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My Sista’s Business… Walker & Company

Walker & Company Empowers Women to Embrace Their FORM with New Hair Care Line for Women

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By In Her Shoes Contributor: Brianna Arps, @briannaarps

The folks that gave us Bevel have some huge news to announce — Walker & Company has just launched its first women’s hair care line named FORM.

Building off the company’s mission, founder and CEO Tristan Walker alluded to the fact that developing a wide assortment of premium products for women was always a top priority.

“Since the company’s inception, we’ve been working to bring this collection to life as part of our commitment to making health and beauty simple for people of color,” he stated. “We understand the huge opportunity in this vastly underserved market and have a proven track record of bringing health and beauty products to market that both fill a void, and more importantly, work.”

Unlike other systems designed to treat our various hair textures, according to Walker & Company FORM takes a more “personal approach” towards helping women identify a customized hair care regimen by first offering online consultations.

Once the survey is complete, FORM clients are matched with specific products and offered helpful instructions to enhance their experience.

But that’s not it — if interested, users are also invited to physically send in a hair sample that is then analyzed to ensure each recommended FORM product will suit their unique needs. Yes, this covers everything from split ends to shrinkage. So fancy!

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FORM’s lineup from left to right: Detoxing Shampoo, Gentle Shampoo, Moisturizing Conditioner, Restorative Conditioner, 3-in-1 Leave-In Lotion, Elongating Curl Creme, Defining Curl Gel, Hydrating Style Creme, Shielding Heat Serum and Moisture-Sealing Pomade.

The entire FORM collection includes ten products that start at $22, with the most expensive retailing for $32. For those especially worried about ingredients, you’ll be happy to note each item is formulated without sulfates, parabens and phthalates to continuously improve your hair health over time. And do you see this gorgeous packaging?

While you can’t make a purchase in stores yet, make sure to visit FormBeauty.com to learn more!

“Things I’m Lovin Lately” (August)

On Our Radar For August

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Our editors are more than thrilled to embrace this new summertime month. Why? Because August is packed with exciting new launches and collaborations that we can’t wait to get our hands on. From celebrity fashion lines and YouTube channels, to beauty goodies that will keep our closets stocked for the rest of the summer, these debut events and products are not to be missed.

Mother + Kind Campaign, ‘Play Nice’ T-shirt: We could all use a reminder to play nice every now and then, and these sweet tees—as part of the new Mother + Kind campaign—are the perfect inspiration. Keep the idea front and center by donning this simple and sweet shirt this summer and fall.

Melissa McCarthy releases new clothing line: Melissa McCarthy is one of those celebs who always looks chic and sophisticated while strutting her stuff on the red carpet, and now you can get the look at home by snagging a piece or two from her new clothing line. (image: D DIPASUPIL/FILMMAGIC)

Nicole Richie launches Birchbox collaboration: We are dying to break into the guest-curated Birchbox from House of Harlow 1960 creative director and reality show star Nicole Richie. It’s packed with beauty goodies like lip tint, in-shower lotion and a microdermabrasion skin exfoliant.

Treat Collection’s non-toxic nail polishes: This Berlin-based nail polish brand gives us access to non-toxic polishes that we don’t ever have to feel guilty about. The best part? There are 54 fabulous colors to choose from!

Boll & Branch launches line of fair-trade certified bath towels: We are really excited to try out the line of bath towels from luxury linens brand Boll & Branch because they’re the first in the world to earn full Fair Trade certification. Pre-order yours starting August 6th.

Karlie Kloss debuts new ‘Klossy’ YouTube channel: Model, entrepreneur and NYU-accepted student Karlie Kloss just announced her brand new YouTube channel “Klossy.” Subscribe to get a behind-the-scenes peek into Karlie’s high profile life, both on and off the runway.  (image: Taylor Hill/Getty)

The Lively Show with Jess Lively and After The Jump with Grace Bonney: If you’re looking for creative inspiration as we ease into the last part of summer and gear up for back-to-school season, check out these two podcasts. Both feature interviews with top bloggers, bakers, writers, designers (plus so many more!), and the archives for both shows are packed with valuable insight.

Krochet Kids intl. pioneers the #knowwhomadeit movement: This non-profit apparel brand—which carries a line of beautiful clothing, bags and accessories for men, women and kids—is spearheading a toast-worthy movement to help us celebrate the people who makes the products we enjoy every day.

Revlon unveils LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge: Revlon just announced an online fundraising challenge which invites charities that focus on heart disease, women’s cancers and diabetes—three health concerns that modern women face every day—to raise money within a six-week timeline. Revlon has promised an additional million-dollar donation to the winning charity. We’re proud to encourage this crusade!

Bonus….

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When Nourish Snacks first asked about sending me their pre-packaged snacks to try, I was apprehensive. Typically, I’m not keen on packaged snack foods as they are notorious for being full of unhealthy ingredients. But it’s not always easy to make time to stock the fridge with super healthy snack options and it can be a challenge to find ones to grab when you’re a hectic mom on the go. Nourish Snacks have been awesome for those moments. Plus, they are healthy and so yummy.

