Monthly Archives: September 2010

Keesha and Kailei’s Hair Essentials


We all know that a black woman’s hair is one of the most time consuming and important things to maintain. In the spirit of sharing, we thought we’d reveal some of the items that keep our tresses in tip-top shape:

Keesha
1. Jane Carter Solution Nourish and Shine
2. Aveda Brilliant Shampoo and Conditioner
3. V05 Normal/Dry Hair Treatment
4. Moroccan Oil
5. A Goody Wide Tooth Comb

Kailei

1. Pantene Relaxed and Natural Moisturizing Shampoo
2. Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Nourishing Conditioner
3. Aveda Brilliant Humectant Pomade
4. Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll
5. Chi Turbo Mini 3/4″ Ceramic Flat Iron


Tell us: what are some of your hair essentials?

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Woman to Watch: Dr. Christine Martey-Ochola


Birthplace: Kenya, East Africa

Occupations: Business Consultant on doing business in Africa (various sectors), Chemist, Educator

Education: Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Lehigh University), Degrees in Biochemistry (East Stroudsburg University) and Food Science and Technology (Kenya Polytechnic University).

Previous Jobs/Roles:

– President of The USA-Kenya Chamber of Commerce

– Asst. Professor of Biochemistry at Villanova University, Lehigh University and Shippensburg University

– VP of Research and development & Co-owner of Advent Business Group (Naturaz Hair Care products)

– COO of Avoglobal Ltd (Consulting company)

– Advisor, various groups addressing HIV/AIDS stigma, education, intervention in both Kenya and Philadelphia

Proudest Moment: Nine years ago she finally allowed herself to “let go and let God.” Since then she has been blessed with a wonderful husband, children, career, friends and family.

Family Life: Christine has two sons: Christian (6 years old) and Camayo (3 years old).  She’s married to Charles Ochola, an environmental engineer working with Tube City IMS. They met while in elementary school in Kenya.

A Balanced Life: Despite Christine’s busy schedule, some of her hobbies and interests include walking, dancing (especially African traditional dance), organic farming, hanging out with her children, talking to friends and family, and meeting new people.

Fun Fact: She has an innate desire to go skydiving (though she says her husband thinks she’s crazy!)

Boards/Committees: Advisory board of the Philadelphia-based World Health Care Infrastructures, board of the Logiri Women’s group (of Wimagak village in Kenya), member of the business committee of the Philadelphia Mayor’s commission on African and Caribbean Affairs, advisory board of the Center for International Business Education and Research at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, and is the senior outreach liaison and advisor for the Great lakes Region (East Africa) Health and Environmental Affairs division of FirstSource Worldwide.

Quotable: “REMEMBER To Give Yourself The Chance To Attain Your Maximal Potential”

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Live Your Life in HD!


By Keesha Boyd

HD or high definition. The difference between a “decent television picture” and a “vibrant, alive, detailed, sharp, crisp, stand-out, visually awing image.” Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to go out and buy a high definition television. I am, however, asking how many of you are living a “decent television picture” type of life versus living your life in HD?

Here’s how you can tell. If you find yourself tumbling your way through your nine to five week, rejoicing as you get past hump day only to make it to the weekend and simply do the same mundane things you did the previous weekend then you’re probably not living in HD. If you can’t think of the last time you made a real big impact on someone or something, or if answering the question “tell us something unique about you” stresses you out because you can’t think of anything, chances are, you’re not living your life in HD.  And finally, if you have ever felt like you’re just existing, or worse, living with your “decent television picture” life on “mute” or in “black and white”, then you know you’re not living your life in HD.

We all have the capacity to live a life in HD…a life full of vibrant color, authenticity, and special details. A life in HD is a life that is a “stand-out, visually awing image” of everything that is uniquely you. It’s a life that makes you and everyone around you feel like your “television” is on, not in black and white and definitely not on mute.

