equally humbled and appreciative as I was to grasp this newfound knowledge, I now embark on a new mission.  Just as Jesus and His disciples spread the word of God, I now vow to spread the beauty gospel amongst all that will hear and receive, both male and female.
Do the words “male” and “beauty” have any business being combined in the same sentence and spoken out of our mouths?  Emphatically, I say, yes, absolutely! Spa tendencies, we will call them, are not just for females. Many flourishing spas and salons cater to pampering our men with services such as facials, manicures, pedicures and waxing. Present day society seems to be so wrapped up in the matter of fact ideals that men who visit the spa or salon for such services must someway, somehow, lack a true manhood.   So, the name “metrosexual” has been given to the brave souls who are not moved by whispers behind the salon chairs and just flat out know that rigid, dirt covered fingernails and hard calloused feet are no way to catch a date at all.
The term “metro” when referred to a male, is insistent of one that is, in fact, very much secure in whom he is.  The metro male has no qualms or hang ups with walking into a spa, sans his better half, slapping down his charge card and booking a traditionally female dominate spa service.  Affectionately dubbed for it’s common prevalence in urban, city men, the metro male clearly recognizes that his self-preservation is priority and makes no hesitations about it.
As the industry would have it, I myself make no judgements and welcome many a male client into my facility, in which they are treated fairly, as well as pampered.  Services ranging from facials to threading of the brows, beards and mustache area keep these mighty “metro” males coming back for more.
Are you a metro male or do you feel that the spa is for women only? 

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Why is personal hygeine so impersonal?
By Takiya Smith, November 3, 2011
 As always, most of my beauty articles come from topics of discussion amongst clients and myself, so this weeks article poses no difference in that respect.  With that said, I want to enlist the intricate minds of men and women alike, to go deeper into discussion about the subject of hygeine.  I've found this area to be a sensitive matter and though it clearly needs to be addressed, I want your views and opinions.  Hygeine, whether it deals with hair, teeth, skin, nails or body can be like the icing on the cake or the nail in one's coffin.  It's either good or bad and we've all got to choose a side.
     Hanging out with girlfriends or talking to a loved one doesn't seem to weigh heavily on the ease of comfort in pointing out the fact that a tic- tac is needed or that an individual smells as if they literally bathed in their cologne.  Yet, when it comes to informing a less than familiar target, such as a co-worker or maybe even the boss, the level of ease drops insistently low .  Most times, leaving both the target and the well-intentiond informant in a position of discomfort and uncertainty which could possibly lead to resentment.  Resentment may lead to discussing the issue with others and discussing the issue with others could lead to undesireable gossip.  Gossip, in no way, shape or form is ever attractive or appropriate, none the less, with the entire office now  involved in the knowledge of the targets less than appealing state, the matter at hand is still not resolved.
     So, how does one approach the issue of bad hygeine habits?  Depending upon the situation and the individual, is it anyone's place to do so?  Then, in all fairness , when placed in a public setting or any role that offers involvment with others, should a person not be owed the right to speak up or inform one of such hygenic violations?  Take, for instance, a beauty industry consultant.  Working directly with the public in a position that is viewed as
marketing oneself, it would make absolutely no sense at all to have a bad hair day, damaged, dirty fingernails, bad breathe and tattered clothing.  A proper and manged image is expected, of course, because one can't sell beauty if they are not beauty.  So, again, I ask, what about any other industry or setting that involves close confinement or interaction amongst others? How do you address  informing others of personal hygeine issues, what is your approach and in what manner?
   Visit my beauty blog at www.blb-boutiques.com and post your comments. 

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  • R.Miller (Thursday, November 03 11 08:30 am EDT)

    Great article. Look forward to reading more.

