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A childhood interest for art and design grew into a passion for all things beauty. Currently, I’m still smitten.


BSB Goes Back to School

Last week, I had the opportunity to work with natural skincare pro, Gena Surphlis of Cooking Cosmetic, on a Spring skin and beauty forum.  Cooking Cosmetic held classes this month at a local university.  Panel topic:  'Feeding Your Skin' with "good for you" ingredients directly from your pantry.  Her hands-on classes had students making DIY products for healthy skin. I was happy to be a part of it all, presenting BLACKswan Beauty Bootcamp -- basic training for newbies and beauty addicts alike.

Topics included some of my favorite Spring 2012 trends.  Looks I love this season:  bronzed skin, bright lips and pastel colors for eyes and lips. 

Participants were advised to bring their cosmetic bags to discuss Spring cleaning their makeup stash (since everything has an "expiration" date).  And just before Earth Day, we focused on green beauty brands --   GINGER + LIZ, Josie Maran and Carol's Daughter to name a few.  Of course, the event wouldn't be complete without times for us all. 

Looking forward to the next stop on the BSB/CC College Bound Tour!

(NOTE:  If you would like to contact Gena about a Cooking Cosmetic event (personal or corporate), please email her directly at


DIOR Addict Extreme Lip Color

Revamped in new sleek packaging, these twelve shades are super-hydrating. The DIOR Addict Extreme Lip Color formula is somewhat sheer -- vibrant pigments in a wash of color that melt onto your lips.   Dazzling shine and intense color -- infused with more color and more moisture, it's like having a runway in your purse.  In 12 brilliant shades from the most daring pinks to nude beiges/$30.  Let BSB know if you try one.


Gucci Oversized Sunglasses

You can still look fabulous and protect your eyes from the sun without compromise. 

THE GUCCI OVERSIZED SUNGLASSES: 100% UV protection. Available at Nordstrom/$345.  In Black or Havana.
I like the simple details on this retro oversized frame: the Equestrian-inspired insets at the temples and the gradient colored lenses.   The statement?  Style.  Luxury.  Star power.  OK, maybe that's a bit much but I really like them!  Do you?

(images from


Mani Monday: DIY Runway Nail Trends

For Spring 2012, manicures have become the ultimate accessory.  Designs go from neon infused psychodelic patterns to retro-inspired brights.

I love the textured look of this plaid design from the NYFW Nicole Miller Show -- "Mic Check Mani."  CND Colour polish in Raspberry Parfait and Inkwell/$9 at

Get the Look:  Paint on two coats of the pink polish.  After it's dry, use a thin detailing nail brush to paint a cross on your nail and fill two squares with the navy shade.

If you try this, send me a picture or simply post it on my Face Book Page:  The BLACKswan at Beyond Beauty.


BSB Bride Featured on TLC's FOUR Weddings

I just found out that one of my clients, Ashanti H., was a featured bride on TLC's wedding show "FOUR WEDDINGS" Season 3/Episode 23.  The day of, surrounded by her family and childhood friends, her spirit was easy-going and genuine.  She seemed totally at ease.  To achieve the classic bridal look she wanted, a flawless complexion is essential. I used L'OREAL's Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base and PHYSICIANS FORMULA Mineral Wear Talc Free Cream Concealer.

You can read about the details of her big day hereVisit (and LIKE) my Face Book Page, The BLACKswan at Beyond Beauty, for additional wedding photos.

(Photo from

TLC FOUR Weddings

The bride with her father.


Q&A with a BLACKswan Beauty

BLACKswan Beauty is trying something new...a Q&A session with a woman who embraces her femininity.  Whether conservative or creative, she is a beautiful woman who celebrates her individuality with signature style, character and an edge.

This month, we feature:
TraCey Jones.

1.  What's in your makeup bag?  My Lancome Top Model lipstick and a L'Oreal pink lip gloss and mascara, Kiehl's SPF face moisturizer, Beauty-To-Go compact makeup set, black eyeliner and disposable toothbrushes.