If you’re ready to start living your life in bold HD, then here are a few tips to get you started:

1)   Do Good…Feel Good –If you’re spending the majority of your day doing something that you don’t really enjoy (e.g. your job) then it’s increasingly important that you try to balance that time out by doing at least one thing each day that brings you some enjoyment. Whether that’s taking in a movie, spending time with someone you enjoy, volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about, taking a walk through a museum, reading a good book, exercising….the list is endless. Know what it is that makes you feel good and be sure you’re spending time each week doing that thing. You’d be amazed how much it will replenish your “color” throughout the week.

2)   Don’t Blend In – What do the clothes that you wear each day say about you? Do they say, “I’m here, I’m me, I’m loving my shape and dressing it beautifully” or do they say “please don’t look at me, I just threw this on”? How you appear to the world is also what you will attract. Take an interest in yourself through your wardrobe and the world will take an interest and “tune in” to you. Need some tips on how to style yourself, check out this article.

3)   Know What You Stand For and Stand For It – Is there a cause that you’re passionate about? If so, don’t sit on the sidelines for it anymore, get in the fight. If you don’t have a cause that you’re passionate about yet, give it some thought. Having a cause to fight for, volunteer your time with and feel passionate about adds a “vibrant special detail” to your life.

4)   Sharpen Yourself – Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? Maybe a new language or a new skill? If so, then go ahead and “sharpen your picture” by learning to do that new thing. Or, if you feel like you have some introspection to do in order to “sharpen your picture” then perhaps it’s time to look into getting a therapist for a while to help you get yourself back on track. There are plenty of ways to “sharpen your picture”, figure out what it takes for you and then begin to do whatever it is, as soon as you can.

5)   Surround Yourself With Beauty – When you look around your home, is it a “visually awing image” of who you are? Does it feel like a beautiful oasis that you can marvel at and that revives you? When you walk in does it feel warm and comforting? If not, figure out what visually stimulates you or what you find beautiful, and add it to your home. It can be a particular color palette,  a great piece of art or a soothing scent like lavender or simply clearing out the clutter in your home (for feng shui tips click here). For as much time as you spend in your home it should be filled with your version of beauty so that you can soak it up while you’re there and share it with the world when you’re out.

Are you living your life in HD? If so, share your tips here with us!

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Top Five Fruits To Eat Now


By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”

We all know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well it turns out its not just an apple, its fruit in general that keeps one healthy, energized, and fit 4 life.

How much fruit are you getting daily? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that last year about one-third of U.S. adults consumed fruit or fruit juice at least twice a day. That’s down slightly from more than 34% in 2000 and is also less than half of what is recommended.  Here is just a short list of the benefits of fruit so you can get a sense of what you’re missing out on if you’re not eating fruit regularly:

1. Slows down aging process, 2. Weight loss, 3. Increases energy, 4. Lowers cholesterol, 5. Lowers blood pressure

Best Way to Eat Fruit

The best way 2 eat fruit is raw.  The way fruit grows is the way it should be eaten. When ripe, fruit is at its height of potency providing the most benefits.  Fruit juice is high in sugar and true it does provide vitamins and minerals but you miss out on the skin and pulp, which helps every body function.  Diced fruit is usually not as fresh as whole fruit.  Always remember this when it comes to any kind of food, “the fresher the better!”

Top Five Fruits

All fruits are good for. But I compiled a short list of the best fruits and what they do specifically, so you can go shopping today!

1. Wild Mixed Berries – (blue, rasp, straw, black, cran, goji, coffee, noni, acai, etc.) Berries as a whole are nutritional powerhouses. They can help joint health, heart health, cancer prevention, muscular degeneration along with a host of other benefits from their plethora of antioxidants and nutrients.

2. Kiwifruit – Kiwis are an often an overlooked fruit, as they almost taste too good to be so healthy!  They have twice the vitamin C of oranges, and are one of the most nutrient dense fruits on the planet.  They are very high in fiber and potassium for a healthy heart.  Kiwis have been shown to not only prevent oxidative DNA damage, but they have been shown to help stimulate the repair of the cellular damage that has occurred.

3. Cherries – Cherries are loaded with antioxidant compounds that are anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-cancer. They contain a wonderful ingredient called quercetin, an anti-cancer compound.  They also contain ellagic acid, like raspberries, a powerful anti-tumor compound that causes cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells, with no change to healthy cells. It is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial.