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I’m totally falling …

By Takiya Smith, October 27, 2011

Fall is officially upon us, and if the crisp, cool breeze blowing amongst the serene backdrop of blazing autumn colors isn’t enough to spike your winter wordrobe, then the clickety-clack of boots galore should just about do it for you.  I, personally, since about the second week of summer, have awaited this very moment to break out my favorite pair of edgy, yet elegantly chic, over-the-knee leather boots.  Let’s face it ladies, because as wonderful as the warmth of sun-kissed skin feels, you can only go so far, fahsionably, with sandals, flip-flops and Maxi dresses.  Fall, for many, marks the beginning of a fashion fanfare that allows a story to unfold.
A cropped denim jacket mixed with a casual, flirty skirt paired over opaque tights make for an ecclectic ensemble, while a cozy cashmere scarf under a sporty trench or trendy peacoat adds flair and style to any girl’s closet.  Layers of mock tee’s, soft sweaters and a business blazer can jazz up a plain, old pair of jeans, complete when tucked inside a stylish pair of boots.  The possibilites truly are endless to mixing and matching a fall/winter wordrobe and the limitations are that there are none.  I’m a firm believer that fashion has no boundaries, however, there are a few rules.
No fab, fall fashionista would find herself complete without the institution of a new color palette as well.  Makeup, unknown to most, changes with the seasons as well, just as our skin tones and textues do.  The cooler, harsher winds leave our skin dry, wind-chaffed and chapped so the best protection is maximum coverage foundation and skin replenishing moisturizers.  Routine facials during the winter can aide in keeping skin soft, supple and hydrated as well.  Fall colors, such as deep plums, rich chocolates, and royal blue hues hit the runways swiped over eyes, lips, cheeks and fingernails.  Not to be left out, hair is at its best when the sizzling, sweaty days of summer make way for the uncomplicated, comfortable temperatures that wisk in with the winter.  Long gone are the frizzy and frazzled, humidity taunted locks, but what now emerges are high, tight and polished ponytails, luscious and lengthy curls and bed head hair that actually looks as if you paid a fortune for it.
To the summer, I say, until we meet again but for now, I’m totally “falling.”

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  • J. Sellers (Sunday, October 30 11 12:23 pm EDT)

    Thank you for the wonderful read. I truely enjoyed the visuals and you have inspired me to embrace the winter months to come!

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Inner Beauty 101: Think pink, think smart, think right

By Takiya Smith, October 19, 2011
With a little more than two weeks left in the month of October, but a life-long journey before us, I want to focus on the national theme of this month being Breast Cancer Awareness. “Think Pink” is the thought-provoking, coined term that has sparked a revolution amongst communities across America. Everyone of us man, woman or child can think of at least one person in our lives who has been affected by some form of cancer.  Whether it be a best friend, a child, a neighbor, a spouse or even oneself, cancer has been known to have no limitations, boundaries or prejudices. In the midst of such, there is hope and comfort to be found.
When we think and speak of beauty immediately our minds conjure up images of dolled up faces, beautiful women, gorgeous hair and the likes of such things associated.  Yet, there is a beauty so deeply rooted within us, that sometimes we, ourselves, tend to overlook and neglect.  Inner beauty can be defined on so many levels, however, what I speak of today is our health. Regular physical health check ups, such as mammograms, pap smears, cholesterol, and blood pressure are just a few simple early-detection and preventative measures that could ultimately save our lives.
Looking good does assist in feeling good, but let’s not forget that the key to looking good begins with feeling good.  Obtaining proper self-care, as important as it is, often times is a last resort only when our bodies begin to give off tell-tale signs of illness. Fatigue, weight fluctuation and a plethora of symptoms red flag our bodies, yet, common to most, time and time again we brush them off with thoughtless comments and overshadow them with excuses.
This month, and for the rest of your lives, I challenge you to see the beauty within as well.  Take your inner health just as seriously as you do your outer beauty and see your physician regularly.  Grab a gal pal or two and make a day of it.  As women, we are always looking for an opportune girls day out so why not add our health to the list? Make October more than a month to remember by making it a tradition to begin life anew.  Shatter negative statistics and create a buzz because, literally, your life depends on it.

