Fabrice Mahabo, the Original Creator of Black|Up Cosmetics
Beauty, Beauty News

The Curious Case of How #BlackUp Lost its Black Founder Fabrice Mahabo

Update 8 September 2015: black|Up is live on the Sephora website. Instead of releasing an official statement addressing the allegations that I have brought forth in this article, Sephora is content with deleting Facebook comments as it is “business as usual.”

Fabrice Mahabo, the Original Creator of Black|Up Cosmetics

Ivorian Bernard Fabrice Mahabo, the mastermind behind black|Up Cosmetics (also known as Godo Black-Up Paris, named after his late father Godo Zoleba Guillame) from 1999-2009.

If you are one of the many customers enthused about black|Up arriving stateside on Sephora.com September 8, and at select Sephora locations September 15, we need to talk. I originally planned to commemorate the event by compiling a link love list of reviews and articles written by my fellow bloggers. Finally, there was a niche brand in the Scouted by Sephora initiative geared exclusively for black skin by black skin.

In 2011, I, like many in the blogosphere, thought it was a black-owned (and operated) company with stellar, orgasmic ads but horrible, condescending counter staff as reported by Yinka of Vex in the City on August 29, 2010. Then when black|Up tapped Rihanna’s makeup artist Mylah Morales as a brand ambassador in 2011 (see their Facebook exclusive album), the collaboration further piqued our interest. Despite the contentious name, black|Up had potential to be one of the top luxury makeup brands for black women worldwide.

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Beauty, Celebrity Nails, Cookie's Closet, EmpireFOX, Fashion

Shopping #Empire: Cookie Lyon’s Givenchy Peacock-Print Satin Blouse

Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) in Givenchy on Empire

While we patiently wait for the second half of season two of Empire to commence on March 30th, Golden Globes winning actress Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyon) shared this candid behind-the-scenes snap of her and Bryshere Y. Gray (Hakeem Lyon).

Taraji slipped on a Givenchy Satin Peacock-Print Blouse accessorized with a matching peacock-esque mani by Shine Chicago (a black-owned and black-operated nail salon). Taraji P. Henson's Shine Chicago Peaccock Mani

On her left index finger, she donned a Stephen Dweck ring.

Check out my peacock jewelry picks below:

Black-Owned Businesses, Fashion

Love Solange’s Furla Stacy Mini Drawstring Bucket Bag? Check out Love, Cortnie’s KeKe Leather Bucket Bag

Solange carries a Furla Stacy Mini Drawstring Bucket Bag 2

Happy second Small Business Saturday! This past week on the ‘Gram, Solange “Legally Brown” Knowles shared snaps of herself posing in a posh pink halter shift dress, white black blocked heel loafers and a  $248 Furla Stacy Mini Drawstring Bucket Bag in Rodonite (receive 3% cash back with Ebates).

Solange Knowles' Furla Mini

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Beauty, Black-Owned Businesses, Celebrity Makeup

Your NYD’s Shopping List: Beauty Resolutions #SHOPBOB365

To the Glow Up in 2016

Happy 2016! Some of my favorite celebrity makeup artists have found a way to capitalize on their talents by creating products that provide solutions to some of our most pressing beauty queries. And what better way to update our vanities / makeup bags / beauty closets by patronizing black businesses this year?

Here are six beauty resolutions you might have along with six products you might want to check out soon:

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Cookie Lyon Wears Dita Eyewear, Thierry Lasry and Versace
Cookie's Closet, EmpireFOX, Fashion

#Empire 2 x 2: Cookie Lyon’s Sunglasses by Dita, Versace and Thierry Lasry

Cookie Lyon Wears Dita Eyewear, Thierry Lasry and Versace

One peek at my dash, and I knew I had to hurry up and publish this post! Although we’re well into the Fall season, it’s never too late to shop for a pair of showstopping sunnies. And if Empire still has your attention for the fashion, then you’re in luck!

