Beautiful Black Britain

Happy New Year!!

I am so excited about the year ahead.  There will be no other place to be than in London this year! So you will see that I have updated my blog name to BeautyPulseLONDON.  I will be bringing you more beauty and fashion news and views from this incredible city in 2012.

As we look ahead to all that 2012 will unveil, I thought that it would be apt to first take a look back.  As 2011 drew to a close, I felt immensely proud to be a Black woman in Britain – our beauty, intellect and talents really shone for all to see.

Here are some of my highlights:

Jourdan Dunn – RELOADED

Jourdan Dunn for YSL Beauté

At just 21, West London born supermodel Jourdan Dunn had a stellar 2011.  She was the face of the YSL  Touche Éclat campaign that launched the iconic product in 2 new shades – suitable for darker skin tones.

Dunn and Delevinge

Her relationship with British superbrand Burberry continued to blossom.  She featured in both the S/S and A/W campaigns and also was the face of the 2011 Burberry Beauty campaign (alongside Cara Delevinge).  I love this tutorial that can be found on the Burberry YouTube channel showcasing how Jourdan’s nude look can be recreated.  Can I just say I *heart* the powder brush!!

Another strong  partnership that Jourdan has forged is with the cult British  fashion and culture magazine i-D…I will say no more about this image – as a picture speaks a thousand words!

Stunning!

Jourdan proved that she is more than a pretty face last year, she was very vocal about the way young black people were being portrayed as the main perpetrators of the summer riots that revenged many of the nation’s major cities.  In an article in the London newspaper The Evening Standard, Dunn stated that she was “annoyed by claims that all the rioters were young and black, adding: “Not all young people are criminals”.

I am looking forward to seeing and hearing more from Miss Dunn in 2012 as she continues to do a stellar job representing British Black women in a positive light.

Positive Hair Day

Sarah Naomi Lee (Image: Plenty Productions)

I was having a lazy morning in late November,  listening to Women’s Hour on  my favourite radio station, BBC Radio 4 and my ears pricked up when a lady of mixed  heritage discussed the ‘issues’ that British Black and Mixed- Raced women face when dealing with their hair!  Her name was Sarah Naomi Lee and she is a playwright, former BBC producer and Creative Director of Plenty Productions – a community interest  company that facilitates high quality, collaborative, community-based arts and media projects.

Sarah recounted her experience of growing up in Brigton and coming to terms with her own cultural identity which was expressed in many ways, including in the way she wore her hair.  She went on to found the Postive Hair Day workshops  – a fantastic project  based in Brighton which uses hair as a focus for building a greater understanding of  Black and mixed heritage people’s identity and culture.  The project runs free workshops and activities including  a regular Hair Care workshop where free  advice and tips are offered on how to care for Black and mixed heritage hair.  She was on the radio program to promote her latest venture – Snakes and Ladders.  Snakes and Ladders is a bold and powerful comic drama about race, identity and the testing of family loyalties and waspartly inspired by stories and memories collected form the  Positive Hair Day project.

The work was showcased in November of  last year – and unfortunately I couldn’t make the the performance …so I delighted to find a couple of videos of the play on YouTube.

Got It Covered

Black women graced the covers of numerous UK glossies last year. Leading the pack was none other than Miss Rowland – who featured on the covers of Cosmopolitan, Stylist, Health & Fitness and Marie Claire to name but a few.   Kelly’s make-up for many of these shoots and her X-Factor appearances was the handy work of  the talented British  MUA, Pauline Briscoe.

Celebrity MUA - Pauline Briscoe

 

Recreate Kelly’s celebrity looks with tips from Pauline featured on the glamourmagazine.co.uk website.

 

 

 

 

 

Stylist also featured supermodel Alex Wek on the cover of the special London Fashion Week edition of the magazine….

Incredible! (Image: blog.fabmagazineonline.com)

…and even John Lewis (yes – John Lewis – the epitome of middle England) featured the stunning black model Aba (of Zone Models) on the cover of the Christmas issue of their consumer magazine Edition.