4. Pomegranates – Enjoy either the fresh seeds and pulp, or even indulge in a few ounces of juice everyday as this will help lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and help slow aging.  Pomegranates are also shown to help prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, help prevent blood clotting, slow the growth of prostate cancer, and improve erectile dysfunction.

5. Red Delicious Apple – This apple has the most antioxidants of any apple, mainly due to its deep red color.  Apples, like cherries, also contain quercetin, which is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that may help prevent Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Apples are also high in pectin, a great soluble shown to help lower LDL cholesterol.  Apples are also high in boron, which may help prevent osteoporosis and arthritis.

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Tracy Reese Spring 2011 RTW


By Tina-Gaye “Bernie” Bernard

This review is brought to you not by a fashion pundit, publicist, obsessed fashionista, or blogger.  I’m a 30-something cosmetic executive with my own exacting style and bona fide Tracy Reese devotee.  My cosmopolitan lifestyle warrants polished clothing, flattering fit, and the trifecta is the flexibility to transition from workplace to cocktail; all with clever panache.  Tracy Reese is my favorite [newer] designer (tied with homage to Ralph Lauren) – my first piece purchased in 2004 in a Seoul, Korea boutique, the dress label’s black logo is sans her now recognizable signature chandelier – and this New York Fashion Week was my third consecutive viewing of her design genius at the tents.  As the (un)official ambassador patron for this fashion line, the owners of The Vyne asked me to share my acute opine.

Ready to Wear

Tracy Reese Spring 2011 RTW epitomized “ready to wear” with silhouettes appropriate for all curves, comfort yet a still pulled together look, and crisp, warm colors just darling on sepia skins.  It was an ever so slight yet refreshing departure from her collection’s distinguishing bold colors, prints and embellishments.  The ultra-feminine, joie de vivre, modernity, and detailing brand hallmarks were not lost as the 70s retro-inspired, truly wearable, effortless chic in basics and neutrals were remixed anew with texture.  To further play up, the clothing was punctuated by simple yet statement-making accessories (by sista-designer Shauna Neely), Stella-Got-Her-Groove-Back wide brim hats, large psychedelic, vintage eyewear, and layered necklaces.  The makeup look was ethereal but warm, barely-there luminosity, subtle peach (the new pink) hues, and a neutral dash of color on lips.  Laidback, no-fuss hair, either Hippie-esque long with middle part, no bang, or pulled back.

Real to Wear

The Tracy Reese show is, if not the, then, one of the most, ethnically and body type diverse in its catwalk casting, front row and standing room.  This translates into fashion that represents the real world that is “real to wear”.

Visit Essence.com to view the behind the curtain video.

Reasons to Wear

As quick indoctrination, every upwardly mobile Black woman should own at least three Tracy Reese pieces for two reasons.

  1. Tracy Reese meets the great expectations of the acculturated. She is one of only a handful of African-American women to run her own labels and to influence the fashion world by consistently showing at the tents.  Support a sister!
  2. Both the eponymous Tracy Reese as well as her Plenty label, are among few lines in which: most often there is accommodation in the hip; the structures aren’t confining, instead forgiving; and lining, built-in bodices, and hang straps, etcetera, marks of expert finishing, are incorporated, afforded less by others.  Fine, distinctive clothing is a worthy investment for tailored, timeless not overtly trendy items.  My mounting Tracy Reese wardrobe over the last few years withstands laundering and doesn’t look worn. Tracy Reese designs are quintessential for the sophisticated, rising professional and social tastemaker to swag responsibly. Support yourself with smart style!



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The Vyne at First Jones Magazine Awards


This past week we attended the first annual Jones Magazine Awards sponsored by Procter & Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful (#1), held at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York (#2). We arrived to the event (3), dressed to the nines, ready for a fashionable event to recognize a stellar group of people.

