“IS SHE REALLY THAT GOOD OR JUST ARROGANT?”

OK…. this is part random musings and part rant/vent.

Here I am on a Sunday afternoon catching up on the last episode of Scandal. To say that the “drama” and the proverbial “sh*t” is hitting the fan would be an understatement. If you are a fellow “gladiator” you know what I am talking about. For those of you who are not, here is the shortest synopsis of what the show is about and what I am referring to:

Scandal is the ABC network’s political drama loosely based on the life of Washington, DC- based “fixer,” Judy Smith that was created by the Shonda Rhimes (think Grey’s Anatomy). The series stars Kerry Washington as the Smith-like character, Olivia Pope, who runs a “crisis management” firm (think about some of the most salacious political scandals in recent times—she’s the one type that helps them disappear from the headlines and our memories). The show centers around Pope’s eponymous firm and its staff as well as the staff of the White House under fictions President Fitzgerald Grant III (played by Tony Goldwyn).

The key point you need to know about the show is that Olivia is having an affair with the married President of the United States (this didn’t happen to Ms. Smith) and the First Lady knows about it and of course is being driven crazy by this fact. It has been going on for years (the show alludes to the long standing romance with flashbacks to the days of Fitz’s gubernatorial and subsequent presidential campaigns). Well here’s what is going on this season—the cat’s been let out of the bag and after past insinuations by many of the President’s political foes, the whole world has confirmation that Olivia is sleeping with Fitz and get this…. she admitted it on TV! I know when that happened, everyone was “clutching their pearls,” gasping and whatever else one does in shock when the news broke.

Olivia Pope as portrayed by Kerry Washington

So of course, as with any scandal, the news programs decided to give us some insight on who the real Olivia Pope was (remember Monica Lewinsky?). Well as Olivia is sitting at home watching all these different programs delve into her past as an African American woman who “done good” by any means necessary (he father is in prison for supposedly embezzling money to fund a lavish lifestyle for him and his daughter when she was younger – but that is just a “cover”)—the pull out all kinds of people from her past including her 3rd grade teacher (smdh).

So as we watched Olivia watching all of this, one of the reporters uttered a phrase that had me hitting pause and question what I just heard….” Is she really this good or just arrogant?” The reporter was referring to her success as DC’s top fixer and the academic accolades and other achievements she racked up over the years. Now I know it is a TV show and that this is fake and all, but it really made me stop and think. Why did a question like that really have to be asked? Couldn’t she really be that good to really achieve all the success she had professionally? What did she have to be considered arrogant? Is it because she saw herself as amazing and deserving of that title? And before all of you jump on me about the whole sleeping with a married man (and yes, the President) thing, I am talking that out of the equation for now because I am going to relate it to real life now. Sadly, it seems that when one refers to a woman of color (particularly a Black woman) who is successful, there is always some caveat that comes with it. Oh it’s great that she is successful but she’s a bitch or she’s conceited or she’s arrogant or thinks too much of herself. It is never…oh wow her accomplishments are so impressive or inspiring or great for ALL women.

First Lady Michelle Obama in her 2013 official portrait (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Over the years I have had this conversation with women of all races and creeds in my circle and it always is something that left us either confused or angry. My white friends would first think I was being sensitive until they started listening more to what was being said. My friends of color (Asian, Black and Latina) would just shake their heads because it had become par for the course. What do I mean? Let’s take First Lady Michelle Obama for example. Over the years we have heard her called a bitch, arrogant, standoffish, “angry” and all kinds of stuff. Why is that? I am not saying one has to love or even like her, but can she just have accomplishments noted without adding admonitions about people’s perception of her as a person? And for the record, I actually say this about all women at the end of the day.

In my own life, I have had a lot of people later admit to me that I am totally different than what they surmised me to be like given my background and education level. One said that I am actually nice and not bitchy at all (how does one take that as a compliment?). I try not to get too worked up about it but things like this have happened on more than one occasion. Just last week, I was told that I must think I am entitled because I didn’t grow up in the projects and went to Wellesley. (Really?????????)