Fabulous.

Never knowingly under sold or fashionably upstaged!

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Saturday Night Belles – Week 1

And we’re off!

12 weeks of fantastic TV are in store as season 9 of  Strictly Come Dancing kicked off at the weekend with the expected glitter and glamour and the thousands of hopefuls that applied, auditioned and sang their hearts out for the 2011 X-Factor judges have been whittled down to the final 16!

OK, OK… so we’ve seen it all before…but I have to admit that this is pure entertainment at its best and I am convinced that the next 3 months will not disappoint!!

As I mentioned in my previous Saturday Night Bells post, I will be commenting on the hair and make-up looks of Miss Rowland and Miss Dixon each week.

So, how did our leading ladies do in the style stakes this weekend? 

I really liked the pared down glamour that both Kelly and Alesha exhibited this week.

Kelly Rowland for the X-Factor

Kelly took the her final 8 contestants to her home in Miami, in the sunshine state of Florida (nice!!).

Her fun and flirty style epitomised the laid back vibe that Miami exudes.  I really like the tousled hair, funky beehive  and fresh faced make up  in the shot below.

However Kelly still worked the false eyelashes – a beauty accessory that is a staple in my daily armoury!

Bring me Sunshine! Kelly at home in Miami (Image: ITV1)


Kelly’s  black ensemble was classic, yet the relaxed feel was  still evident with her hair not to finished – an easy going, mussed up style was the look du jour.

Again, her makeup is natural yet visible, enhancing her pretty features. Her nude lip colour suits all skin tones  and you can get the look with the NARS Lip Lacquer in Babydoll.  I love this product – high shine and intense colour – the perfect combination!

NARS Lip Lacquer in Babydoll

Alesha Dixon for Strictly Come Dancing

Miss Dixon’s look for the inaugural weekend of SCD was delicate and demure.  Her pretty features were emphasised by her super straight locks…I  LIKE!

A classic centre parting never fails and coupled with a pop of colour on the lips, I give Alesha an 8 out of 10 for this premier look.

Strictly So Lovely! Alesha Dixon (Image: BBC)

Bonus Belle!! Jennifer Hudson!!

It was fabulous to see Jennifer Hudson on the X-Factor!  She looks incredible – her new figure is enviable – but is a testament to her hard work, focus  and dedication.

Her hair looked amazing – classy and sophisticated waves complimented her causal style.  She is a fan of the lace  wig – and hers was looking good!!

Jenny and Kelly...looking good ladies!! (Image: ITV1)

With the live shows of the X-Factor starting this weekend I await the style sensations that will be displayed with bated breath!!  Bring it on Kelly and Alesha!


Saturday Night Belles

2 TV Stations!

2 Prime Time  programmes!

2 Beautiful Black Women!

The launch of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing (SCD) last Saturday was a fabulous taster of  what we have in store for the next few weeks – glitz, glamour, sequins and sass ..and the ever so lovely Alesha Dixion!  The winner of SCD 2007 is back on our screens as a judge for SCD 2011!  (SDC ’07 was the BEST season in my opinion – Alesha’s Cha Cha Cha was HOT HOT HOT!)

With Miss Kelly Rowland over on ITV1 judging the mighty X-Factor, it is wonderful to see two exquisitely beautiful black women headlining prime time TV shows which are viewed by millions across the nation – and indeed the world (thanks to Youtube)!

And what about the weaves!!!  Kelly has been rocking the most gorgeous Remy hair in a variety of looks (kudos to the stylist!) – from tumbling, tousled curls to sleek, sexy locks – Kelly has been looking ON POINT!

Kelly Rowland X-Factor 2011 Judge

Alesha is also a lover of her hair adornments and her début style was a winner in my eyes – an on trend side ponytail emphasised her flawless features.

Alesha Dixion - SCD Launch Show

SDC will return to the BEEB in 3 weeks time, so watch this space for a week by week update on the hair and make-up creations of these two leading ladies!