Created by NBC’s TODAY Show nutritionist Joy Bauer, Nourish Snacks can be found in select Starbucks locations or ordered online. They are made with wholesome ingredients and packed with protein, antioxidants and fiber. Plus, they are dairy-free and gluten-free—things that make moms happy for the times their little ones want to share their snacks (just make sure they are eating ones that aren’t potential choking hazards).

 

Fly Friday 3/20 (Bonus)!

First Black Woman to Do So

The 27-year-old superstar will star in Dior’s fourth installment of their “Secret Garden” campaign — a series featuring models posing in the palace of Versailles, clad in Dior creations — the fashion house confirmed on Friday. She will be shot by famed photographer Steven Klein, with the film and print versions of the campaign scheduled to run this spring.

But as if being an official Dior girl wasn’t amazing enough, Rihanna’s highly anticipated campaign also marks the first time a black woman has been chosen to front the French fashion brand. Other celeb Dior spokeswomen include A-listers Jennifer Lawrence, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman and Marion Cotillard.

The Dior partnership particularly makes a lot of sense given that Rihanna is often a staple at the high-fashion brand’s shows, always flawlessly dressed of course.

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Though perhaps Dior should be considered the lucky ones to land Rihanna. Aside from already having fronted a Balmain campaign and often being chosen to be the first to sport a new collection, it’s no secret that the “Four Five Seconds” singer is considered a huge deal in fashion. She was named last year’s Fashion Icon at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards — where she donned an unforgettable completely sheer Adam Selman dress — and in November, designer Tom Ford gushed about the Barbadian superstar in his very own blog post.

“I was at the CFDA awards as I was receiving a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ …. and I have to say that Rihanna was for me, that night, one of the most beautiful women that I have ever beheld,” Ford gushed. “As [my husband] Richard said plainly after the evening, ‘If you are as beautiful as Rihanna, you almost owe it to the world to appear in public almost nude’ and I have to say that I wholeheartedly concur.”

VIDEO: Watch Robert Pattinson’s Steamy New Dior Video

Check out Rihanna posing with real sharks in a spectacular Harper’s Bazaar photoshoot last month.

Model Behavior: Celebrities in Fashion Ads

Fly Friday 11/7

Everyday 5: Alicia Lund Of Cheetah Is The New Black

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Everyday 5: Alicia Lund Of Cheetah Is The New Black Alicia of Cheetah Is The New Black has been at the very top of our blogroll for years. We love this lady’s chic, clean style and elegant aesthetic, so we’re delighted to share a glimpse of her beauty routine with you today!

1. Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser: I’m newly obsessed with Tata Harper, as her products are 100% natural. I especially love this cleanser—I use it a couple times a week for a light exfoliation.
2. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: My favorite tinted sunscreen for light coverage (SPF 20!).
3. Bumble and bumble Brilliantine: I’ve been using Brilliantine to define and hold my curls. I love beachy, almost messy-looking waves and this product is perfect for achieving that look.
4. Rodin Face Oil: I’m a big fan of oils and have been using Rodin religiously for a few years now. I have oily/combination skin, and I use a few drops of this on my cheeks, which tend to be super dry.
5. ILIA Balmy Days Lip Conditioner: This is my absolute favorite lip balm. I will say, I wasn’t so sure about the taste at first, but I’ve gotten used to it over the years. It’s completely natural and organic—and I think the tube is chic!

My Sista’s Business….Nicole Marie Melton

 Nicole Marie Melton

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Have you ever done business with someone and immediately connected with their spirit? As a beauty PR consultant, I’ve had the pleasure of pitching Nicole M. Melton, former beauty editor for ESSENCE.com, for several clients and from the start, I knew she would be more than just an industry connect. Fast forward a couple years and Nicole has transitioned from the New York City media industry to the world of entrepreneurship with the launch of not one, but TWO brands, Beauty Goes Digital and Melton Digital! Today, I’m honored to share her story with hopes of you connecting with her beauty-full spirit, too:

In Her Shoes: Congrats on your recent launch of Melton Digital and Beauty Goes Digital! For those who are unfamiliar, tell us a little bit about these new ventures and why you think they are needed today?

Nicole: I launched Melton Digital because I am passionate about helping health and beauty brands tell a powerful story online.  When you think of beauty and health services, these are companies that have influence over how we feel and what we intentionally do to feel and look better.  Ask any woman about her favorite hair care product, and she’ll tell you how it makes her feel.  The same goes with working out or visiting a spa.  As a beauty editor and fitness instructor myself, I feel confident about my expertise in these fields and it brings me great joy to help my industry peers excel.  I’ve spent the bulk of my career in the beauty and health industry and am very clear that these are the areas I’m most passionate about.  Melton Digital allows me to solely focus on consulting and coaching beauty and health brands, but more importantly, it allows me to help other people build their dreams.