I mean seriously…why is it wrong for me to think I am worthy of success and recognition (and for the record I really don’t go looking for any) of said success? Is it wrong to think that I deserve the best things in life like my male and non-Black counterparts? Maybe I should blame it on my Caribbean upbringing that valued hard work and striving for the top; or maybe that as a woman of color I’ve had to put in twice as much work to be considered a fraction (can’t even say half) as good as others in my field; or maybe it’s just because I am a Virgo—that’s what I say when anyone points out that I am an “overachiever.” I wonder If I looked more like what many consider the American ideal of beauty (blonde hair, blue eyes and a size 2) would you say the same things to me about being arrogant or would that just come with the territory of who I was perceived to be? I have theories about the answer to this question but I am just going to end my post here so that I can get back to watching my “stories.”

Until next time love bugs.

*** NB: All images from the television show Scandal are courtesy of ABC.

Happy Blogiversary!

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Ummm….so 5 years ago today,  I embarked on a very special journey with the launch of The Curvy Socialite. To be honest, I never thought it would grow to be where it is today. This  was just supposed to be an outlet for my (mis)adventures here in my day to day travels. Now the Curvy Socialite  has turned into a lifestyle blog that has led to some pretty amazing opportunities (wait post Fashion Week for more about that).

Thank you everyone who has followed  and supported this  burgeoning brand over the past 5 years. I’m looking forward to more “blogiversaries” in the years  to come.

Also, in the next few weeks, Curvy  Socialite will be experiencing  a makeover that reflects  the awesomeness that she has  become.

Thank you again for your continued support!

Xoxo,

Tamara Walker
Aka The Curvy Socialite

CONTEST: Fashionably Delicious

MAGNUM® ICE CREAM AND BCBGMAXAZRIA COLLABORATION TURNS CHOCOLATE AND COUTURE INTO THE WORLD’S MOST PLEASURABLE FASHION ACCESSORY

The BCBGMaxazria for MAGNUM Belgian Chocolate Wrap unveiling at BCBGMaxazria on Fifth Avenue,  in New York. (Photo by Jason DeCrow/Invision for MAGNUM/AP Images)
The BCBGMaxazria for MAGNUM Belgian Chocolate Wrap unveiling at BCBGMaxazria on Fifth Avenue, in New York. (Photo by Jason DeCrow/Invision for MAGNUM/AP Images)

Who knows when it first started….the love affair between the human taste bud and the decadence of chocolate? We all have heard people even say that the taste and smell are practically orgasmic.

BCBG MAXAZRIA gets it and knows that this scrumptious scent can be the ultimate pleasure.  That is why the fashion brand has teamed with Belgian chocolate brand, MAGNUM, to create the marriage of indulgence between fashion and delectable forbidden fruit. What was the result? This teaming culminated in the innovation designed wrap which allows you to experience the pleasure of chocolate wherever you go with the launch of The BCBGMAXAZARIA for MAGNUM Belgian Chocolate Wrap.

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This beautiful wrap allows the wearer to experience the sensual effect of the famed European chocolate. Infused with the sexy scent, you fall under the indulgent spell of the “MAGNUM Effect,” as you’re wrapped in aromatic pleasure.

The MAGNUM Effect was the creation of Harvard scientist and scent inventor David Edwards and master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel—the result of crafting a blend of vanilla, sandalwood, creamy natural chocolate with Orris butter and Orris resinoid creating a scent that is soft, creamy and mouthwatering.

The wrap features an innovative technology called Wearable oNotes are designed to carry scent-based “messages” that trigger the positive experience associated with the smell of chocolate.

This fashionably delicious wrap is a limited edition “gift with a purchase” at select BCBGMAXAZRIA stores this summer.

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Click here to enter the giveaway!

Want a BCBGMAXAZRIA for MAGNUM Chocolate Wrap of your own? Click the image above to enter the giveaway!

THE CS BOOK CLUB: Brittany Gibbons’ Fat Girl Walking

The last few months, I think I have gotten the same piece of advice/instruction from almost everyone I know—“Stop stressing.” And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. Mr. Socialite says it daily. My mother has been saying it a lot lately too. Even my physician went as far as to write a prescription literally saying….”Stop Stressing and go have fun.” Thanks Doc. Great advice but easier said than done.

The sad part is I know I stress a lot. Sometimes it’s warranted and other times it’s due to the stars. Yes, I said the stars. Being a Virgo has its privileges but there are some nasty side effects—one of them being the never-ending quest for perfection and the stress that comes with this (Ask me how many times I have actually started this post and why it’s taken me almost two weeks to finally post it, SMDH). But I am learning to manage stress and being a Virgo a lot better as I get older. One of my coping mechanisms is reading.