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Yes, makeup matters

By Takiya Smith, October 13, 2011

After a hectic weekend of moving both home and business, I awoke to an aching body and stared dreadfully at the haggard, puffy-eyed and disheveled haired girl looking back at me from the mirror.  This amazing, yet incredibly horrible sight of my sleepless nights was enough to remind me that I was ever so grateful for make up.
As I prepared for war, I dug through my personal arsenal of beauty products and began my attack on the battle at beauty hill. It was a fight-for-your-life struggle as I broke out the heavy artillery: collagen eye gel pads to awaken sleepy, tired eyes; exfoliating facial scrub to slough away dry, dead skin; and a tightening cream to hydrate, replenish and karate chop fine lines.  Going in for the kill, I went for the jugular and attacked the very heartbeat of my nemesis with a hit of foundation, some smoldering eyeshadow, a few swipes of mascara and some soft, barrel curls in my hair, as a reminder to never show her ugly face again.  Headed out the door, I took one final glance at the beauty in the mirror and thought to myself, yes, makeup matters.
Now, to those of you who wake up simply stunning, more power to you.  To the rest of the world, this article is just  for you.  I must first and foremost offer that makeup is in no way, shape or form, a cover up, but an enhancement. Yes, make up can work wonders in covering blemishes, scarring and less than perfect skin, however, covered or not, it’s the skin your in.  I once had a friend, after years of knowing her, and wondering why she did not wear make up, finally reveal to me that she was taught and grew up thinking that only ugly women needed and wore makeup.  I embarked on informing her of how makeup is supposed to accentuate not over accelerate the process of ones beauty.
Have you ever noticed anyone, maybe a friend or just some random woman in the grocery store and thought to yourself, wow, she would be really pretty if only she did this, or wore her hair like that?  It’s not that this woman is entirely unattractive in her state of natural beauty, but you can see how a coat of mascara could make her eyes pop or a hint of bronzer could make her skin shine.  Inner beauty, I’m all for, but if I have learned nothing from my many wars at beauty hill, I can honestly say that the emerging, made up beauty that I’ve come to know so well, is the one that I consistently want to introduce.
When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good you are able to put your best efforts forward to do good.

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  • Takiya Smith (Friday, October 28 11 10:28 am EDT)

    I had a great time writing this article. Funny how looking at oneself in the mirror can inspire...

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The take over, make-me-over

By Takiya Smith, October 6, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest, hottest and sexiest of them all? If while staring at your mirror, asking this question, you get nothing but dead silence and the woman in the mirror is staring back at you with wide-eyed confusion, it could be time for a makeover. With the fall season knocking at our door, beckoning for us to answer, what better time to update, throw out the old, bring in the new and jazz up your image.
Head to toe, image certainly isn’t just anything, yet amazingly, it literally can mean almost everything.  A short, classic, neck grazing bob paired with a pristine and polished set of well manicured nails speaks class and a sense of elegance. Whereas, a tight, French chignon, combined with this season’s hottest hues in a handbag plus a daring pair of knee-high boots reveals a risk-taking fashionista all her own.
A makeover has no boundaries and options are limitless when total consideration is given in full perspective.  Hair can be cut, extensions can be added and color can be explored. Make-up can change, looks can be created and advice can be given. Clothing and shoes can be altered, mixed and matched and shopping is just down- right fun.
No matter your style, flow, vibe or taste, we all can agree that a “new you” always seems to bring out the better in the best of you. The walk is a little taller, the talk is full of confidence and the look is positively empowering.

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The Beauty of the Beast

By Takiya Smith, September 29, 2011

He say, she say, we all feel as if we should have a say … right? Or at least somewhere in the deep recesses of our intricate minds, we gather some sense that we have a claim or stake in verbalizing our opinions, thoughts, and ideals on matters from “what not to wear” to who we feel needs to be the “biggest loser.” Yet, who are we to decide, judge a matter or, far worse, each other?
For so long, the issue of gossip, labels, stereotypes and the backlash of negative media images has plagued our society, particularly our young girls. Though the response and support has taken and made tremendous strides, all too common is the advice given directly to the initiator and instigators to pipe down and back off.  Well, ladies, gals, Southern belles, divas and bombshells, my approach goes a little something like this: Obviously the nay-sayers, haters and discriminators will always be there, so why not grab the bull by the horns and stare it menacingly back, dead in its eyes? Embrace who you are with all the ease, confidence and splendor that you have been chosen to be.
Growing up, I was all too familiar with my less-than-acceptable looks, such as being categorized as ugly, because I wasn’t light and fair skinned like my baby sister, but rather darker toned and subjected to taunts and ridicules of words like “darkie” by my own race. As life went on, I found that this deeply rooted slur had spun me into a deeper, mixed web of low self-esteem with issues that this article could not possibly contain. Yet, in my growth and with some words of wisdom that I will share with you, I was able to accept my personal beauty mark.
Often times, the ones dishing the dirt are just swiftly scooping it off themselves to not appear dirty. Now, how we choose to react is key. Claws out and teeth showing, we can retaliate, or, like the ladies that we are, we can assist them in getting the dirt off and helping to clean them up. The latter, coupled with a constant reminder that if people are talking, then I am simply something to talk about, has helped keep me mindful of the beauty of the beast.