Beauty Goes Digital is a news website that covers how beauty brands behave online. It’s targeted towards social media managers, digital marketers, tech entrepreneurs, editors and executives.  Think of it as Mashable or TechCrunch, but specifically for beauty industry news. There are so many beauty brands creating hot new mobile apps or launching new websites, and Beauty Goes Digital is the news outlet covering all of that and more. The site will officially be up and running with updates every day starting later this month. I’m SO, SO excited about it!

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 In Her Shoes: As a former beauty editor for ESSENCE.com, you’re definitely well versed in the topic of Black women’s beauty. What is the biggest beauty myth that brands should know when it comes to targeting women of color?

Nicole: I would encourage more makeup brands to expand the range of shades they offer for dark skin tones.  I’ve received foundations, tinted moisturizers  BB and CC creams labeled “dark” that were too light for me.  When you see women with deep, rich skin tones such as Lupita, Viola, Ledisi, Kelly Rowland, Estelle, Gabourey Sidibe…all of these women have gorgeous, deep complexions along with millions of other Black women. Beauty brands are still overlooking this large community of beautiful brown girls and I’d like to see that change very soon.

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 In Her Shoes: There may be women reading this post who don’t know you, but have personally been impacted by your social media influence. As the creator of the increasingly popular #saladjam hash tag, tell us about the inspiration behind this movement and why you think it resonates with so many women:

Nicole: I adore my Salad Jam community!  It started back in November of 2012 totally by accident.  I posted a photo of a salad I made at home and decided that I was going to eat a salad every day for a whole week.  A week turned into a month, and since January 1, 2013 was soon rolling around, I randomly chose the name “Salad Jam” and posted a salad challenge for New Year’s. It grew organically from there.  I’ve been working on Melton Digital and Beauty Goes Digital these past few months, but the Salad Jam blog is on my to-do list for late 2014, definitely.  I still eat a salad nearly every single day. The people at Chop’t know me by name! And so does the produce manager at Wegmans — ha!

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In Her Shoes: What is a day like in Nicole Marie Melton’s shoes? 

Nicole: I’m usually up around 5:30 or 6:00am.  In the morning I like to spend some quiet time working on my website or making a to-do list for the day.  Once I have my day organized, I spend an hour either reading scripture, devotionals, or watching podcasts.  Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Steven Furtick podcasts.  From around 9AM, I spend the morning working on projects for clients and I usually take a late lunch at around 2:30 or 3:00pm.  The afternoons are filled with more client work and client calls, and in the evenings I teach spinning class a few nights a week.  On nights I don’t teach, I’m usually glued to my iPad doing more reading, research or working on my websites.

In Her Shoes: Please share (3) beauty “insider” tips with us:

Nicole: My Huetiful Steamer is my best-kept skin secret.  Most women know of the Huetiful as a hair steamer, but the facial attachment is a miracle worker.  If you have acne-prone skin, over the counter products are good, but nothing will ever compare to dermatologist-prescribed regimen.  My acne is under control now, but I still keep my Retin-A and Differin prescription filled in case of emergencies.  Also, green leafy veggies and water is essential for healthy skin.  There’s absolutely no product that can overcome a bad diet.  Fresh, whole veggies and tons of water always does wonders for my skin. If you’re not into salads, try green smoothies!  They are another one of my daily must-have items.

In Her Shoes: If I gave you a $100 budget, what beauty products (that you don’t own) would you buy?

Nicole: Hanae Mori fragrance, (okay, I’ll admit, I already own this, but I’m running low so I need a refill!) and I’d put the balance on a Sephora gift card. (Is that cheating?) I practically live there.

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In Her Shoes: I know that you’re the queen of fitness. Were you always into working out or is this a newly adopted lifestyle? What keeps you going on the days you just don’t feel like it?

Nicole: I’ve always been very energetic (I was voted “Class Spirit” in high school!) so fitness just fits with my personality. I was never into sports growing up, aside from the cheerleading team, but I bought a gym membership when I was a freshman in college and have kept the same membership current ever since, which has been 12 years now. I enjoy working out for both the health and energy benefits (I get so sluggish when I skip workouts) and the community that it has created for me.  I’ve met some of my closest friends through fitness-related activities or events.  Now that I’m a spinning instructor, I’m grateful for the chance to be a part of someone else’s fitness journey. My students inspire me and they keep me going.

In Her Shoes: Do you have any exciting 2014 plans for Melton Digital/ Beauty Goes Digital you’d like to tell us about?

Nicole: This summer, I will be hosting an intimate digital workshop at my home for women who are interested in learning how to create online content and manage social media for their beauty or health company, whether they’re a hairstylist who wants to attract more clients or a personal trainer who wants to start a healthy living blog.  Picture 5 to 8 women sitting around my dinning room table with our MacBooks, drinking iced coffee and building our websites and social media calendars together, step by step.  Ahhh!  I cannot wait!  I’m really big on community and I love sharing resources and creating environments where people can make friends and learn from each other.  God gave each of us unique gifts, and I’m determined to use my gifts to bring the best out of people and be of service in every way possible.

To learn more about Nicole’s beauty ventures visit www.meltondigital.com and www.beautygoesdigital.com!