Just as much as I like to write, I love to read. Magazines (I’m subscribed to a million of them), the newspaper (I blame you Mama Socialite for that one….I read 3-4 different local newspapers every day. Seriously how different can each retelling of the same news item be?) , Blogs (Bloglovin’ is one of my most active apps on my phone) and of course books.

Books are like the ultimate vacation. Where else can you travel to exotic places, time warp to the past or future; or even live someone else’s life (without being on the lam) for free? Alright….maybe for the cost of the book or download but free if you go to the library (support your local library!). For me, books are the ultimate escape from the everyday. And sometimes they are almost as good as a therapist or sister-friend. So it’s no surprise that I am launching the Curvy Socialite Book Club. The CS Book Club will feature new and old books alike (truthfully what catches my fancy at the time) with my thoughts on the book, the author and more.

To kick things off, I will talk about fellow blogger extraordinaire, Brittany Gibbons’ book, Fat Girl Walking.

Many of you know Brittany Gibbons already—maybe not by her real name but at least by her blog’s name, Brittany Herself. She is ranked as one of the top bloggers in the Plus Size/Curvy, Mommy and Lifestyle categories. I think Brittany first came across my radar after I read some coverage about an experiment in body image and self-love were she had sex every day for a year with her husband, Andy (yeah you read that right—yeah she tells us all about it in her book). To be honest, I always thought she was brave as she bared everything for the world to see (she’s also known for wowing the crowd as she stripped down to a bikini during her TED Talk a few years back). But how did Brittany Gibbons become the fabulous body positive activist and champion for the everyday woman? Simple…she was just herself.

Fat Girl Walking is one of those books that reads more like a conversation with your BFF rather than an autobiography. In it, Brittany shares her life story of growing up as a “big girl” in Ohio and dealing with mental illness, obesity, family, dating (not easy at any size) , eating disorders and more. Chock full with hilarious stories riddled with pop culture references as well as some of raw painful moments that out right broke my heart, I found myself sitting their laughing out loud (and sometimes at the most inopportune times—try cracking up in the quiet car on the Metro North….if looks could kill….) and even shedding tears throughout the whole read. She pretty much bares her soul to the reader to giving us all the good, bad and sometimes out right gross details of it all (yeah the post childbirth stories will have you second guessing kids if you don’t have them already) At the end of the day, she takes us on an intimate journey of how she came to love herself despite—rather in spite of—her size.

Fat Girl Walking is definitely a must for your summer reading list….no matter your size.

Brittany Gibbons…herself

DON’T CALL IT A COME BACK…..The return of the Curvy Socialite

It’s been over six months since my last blog post.

Six months….Six LONG months.

Many of you have sent me many a private message asking if I was coming back.

Well….here I am.

I’m back.

I think unconsciously I needed a hiatus. Life was getting in the way (and so was stress) and because of that the things that I am passionate about (i.e. the blog) began taking a backseat to everything.

A good thing about being away from the Curvy Socialite was that I realized how much I missed writing and how much this blog has become a part of who I am. I kind of had a bit of separation anxiety– almost like a parent who has taken a long business trip away from their child.

I didn’t totally abandon everything with Curvy Socialite. I kept up on social media with regular Instagram and Facebook posts filled inspirational quotes, pop culture news, red carpet fashion and other random musings…as well as tweets about my favorite shows, about interesting reads I came across during my time away from CS and more.

The Curvy Socialite

Another thing I learned while “on leave”– and what may have prompted the hiatus in the first place– was how to put myself first. Between running a boutique PR firm, blogging and trying to be a good significant other, daughter, sister, and friend, I found myself spread super thin. There were major and minor crises that had to be handled, along with other fires that had to be put out. I soon found my role with many in my life morphing from a helper to the new dual role of doer/fixer. But I can’t really blame anyone for that happening except myself. I had allowed myself to fall into a role of having others be too dependent on me. At the end of the day I had no time to do what I wanted or even needed to do for myself. I felt like the life was being sucked right out of me.

Now don’t get me wrong– I love my family, friends, and clients, but I wasn’t loving myself. And when that happens the world truly does start to fall apart around you. I wasn’t sleeping enough (trying to get everything done for everyone and then trying to cram a few hours in the evening to get my stuff done late at night) , or eating properly (again never enough time in the day) , and I was always sick (chronic bronchitis and  my thyroid issues lead to other issues). Something had to give because I was now no good to myself or those who needed/wanted my help.