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Just browsing III: More eyebrow tips to live by

By Takiya Smith, September 22, 2011
Having covered the basics of eyebrow placement and natural structure, let’s take a closer look at design and definition. No matter who you are, at some point and time, you have observed, wondered or even desired the look of full, thick and precisely arched eyebrows. Let’s go back to that magazine article and revisit those ever-so coveted Angelina Jolie eyebrows.
Following the proper shape, the next key element is to keep brows neatly groomed and well maintained. Waxing and tweezing are traditional brow grooming services that can be done both at home or in a spa or salon.  My choice pick and ultimate suggestion is the fast spreading method of Eyebrow Threading, which is a true art form that involves the simple use of an organic piece of cotton beauty thread.  The thread is manipulated to target sections or individual segments of hair that are ultimately pulled directly out of the follicle with minimal to no pain, irritation, redness or swelling.  Threading does not pull the skin, thus causes no incorporation of “sagging” and offers a clean, precise and highly defined eyebrow like no other.
Once the brow has been properly designed and shaped, the next step, if needed, consists of fillers, such as brow powders or pencils. Though pencils tend to lean on the harsher side, resulting in unnatural looking brows, a softer look can be achieved with the correct color match, a soft hand during application and light, swift strokes in the direction of the natural brow.  As a suggestion, my recommendation is soft hue brow powders that have the consistency of eye shadow. Brow powders blend so well and fill in sparse brows as well as make non-noticeable blonde or fair hair pop with color.
Lastly, be sure to keep a good polisher, such as clear mascara or a brow gel, to complete your brow kit.  Brow gels help to set and hold your brows for an all-day look that is sure to dazzle and keep everyone asking how to get your celeb-worthy brows.

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Just browsing II: Eyebrow tips to live by

By Takiya Smith, September 15, 2011
Last week we took a look at the importance of eyebrows and how they frame and shape our faces.  Our brows enhance our natural features and can even offer a spectrum of looks from bold and flashy to demure and chic.  Finding the perfect shape and angle of your natural brow can be a simple task when equipped with accurate knowledge.
In order to achieve a brow shape that compliments your facial structure the use of a plain Khol eyeliner pencil and a well-lit bathroom vanity will suffice.  Standing in the mirror, take a good look at the present shape of your brows and using your eyeliner pencil, mark a small spot to reflect where they begin, arch and end.  Now, holding the eyeliner pencil at a forty-five degree angle, line it up with the outer corner of your eye so that it meets the eyebrow.  This area, known as the tail, marks where you eyebrow should end.  Be sure to mark a spot on this area to see the difference in your original placement.
Next, holding the pencil at a ninety degree angle, place it directly in front of your eye near the outer corner of your iris.  This marks the appropriate position of the arch, which varies individually.  Lastly, still holding the pencil at a ninety degree angle, move it to the inner corner of your eye and place it against the skin to line up with the beginning of the brow, known as the bulb
Taking a step back, observe the previous markings compared to the latter.  If your brows are pretty much within the confines of each other, you have already won half the battle to achieving superb brows.  If your markings are too far apart, consider following these cues to achieve a look that works best for you.  Next week we will discuss the use of brow powders, pencils, waxing and threading, which are all enhancements and services that can assist in maximum definition.