First, we hung out at the outdoor cocktail party where there was lots of mixing and mingling (#4) and great cocktails (#5). We met some  fantastic women who were looking fabulous including Renae Bluitt from InHerShoes.com (#6) and jewelry designer Shauna Neely(#7). Also there enjoying the evening were The Vyne-worthy Liz Pickett of Ginger + Liz Colour Connection and advertising/media guru, Tiffany Griffin (#8) who showed off their nails with new Ginger + Liz hues.

After mingling it up and partaking of some yummy light hors d’oeuvres, it was time for us to make our way into the awards show. Before we walked in we ran into celebrity make-up artist and Jones Magazine award winner, Sam Fine (#9) (who looked flawless, by the way!) as well as Tatyana Ali and her sister Anastasia (#10).

The awards show started with Jones Magazine Publisher L. Londell McMillan opening up the night. He talked about how proud he was that there was diversity in the print magazine business, as each publication holds significance for their respective generation. Editor in Chief and Vyne reader Tracey Ferguson also spoke as well as announced the first award winner, the fabulous designer extraordinaire, Byron Lars (#11).  Also receiving awards during the evening was supermodel Sessilee Lopez, whose sister Kristian accepted the award on her behalf (#12) since Sessilee was on the runway that night for a Fashion Week show. Sam Fine (#13) accepted his award while pictures of many of the amazing celebrities he has worked on were playing on a slideshow behind him. Ending the night was Sheryl Lee Ralph who took the stage, and through a powerful performance that included both spoken word and song, she moved everyone in the theater.

Before the night was over we were able to chat with and congratulate our girl Tracey (#14) for a wonderful event and also snap a couple pictures of Sheryl Lee Ralph (#15). Though we had an enjoyable time that night, what really made an impression was the fact that it was filled with such a classy group of people – entertainers, corporate execs, entrepreneurs, fashion and style experts, and media powerhouses. We hope to see even more events where such a diverse yet sophisticated group of people can gather, celebrate and recognize great talent.

Check out more of our photos from the event on our Facebook Page.

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Woman to Watch: Tatyana Ali


We had the pleasure of meeting Tatyana during Fashion Week in NYC when she spoke on a panel for NAMIC and when we attended the Jones Magazine Awards. She’s such a multitalented and intelligent young woman that we knew we had to feature her.

Born:  January 24. Tatyana was raised in Long Island, New York and attended high school in West Los Angeles, California

Occupation: In addition to being an actress, singer and an activist, she is also Chairman & CEO of HazraH Entertainment.

Education: Received her Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University

Big Break: We all know her as “Ashley” from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air but prior to that big break she was performing on Sesame Street, Star Search and even appeared in an episode of The Cosby Show. Since Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Tatyana has appeared in films including The Brothers and Glory Road. Currently she is a regular on “The Young and the Restless”.

Entrepreneur Extraordinaire: In 2007, Tatyana and her younger sister Anastasia (a graduate of Brown University) founded HazraH Entertainment, a media company focused on fulfilling the promise of urban cinema by producing works rich in originality and soul. Their first production was a web series titled “Buppies” featuring a group of friends navigating their way through life. The series did so well, to the tune of over 5 million viewers, that they were recognized as a Webby Honoree. The next project from Hazrah Entertainment is a sitcom for TVOne titled “Love That Girl” staring Tatyana. The sitcom will air this fall and is executive produced by Martin Lawrence, Bentley Kyle Evans, Jeff Franklin and Raphael Saadiq.

What’s Next: Currently Tatyana is preparing to release her sophomore album entitled “The Light” and will be hitting the big screen again in the near future.

Fun Facts: Tatyana’s rich ethnicity and culture is an amalgamation of Afro-Panamanian and East Indian by way of Trinidad & Tobago. She speaks Spanish and some Hindi.  She’s had four top 10 singles between the US and UK album charts. In 2008, she sang on Will.i.am’s “Yes We Can” song for President Obama’s campaign and toured colleges speaking about the importance of getting out and voting. In her spare time Tatyana has been spotted supporting such causes as Cancer, Pediatric AIDS and the No Hate campaign to name a few.

Quotable: I believe in fate, I believe in hard work, and I feel like if I just keep marching, the path will kind of appear before me. (Tatyana Ali on her future)

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