It’s like what the flight attendants say before the flight takes off, ”put your oxygen mask on first THEN help the others around you.” It makes sense. How can you help someone else if you’re passed out from lack of air? So I found myself asking, how could I help everyone else if I wasn’t helping myself?

During these six months away, I have been regrouping and recouping. I began “cleaning house” in a variety of sectors in my life—getting rid of both the people and things that were holding me down. Sometimes it was a painful process (lost a few “friends” during this time) and other times it was a natural loss of dead weight that was keeping me from what I needed to do and what I needed to be in order to be at my best. I pretty much have been going through a mental “detox.”

I literally got this whole process going with a private one-on-one  ThetaHealing session.

Naturally you’re asking what is THETAHEALING?

ThetaHealing is a “mind/body technique that uses the energy that flows through all things to produce instantaneous and permanent change.” Sounds deep right? Well it is. I know you think it sounds like some new-age type of fad. But honestly speaking…it isn’t. Ok…it is kind of new in the sense that ThetaHealing itself was found in 1995. But the basic concept is something that is rooted in beliefs that are thousands of years old– the belief that we are all connected—mind body and universe.  Changes created by ThetaHealing result in physical, emotional and spiritual transformation.

Discussions like this can be a rather touchy subject (remember what your Mom always says…never discuss politics money and religion). But in order to understand where I am now, you have to understand where I have been. So let me put this out there…I am not here to convert you to anything or even convince you of anything but rather to share my experience with you. Also, this isn’t something that “interferes” with one’s belief systems.  In ThetaHealing,  the belief is you connect directly with the Creator (God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, the Universe….) to co-create the change in your life by reestablishing the original “connection with our minds and bodies, one another and the Divine.”

A ThetaHealing session is a definitely a unique experience. For me it was a power opportunity to start the change I needed to create in my life. I was lucky enough to have a session with certified Master ThetaHealer (and one of the co-Founders of ThetaHealing NYC), Tara Greenway.

I thoroughly enjoyed my session with Tara (which I did virtually over the phone—yeah, like I said life was getting in the way of everything). Her personality and demeanor was everything I needed during that crazy point in my life. She was kind, patient, friendly—not intimidating in the slightest–  but most of all, she was genuine. I think that is naturally who she is as a person coupled with her experience over the years working with individuals with all kinds of issues (physical and emotional issues to those looking to escape the craziness of anxiety, depression and other pains).

My session (as is everyone’s session) was tailored to fit my needs so that I could achieve the best results for me. Because it is intense you have to mentally (be open minded) and physically prepare (in the sense you need to be well hydrated) as you truly get down to the nitty gritty about what you want to change in your life be it health, energy levels, emotional difficulties, grief, relationship issues, clearing obstacles, spiritual growth, manifesting greatness and more. For me, my session was the catalyst for what would come over the next few months. I learned a lot about myself and what I needed to focus on and why. Afterwards, I felt as if huge weights were lifted off my shoulders and I was given the tools needed to begin my detoxification.

So after 6 months….I’m still not done but I am moving into a better place.

But now it’s time to get back to business and reconnect with the world again.

#SHOPSMALL—Small Business Saturday

For the past 88 years, the official start for the holiday season was the arrival of Santa Claus at the finale of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York. Whether you watched at home or braved the cold to watch it live in Herald Square, everyone eagerly awaits Jolly Old St. Nick’s hearty chuckle signaling his arrival and ushering in the final countdown to the Big Day—and all the shopping that goes into preparing for it.

Santa Claus waves to the crowd during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, 2014 in New York City. The annual tradition marks the start of the holiday season. Getty Images/Andrew Burton

Black Friday now actually starts on Thanksgiving Day (seriously there were folks on the news camped out in front of stores having their turkey as they waited in line for the their door buster sales). And for those of us who do not brave the frigid temps, the long lines and sometimes insane shoppers, there is always Cyber Monday (which for some retailers has been going on for over a week). But how many remember to #ShopSmall?

What am I talking about?

Well four years ago American Express launched a “shopping” holiday to encourage the patronage of “brick and mortar” businesses—small and local—within our communities called Small Business Saturday. In all the holiday rush, many of these gems get loss in all the rush and excitement offered by big box retailers and e-commerce stores. Personally this is my favorite shopping day of all.

Shopping locally is a great way to find unique gifts (many small businesses feature the wares of local artisans, specialty items and more) and to give a boost to your local economy. In recent years, Small Business Saturday has gone on to include small e-commerce sites that may get lost among the Amazons and E-bays of the digital world. This year, I want to share the businesses where I #ShopSmall.