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Just browsing: Eyebrow tips to live by

By Takiya Smith, September 8, 2011
Have you ever truly paid attention to your eyebrows? I mean really taken a long, examining look at these two small, yet important, details of your face. Eyebrows, especially for women, however, as equally influencing for men, can be the most attention-grabbing features of your face.
Our eyebrows grow in various shapes and colors, as well as different lengths and thickness.  Some sparse, some full, some shapely, and some rebellious and unruly. Yet, no matter your category, the great news is that there is an easy quick-fix to obtaining gorgeous, natural and celeb-worthy brows.
The primary key to fashioning perfect brows, basically, is to know them.  As a trained lash and brow specialist, I have consulted with countless numbers of clients, having to tell them all to “slowly put the magazine down and cautiously back away from it.”  As experienced as I am, your brows are not going to look exactly like Angelina Jolie’s because they are hers and not yours.
Just as I explain, regarding Angelina, consider your face and its attributes.  Is your face round and full, heart shape or angular? Likewise, do your brows have a natural, high arch, a slight curve to them or, in some cases, absolutely no arch at all?  Knowing and following the natural shape and growth pattern of your brows is an absolute foundational must, ladies and gents.  This principle will steer you clear of “clown-like” brows or the ever so popular, yet painstaking “surprised look” that is in no way shape or form a great surprise at all.
In the coming weeks, follow me as I continue this series “Just Browsing” and share many valuable tips on how to manage, groom and put your best brow forward.

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Bringing Sexy Back
by Takiya Smith, September 1, 2011
 
     Exactly who is this "sexy" and where did she go?  Did "sexy" ever really exist and if so, how come she's lost now?  Did "sexy" run away or did I unkinowling chase her off?  Can someone, anyone, please help me figure out how to bring sexy back?
     Most of us, at some point and time, have heard or even used this cliche phrase to describe our less than appealing state of self-image.  A few extra pounds of post-baby weight gain or maybe even a triumphant, yet haggard battle with an illness, such as cancer, can trigger a plethora of emotions.  These emotions can weigh heavily on our mental and physical view of whom and how we used to be.  Vibrant, young, slim, curvaceous and sexually attractive are some terms that come to mind when you gather up one's definition of what sexy truly is.  Yet today, I challenge you to go beyond the precepts of pop culture and explore, possibly even create your own sexy to bring back. 
     "Sexy" is more so a characteristic than it is a look.  An air of confidence associated with one's femininity that exudes class, sophistication and a little bit of a social tease, if you dare..  Sexy, by my terms, has nothing to do with the act itself, but encompasses an individual's style, taste and ability to turn heads, drop jaws and silence a room without the use or exposure of the body.  It's a language all in itself and I implore you to speak it loud, proud and bold.
     Sure, clothing, accessories, beauty and body are key elements to improving upon bringing sexy back, yet if you take a deeper look within, beyond the skewed self-images and the endless covers of magazines, you may just find that sexy always existed and she never left your side.  Could it be, in fact, that you actually left her?

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We Invest into everything else, so why not ourselves?

by Takiya Smith, August 25, 2011

 

With so many aspects of daily life, from womanhood to motherhood, we are constantly being pulled in a direction that consistently leads to exhausting ourselves. As a wife, the day to day support that we give our spouses, gratifying as it may be, causes us to take a more humble approach to rewarding ourselves. As a woman in the workforce, unless we truly love what we are doing, we take a backseat to our true desires. Then, as a mother, we endlessly and selflessly give until there is pretty much nothing left to give. That is, until we recharge ourselves, just to do it all over again. So, with giving so much of oneself, investing our time in our families and jobs, and even financially into our homes and vehicles, why not invest into ourselves?

            This topic of discussion came about from a client and good friend, who emphatically stated that “we as women should look at ourselves as an investment.” Her simple statement, backed by her own personal experiences, was enough to convince me to start investing into myself. Botox, breast augmentation, hair extensions, liposuction, and laser hair removal: you name it, she had done it all. Furthermore, she looked great and her confidence was at an all time high.

            In today’s society, a trip to the spa, plastic surgeon or any money spent on beauty tends to be looked upon as a luxury and not a necessity.   Reserved only for the well-off or a pampering of sorts, which needs to be earned, hence deserved. Yet, when compared to how one feels prior to, versus the after effects of receiving a beauty treatment, the term “feel good because you look good” takes on a whole new meaning when beauty is viewed as an investment. Beauty is self-preservation personified. As a woman it is a right of passage, significant for our self-image, which is self-representation and ultimately leads to increased self-esteem.

            The cost of a day at the spa: $300, hair extensions: $200, Botox: $350, semi-permanent eyelash extensions: $170. The cost of increasing your own self-esteem, self-worth and value of your beauty: PRICELESS.

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