In “Without A Country,” we saw Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) model three pairs of lust-worthy shades from Thierry Lasry, Versace and Dita Eyewear. Let’s recap:

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Anika's Closet, EmpireFOX, Fashion

#Empire 2 x 2: Anika Calhoun’s $60 Warehouse D-ring Grey Wrap Jumpsuit

Two episodes deep into Empire‘s sophomore season and still no updates on Anika Calhoun’s (played wonderfully by Grace Gealey) wardrobe this season from Fox or costume designer Paolo Nieddu. Well, allow me to answer the call! In “Without A Country,” Anika grabbed her morning latte in a $60.61 WAREHOUSE D-ring Grey Wrap Jumpsuit.

Taking a page out of Camilla‘s stylebook, Anika accessorized her gray wrap jumpsuit with an Azzedine Alaia Eyelet-Embellished Leather Tote Bag (similar).

115 is a magical number for Topshop. Two of the jumpsuits I found by the brand are each available for $115 at Nordstrom. Check out the Sleeveless Wrap Front Jumpsuit and the ‘Judo’ Belted Surplice Jumpsuit below:

Later on in the episode, Anika slipped into a $99 lime green Zara shift dress. It was during that scene in which Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) proceeded to read her for filth:

While it doesn’t have the split-neck, I really like ASOS’s $68.50 yellow Oasis Shift Dress to get a similar look.

Check out Anika Calhoun’s style boutique!

Beauty, Cookie's Closet, EmpireFOX, Fashion

#Empire S2 E1: Cookie Lyon’s Prison Visit Makeup by Ashunta Sheriff


Last season, I yearned to know what products the Empire makeup department used on their leading ladies. I was absolutely famished for beauty tidbits so I hit up IMDB to see who was working in Empire‘s makeup department. I briefly exchanged tweets with the show’s chief makeup artist Beverly Jo Pryor (who was so warm and generous) for a time, asking what shades Taraji wore in certain scenes and with particular outfits. Unfortunately, there was not much she could divulge but I understood.

Anika Calhoun (Grace Gealey) wears MAC Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour in ALL Nighter in Empire Season 1, Episode 4 "False Imposition"

Anika Calhoun (Grace Gealey) wears MAC Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour in ALL Nighter in Empire Season 1, Episode 4 “False Imposition”.  Also seen here: Elizabeth & James Damon Sheath Dress (similar).

As for Anika, Grace Gealey replied to me and another fan on the ‘Gram to say her makeup artist Jessica Williams used MAC Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour in ALL Nighter on her in the episode “False Imposition.”

Did you know? You can wear MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo or Kryolan High Gloss Brilliant Lip Shine in Catwalk to get Anika’s signature red lips.

However, The Cut had all the behind-the-scenes tea. Both Pryor and Empire‘s lead hairstylist Melissa Forney detailed their routines, regimens and processes for the cast.

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Beauty, Black-Owned Businesses, Fashion

Labor Day #BlackOut: Shop These 30+ #BlackOwned Brands & Businesses

Editor’s note: Will add more sales as I find them.

Rich But Broke by Jesse Jones Artistry

Rich but Broke by Jesse Jones Artistry

ADORNMENTS BOUTIQUE Get 50% off all items with code SALE50.

ALIKAY NATURALS Take 15% off everything on the site.

ASHLEY’S NATURALS Save 15% off with code LABORDAY (all caps, no spaces). Expires Tuesday, September 9 at midnight PST.

BALM & CO Save 25% with promo code LABOR25 until today 11:59 EST.

BELLE BUTTERS Use code THECUTLIFE for 20% off your entire order.

COLOR DU JOUR Receive 25% off the entire site with coupon code LABORDAY25 at checkout.

CRYSTAL STREETS JEWELRY Save 30% off all items sitewide with code EOS30. To save an additional 20% off selected items, use code SALEONSALE20.

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