THE THRITY HOG & NOIR ET BLANC (NYC)

Located in the chic NoMad neighborhood in Manhattan, the Thrifty HoG is known for upscale vintage apparel and resale store specializing in items for the whole family and the home. Besides scoring some amazing finds (like vintage Louis Vuitton sneakers and super sexy Proenza Schouler booties), you’re not only supporting a local business but you will also be helping the homeless via Hearts of Gold, a charity founded by Deborah Koenigsberger whose mission is to help homeless women and their children build sustainable lives. All of the proceeds from the Thrifty HoG goes to support the various programs (including job training, school supplies and more) provided by Hearts of Gold—celebrating its 20th anniversary– throughout the year. On Small Business Saturday, the Thrifty HoG is offering 30% off your entire purchase.

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Deborah also owns the upscale women’s boutique next door called Noir et Blanc. Noir et Blanc (or NEB for short) features a curated selection of contemporary American and European designers handpicked by the owner herself. With brands including Tracy Reese, Chen Luu, Donna Morgan and Ali Ro, Deborah and her staff will definitely have you bringing the catwalk to the sidewalk with the beautiful collections they have in store. Shop Small with Noir et Blanc which is offering 40-50% off their 2014 winter collections.

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The Thrifty HoG is located at 11 W 25th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue and Noir et Blanc is next door at 7 W 25th Street in Manhattan.

SULA NYC

I have been singing the praises of SULA NYC for a while now. This New York-based luxury spa brand’s entire beauty collection is based around the core ingredient of argan oil. Founded by Patricia Reinders, SULA NYC is sustainably sourced in Morocco, is 100% organic and is never tested on animals (they’re Leaping Bunny certified). The brand has quickly established itself with high quality products with proven results. Shoppers can enjoy three of SULA NYC’s most popular products (including the famed signature scented moisturizer, Fruit of Desire) in a beautifully packaged gift box. Sold in select boutiques and spas worldwide, you can shop SULA NYC’s website for this set and other amazing products. The gift set retails for $55.

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NATURALLY ME (NC)

Founded by a mother who was looking for healthy, all- natural remedies for her children’s different skin care issues, Naturally Me had humble beginnings as a labor of love. Owned and operated by Chaundra Smith, Naturally Me is a North Carolina-based certified vegan body care and candle company. Created on the belief that what goes on the body is as important as what goes in the body, Naturally Me features amazing products including the All Over Butter (an all natural steroid-free body butter that can be used on everything from your scalp to the soles of your feet—it’s my go to moisturizer from my hair and body—especially in the winter) and their deliciously aromatic soy “dessert candles” (seriously there’s one that smells like chocolate chipped cookies)— all still handmade by Chaundra herself. Naturally Me can be found in select boutiques around the country and via their wesite. For the next few days, including Small Business Saturday, everything is 50% off!

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Interesting…as I just finished my last featurette, I just realized that every brand featured today is woman owned and operated. How cool is that? So not only are you supporting small businesses when you shop the stores/sites featured here, you’re also supported 3 womenpreneurs who are also mompreneurs!

So today as you continue your world wind shopping spree, please #ShopSmall and support these and other local businesses today on Small Business Saturday!

ALL ABOUT THAT FACE (The At Home Spa Series…Part 1)

My name is Tamara and I’m a beauty addict.

There I said it. The first step is admission…right?

You see, for me, the love affair with skincare/cosmetics and make up was born more out of necessity than the actual love of playing dress up or desire to look older for a crush. I was a teenager who was plagued with bad skin. Well not really bad skin…more like sensitive skin that just looked really bad.

The teenage years, the 7 to 9 year period in a young person’s life, that parents the world over dread. Raging hormones cause extreme mood swings and wreak havoc on the body—especially the face. For me, when the breakouts started the real lessons in skincare began. Trial by fire—and almost in a literal sense.

Remember the “Noxzema Girl?” Also known as Rebecca Gayheart (I just found out her name the other day), the Noxzema girl had teens around the country (and maybe even the world) believing that slapping on some cold cream every night was the cure all to acne prone skin. Don’t get me wrong…it did work for some. But this chica soon learned she had sensitive skin. And my using the famed product resulted in mild chemical burns on my cheeks (where the breakouts were the worse) and extreme scarring. Hence sensitive skin that just looked really bad.