2.  Name one product that you can't live without.  Mascara.

3.  What are your beauty secrets? Noxema for face, exfoliating my skin every day to keep it smooth and soft, sweet almond oil for all-over light moisturizing and drinking LOTS of water.

4.  Describe your skincare routine.  I remove my makeup with Blum Natural Daily Exfoliating Facial Towelettes,  use a light moisturizer at night with sweet almond or grapeseed oil and an SPF.  I wash my skin with Dove Moisturizing Liquid soap along with an African exfoliating body washing net then moisturize with sweet almond oil. 

5.  Describe your style?  Sexy, funky and bold.

6.  What is your favorite accessory?  Belts.

7.  What is your look for a date or Girl's Night Out?  Simply sexy, an easy to wear dress that is form fitting, curve hugging but never tight or clingy.

8.  Share your tips for diet and well being.  l eat to live.  It is ok to snack sometime but I eat more foods that nourish my body -- plenty of fruits and greens, whole grains and as little sugar as possible.  I make sure to get some form of exercise, stretch, smile and laugh on a daily basis.

9.  What are you passionate about?  Project F.L.Y. (For Love of our Youth) is an initiative to address the need for identity enrichment, acceptance and affirmation among Black males ages 12 to 19.  We want to show our young males that they have been designed with purpose by providing them with the tools to identify with success. 

TraCey is also a massage therapist/LMT, life coach and Certified Kemetic Yoga Instructor who enjoys watching the sun rise. 


Marc Jacobs Makeup

MARC JACOBS has capitalized on the fashion industry with gorgeous collections of clothes, bags, shoes, accessories and fragrances.  Only thing left to add to his empire is beauty (although there's no launch date).  What's for certain is the high-end brand is set to debut color cosmetics with the beauty chain, SEPHORA.  A WWD interview revealed his take on beauty. 

 "I love the opportunity, wherever there is one, to adorn, to decorate, to scent, to dress.  That's what fashion is all about.  It's not necessary, it's something you want -- it's a fancy and a whim."

The designer plans to take his time with this one and I'm sure this range of cosmetics will be worth the wait.

What products would you like to see in this launch?  I'm wondering what the packaging will look like?  And who will be the face of the collection?


Spa Week 2012's that time of year again.  Time for the healing touch of massages, facial peels and tranquil full-service spa treatments for only $50. Unwinding and relaxing is super easy (and super cheap)!  Take advantage of this week-long opportunity to sample the luxe life at high-end properties.   Pampering and therapeutic services include laser hair removal, colon cleansing, and lash perms along with reflexology, acupuncture and other traditional treatments.

The road to wellness and serenity for SPA WEEK 2012 begins April 16th to April 22nd. For a spa directory, click here



Manicure Monday -- THE NEW BLACK 'Runway Collection'

The "NEW BLACK Runway Collection" is an 8-piece set of lacquers that just so happen to be vegan friendly, chip resistant and long wearing.  This takes the guess work out of colors for Spring...a rainbow collection for all your digits!  Gypsy Rose, Just Shocking, Orange Crush (hint...hint -- 2012 Pantone shade), Electrical Banana, Mint Tea Shimmer, Heliotrope, Midnight Blue and Horchata Cream/$29 at Nordstrom.

SEPHORA Ultimate Dual Exfoliating Face Brush

Healthy, luminous skin.  It's the look we all want.  Cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing maps the road to a beautiful complexion.

In an effort to keep my skin glowing, I use a face brush.  Lots on the market but I like to use the SEPHORA Ultimate Dual Exfoliating Face Brush/$18 with a gentle face wash.  What I LOVE about this brush is the double-sided head.  One side is a cushiony pink silicone pad with bristles that cleanse and polish skin while the other is a soft brush to gently exfoliate dead skin cells. 

I recommend it for our male counterparts as well. Ideally, it lifts hairs and exfoliates the skin prior to shaving to manage trapped hairs. Clean the face in a circular motion to dislodge the tips of ingrowns and clear follicles to allow hairs to surface.