Over the years, I would experiment with a variety of products– from all natural soaps, glycerin soaps, high end products (my mom was a huge fan of Chanel and Lancôme) , beauty counter staples (like Clinique) and later cocoa and shea butters (which actually over time helped fade the scars). It took a few years, but my skin finally cleared up– just in time for college. By then, I was already a skin care junkie.

Fast forward to present day.

One of the perks I love the most about being a blogger is getting the chance to test some of the newest beauty products to hit the market. From established brands to those just bursting onto the scene, I love trying them all. Lou (my postman), Alex (my FedEx guy), and John (my UPS guy) are the couriers of my addictions. I literally do a happy dance when I hear the doorbell ring. A new product to test!

After Fashion Week my skin needs a chance to recuperate from the 24/7 make-up, lack of sleep, and all the wine and champagne (water? What water?). Add to all the stress of 7 days of nonstop running around the city and partying– the onset of fall and its blustery winds; all of which do a number on one’s visage. For the past month or so I have been all about the face (get it? Thanks Meghan Trainor for the title idea) — testing a number of products. Some were hits and others…not so much. But after a four week trial period I’ve come up with a list of faves that I think my fellow beauty addicts will be adding to their home spa arsenal.

DERMOLOGICA DAILY MICROFOLIANT

Dermologica Daily Microfoliant

Not a new product by any means (it first hit the market in 2001), Dermologica’s Daily Microfoliant is a definite must have as we transition into the fall and winter. A powder exfoliant, this rice-based formula activated with just a little water to gently but effectively lift dead skin cells for smoother, brighter skin. A half to 1 teaspoon’s worth goes along way– releasing active ingredients papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes. I guess that’s why it’s been one of the brand’s best sellers worldwide since its debut. Safe for daily use, I use it every morning after cleansing my face. Afterwards I follow with a serum and a moisturizer with an SPF.

MONAT REJUVENIQUE OIL INTENSIVE

Rejuvenique Oil Intensive by Monat

Speaking about serums…I’m in love with Monat’s Rejuvenique Oil Intensive. Actually a dual purpose product (seriously who doesn’t love a product that multitasks?), the Rejuvenique Oil can be used on both your hair and skin. For the purposes of this trial I focused on its benefits for use on my skin. Utilizing its key ingredient Abyssinian Oil (derived from the crambe seed), Rejuvenique Oil does what its name suggests—rejuvenates the skin by replenishing and repairing the skin by providing nutrients, Omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants that help prevent premature aging. With the late nights (as I write this post at 1am…) and lack of sleep due to stress, work and life in general, why look older than you are? This product is super light and absorbs quickly into the skin. I use it twice a day (in the morning after cleansing and before moisturizing and in the evening as a treatment). A little goes a long way. For those of us who are a little wasteful with oils, Monat has conveniently included a dropper which miraculously supplies the perfect amount to cover your face and neck.

CLAYSPRAY MATTIFYING RED CLAY

ClaySpray Mattifying Red Clay Masque

I have declared time and time again that I have the oiliest skin in New York. But after recent weeks, I am about to relinquish this title. Thank you Clayspray! I am singing the praises of the brand’s Mattifying Red Clay because it literally has changed my T-zone from an oil slick mess to a normal forehead, chin, and nose. Though many an aesthetician has told me I should thankful for oily skin (they claim it “keeps you young”), I can’t stand the shine that takes the sexy dewy look (let’s face it you can achieve that with bronzer) to looking like I just slathered Vaseline on my face. Since using the Mattifying Red Clay masque, it’s like I have a whole new face (I’m close to saying “bye Felicia” to my blotting papers). Why does it work? Well, the masque uses enriched mineral clay which helps regulate oil secretion in the skin, helps combats blemishes and purifies by really giving you a deep cleanse. Added benefit…the Mattifying Red Clay has minerals that have anti-aging capabilities including silica to boost collagen, iron to activate circulation and magnesium to heal the skin. It absorbs impurities while helping regulate the oil in your skin. Used in conjunction with ClaySpray’s H2O Spray (mineral rich mountain spring water), twice a week I use the masque on my t-zone. I let it dry and then rinse off followed the remainder of my facial routine.

ILLUMASK ANTI-AGING MASK

illuMask Anti-Aging Phototherapy Mask

Don’t we all wish we had the latest and greatest beauty products and technologies at our disposals like our favorite celebs? Please…many have an aesthetician on call (or better yet on staff) for their skin care emergencies. Since many of us aren’t that fortunate and daily trips to the spa aren’t in our budgets, we have to opt for the next best thing. Introducing illuMask. Now this is a product that brings the daily spa treatment right into your home. IlluMask uses phototherapy (the process of using “good” light to treat the skin) which has been used by dermatologists, spas and skin clinics forever. With illuMask you can get a top quality high end treatment in the comfort of your own home using a similar technology. I admit, it does look a little space-agey. It uses red light to even the skin and reduce roughness and infrared light to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The other thing—invoking the spa experience) you are forced to be still for 15 minutes (the length of the preset treatment). For a month (each mask is set to give you 30 treatments—yes they advise for optimal results to use this everyday) I carved out 15 minutes where I would put on some relaxing music (thank you Songza for your Yoga activity setting) and let the mask do its thing. Because there is no way for you to see (no eye holes) there’s no checking your email or texting to be done. But it is worth it. It works. Mr. Socialite (like most men…doesn’t really notice much) made a comment about my skin looking really nice. So illuMask is Mr. Socialite approved.

SILK’N REVIT MICRODERM

Silk’n ReVit Microderm

After attending a holiday preview event a little while ago, I was introduced to the brand Silk’n. A boutique brand, the company is known for providing professional aesthetic devices for home use. In a contest at the event, I won a ReVit Microderm Kit. It is everything! ReVit is all about creating beautiful skin—ReVitalizing it by removing dead skin cells using a very soft vacuum like process with a gentle “diamond peeling” tip. Sounds fancy right? Let me get down to the nitty gritty… ReVit literally slough off the dead skin cells helping to improve skin tone, texture and elasticity as well as reduce the appearance of age spots, fine lines and acne scarring (yay!). And the best part…it only takes 5 minutes. The other thing I love about it is that you can see the results after each use. What do I mean by that? Well you can literally see the skin flakes (gross but sooo cool—skincare geek) after each treatment. Recommended for use twice a week or as needed, the kit comes with three detachable diamond peeling treatment heads—Precision (for small and hard to reach areas), Fine (for a more gentle treatment) and Coarse for a more powerful exfoliation. Perfect for the face, neck and hands (the places that can show the most damage), the ReVit is definitely another must have for your at home spa. Be careful while letting others in your household try it. They’ll get addicted and you will find out that they are using it twice a week too (yes I’m calling you out Mr. Socialite!).

Alright…now I feel like a pusher (you know, that person who introduces you to the drug—thank you  former First Lady Nancy Reagan and the whole SAY NO TO DRUGS campaign of my youth for instilling that in my head)—talking about how amazing you will look and feel after using these products. You know you want to try ‘em. You know you’ll like ‘em. It’ll be worth it…believe me. You know you can trust me. LOL. Besides it’s the holiday season and between Thanksgiving and the one million parties that will take place between then and New Year’s you skin will need it. Just click on the links in each post…you want regret it!

* To learn more about each featured item, click on each product title to visit the brand’s site.

#CheckYourself (Breast Cancer Awareness Month)

Courtesy of PinkRibbons.org

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s kind of hard not to know it. Everything has been awash with pink—from the NFL to the Empire State Building. And then there are the pink ribbons….they’re everywhere! From the pins to social media avatars, the world is all about breast cancer awareness. It’s great that everyone is about it, but how many actually are truly aware of breast cancer?

What do I mean?

Did you know that breast cancer is one of the two most common cancers among women? Skin cancer is the other. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime?* That’s about 12% of 150 million people—roughly half the population of the US. No one can dispute that is a lot of people. More and more people can say that either they themselves or someone they know has been affected by breast cancer.

Millions of women are surviving this disease thanks to early detection and the continued improvements in treatment and research. Organizations like the American Cancer Society are on the front lines of the fight against breast cancer by educating women about risk factors, treatment options and helping them get tested to find the cancer earlier.

Based on the statistics, every woman should be aware of her own personal level of risk for breast cancer and ways in general she can lower her risk of getting the disease. At the end of the day, some of the factors—being a woman, age, and genetics—can’t be changed. However, we do have control over others including diet and exercise, smoking and other lifestyle choices can help lower your risk of getting breast cancer as well as improving your overall health.

Some of the known risk factors for breast cancer are listed below. To find out more about these and other factors linked to this disease, visit BreastCancer.org.

  • Being a woman
  • Age
  • Family History
  • Genetics
  • Being overweight
  • Race/Ethnicity

Early detection is key in the battle against breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that:

  • Women 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and continue to do so as long as they’re healthy
  • Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of their regular healthy exam every 3 years and every year starting at the age of 40.
  • Women should routinely perform self-examinations and report any changes to a doctor or nurse right away.

For more information about early detection, visit the American Cancer Society.

This month there are all kinds of interesting (and fun) events going on around the world including walks, runs, landmarks being illuminated in pink and more designed to raise awareness. For example, on October 25th, the NFL and the American Cancer Society have teamed up for A Crucial Catch Day—a nationwide event to provide breast cancer education and free or low-cost screenings in under served communities.

Other events include:

Celebrities are getting in on the action too. Check out Paula Abdul‘s #CheckYourself video for the Avon Foundation for Women

 

 

*Statistics are courtesy of BreastCancer.Org

OP ED: #TURNOUTFORWHAT

As my faithful readers know, I am passionate about a lot of things: Fashion, Beauty, Entertainment, the Arts and the list goes on and on. Many of you who know me off-line also know that I super passionate about social and political topics. I generally don’t delve into these topics so much on the blog (I do on social media all the time) as that wasn’t the original purpose of this blog. But as with me as a person, the Curvy Socialite is growing up so to speak. Don’t worry I’m not going to stop talking about the fun events I attend or the newest fashion collections and beauty products hitting the market. Rather, I am going to throw some more of my favorite topics of discussion into the mix.

What spurned this sudden need to get a little more serious?

Well it’s twofold.

Firstly, this isn’t something that is really so sudden. I have been trying to figure out a way to introduce some of current events in a way that was in line with the blog and would shock your systems too much. But then, I went out for coffee today.

I love my coffee. I make a concerted effort not to have any important discussions before my first cup of joe—I am not responsible for what may come out of my mouth prior to that first dose of caffeine. Today I made my way down to my local coffee shop to see what was happening about town and what the hot topics of the day were. My little coffee shop caters to all kinds of people (young, old, male, female, all races, colors, creeds, etc., etc.). On this fine day, two ladies (co-workers) were chatting away (ok, I admit it….I was eaves dropping; but in my defense, they were talking kind of loudly so I couldn’t help it) when one woman asked the other if she was going to vote in next month’s elections. Her response left me shocked and dismayed. Ok, maybe that was a little dramatic but yes, I was a little shocked by the fact that she said no.

I can already see you rolling your eyes. Keep on doing that—they’ll get stuck like that. Anyway….didn’t we all learn in junior high and high school about the importance of voting? So what if we’re not electing the next president (next month are the midterm elections)—there are still loads of important issues on the table. What issues you ask? Let me drop some knowledge on you….

  • ECONOMY: So we’re not as bad off as we were when President Obama took over the Oval office but on the flip side we still aren’t in our pre-recession glory either. This is still a very hot topic for Republicans and Democrats alike.
  • IMMIGRATION: Remember when all those little kids started crossing the border earlier this year? Little ones who were barely out of the toddler stage were making that treacherous journey to what they hoped to be a better life. It’s still going on. It’s just not a major headline right now. But it is definitely a hot button topic for Congress.
  • FOREIGN POLICY: It’s kind of hard to escape the news about ISIS/ISIL and their ever expanding reach in Iraq and Syria. This group is recruiting young men and women (yes teenage girls around the world are heading to Syria to take up arms and become the mothers of the next generation of terrorists) from all over to help in their “fight.” The President admitted that he didn’t think ISIS was that much of a threat….saying he was wrong would be the understatement of the year. But best believe, the Republicans will not let him forget it.
  • WOMEN’S ISSUES: Before some of you start huffing and puffing…this is not a discussion about pro-choice vs. pro-life but rather topics in general that affect women as a whole. From equal pay to birth control and beyond…we women can actually be the ones that turn the tide of this election if we head to the polls.
  • HEALTHCARE: Why are we still talking about this after Obamacare was passed? Because many Republicans still want to repeal it and are making a point of reminding voters about the logistical problems that occurred with the roll out.

Mind you I am only talking about things on the national level. There is so much going on on the state level across the country that this post would become a novel. But if you are interested in finding out more about those topics, check what the lovely ladies over at the SKIMM had to say in their guide to the 2014 Midterm Elections.

You still not convinced about the importance of getting out there to vote? Well maybe Lil Jon and all his celebrity friends can convince you to “#TURNOUTFORWHAT.”

What are you going to turn out to vote for?