The last thing I need is another lip gloss.  I have dozens of them.  With that said......I'm going to pick up one more.

Why? Because this lip gloss keeps appearing in my life and I'm finally going to take the hint.  Everyone raves about this drugstore gloss and it's now time for me jump on the bandwagon.
It all began when Kendra Bailey released her full skin reggie video.  I've been on a few of her Instagram lives and people were always asking what product she uses on her lips which always appear so naturally hydrated. Imagine my surprise when she revealed that her holy grail lip balm was by a brand we all know and love.

Once the secret was revealed, I filed that piece of information away until later.  Shortly afterward, this image flashed across my Pinterest feed.
After poking around a little in the comments I was bombarded by a bunch of people who praised the wonders of this amazing gloss-balm.

This stuff is AMAZING! it seriously makes your lips feel so good. It has like this cooling effect and it smells so good and it makes my lips look so good. I recommend this 10/10
This stuff is the bomb and smells soooo good! Can be used as lip balm AND a gloss!

I have tried this and it’s definitely a great moisturizer for the lips 👄 through these cold months!
My favorite love it

I stand by this lip gloss its sooo good!

I tried it and I love it! Super moisturizing
Not only is this lip gloss "super moisturizing," it's also enriched with SPF.  Warmer days are ahead which means we'll be spending more time outside.   If you're like me, you might be making the fatal mistake of layering sunscreen on your face but leaving your lips to fend for themselves.  I have one lip balm enriched with SPF but it does a poor job of hydrating and I barely use it.  Neutrogena Moisture Shine seems like the ultimate solution to all of my woes.

I'm picking some up today.

Dr. Adeline N. via IG
By Kanisha Parks

Dr. Adeline N., a Resident Physician at the Corpus Christi Bay Area Dermatology Program in South Texas, is the creator of @brownskinderm, an Instagram account focused on providing vital information about how to properly care for and treat skin of color. Brown Skin Derm is a top resource for skin of color, literally jam-packed with information about brown skin—including topics such as identifying and maintaining your skin type, product suggestions, addressing skin concerns like acne, skin lightening/brightening, rosacea, psoriasis, lupus, and much more!

Dr. Adeline started Brown Skin Derm to shift the narrative from just caring about what makeup we put on our skin to also understanding it in order to better care for it. She says,
 "Our communities have lots of unaddressed skin and hair conditions coupled with the lack of access to medical expertise related to their dermatologic needs. It is my hope that this platform will educate the public and help them better articulate their skin issues to their physicians and more importantly, equip them to seek the proper professional care from dermatologists.”
She also aims to shed light on skin stereotypes and misconceptions in the black community, such as the impression that non-Caucasian people are immune to skin cancer and the detrimental effects of skin bleaching. For example, many people are often shocked to learn that the death of iconic musician Bob Marley was actually due to an aggressive form of melanoma: acral lentiginous melanoma, to be specific. What was dismissed as a soccer injury under his toenail turned out to be a skin cancer that caused the death of an extremely talented musician at the young age of just 36. His story serves as a reminder of the importance of the need for both medical providers and the public to be educated about skin cancer and skin of color.

Dr. Adeline shares, 
“Like many people in our community, I had grown up erroneously believing darker skin conferred immunity to skin cancers, thereby making the need for sunscreen pointless. Unfortunately, this uninformed perception is not only limited to darker skinned patients but also some physicians who share the same inaccurate beliefs.
I also remember as a child growing up in West Africa, witnessing the pervasive culture of skin bleaching to address legitimate disorders of hyperpigmentation but also as an affirmative rejection of darker skin in favor of a much lighter and cosmetically appealing skin tone. My college experience was a true melting pot of cultures. Interacting with my friends there from other cultural backgrounds such as West Indians, Jamaicans, Asians, and more, I learned the culture of skin bleaching was not unique to my experience as an African but theirs as well. Having knowledge of the harmful chemicals being utilized in these bleaching creams today and their side effects, I felt I needed to do more to bring awareness to these and other skin issues."
As a dermatologist in training, I have more knowledge than the general public of the dermatologic issues affecting the average person. It became increasingly hard to ignore some these misconceptions about skin care or the approach to treating skin conditions in our community. In reflecting on past experiences addressing my own dermatologic issues, I had to be honest in that I delayed seeking professional help and had a do-it-yourself mentality for most of my skin concerns very much to my own detriment.”
Dr. Adeline hopes to change these and other fallacious attitudes regarding skin health in people of color, starting with implementing basic habits like wearing sunscreen daily, removing makeup at night, cleaning your makeup brushes, keeping your hands off of your face, and making sure to seek professional help for specific skin concerns. Your skin is of utmost importance and it’s your responsibility to learn how properly maintain it.
Dr. Adeline N.
Stay tuned for future skin-related posts featuring her expert advice and in the meantime, follow @brownskinderm on Instagram!

How much time do you spend on caring for your skin?
Kanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other than, she has also written for BlackNaps.organd Devozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, "Love Letters from the Master." Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at [email protected] 
Amara La Negra & Charlamagne
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Unless you live under a pop culture rock, you have seen the wonder that is Amara la Negra by now. Her flawless skin and larger than life hair, are hard to miss. However, the Love n Hip Hop Miami breakout star is more than a pretty face and booty bouncing music. She’s actually got something to say and unfortunately, Charlamagne and Dj Envy didn’t seem to grasp that when she appeared on Monday’s Breakfast Club interview. Then again, I’m not sure if these guys were asking tactless questions just for the sake of making the interview juicier. Nonetheless, they acted as if they couldn’t understand Amara’s stance on the discrimination she faces as a dark-skinned Afro-Latina trying to crossover into the American market. Regardless, Amara’s story line is making the world indulge in conversation that has been swept under the rug for decades. What's the topic of conversation you ask? C-O-L-O-R-I-S-M. Colorism.

 At the 75th Golden Globes Oprah Winfrey said, “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool that we all have.” Amara is definitely speaking her truth, regardless if some people pretend not to get it.

Colorism is the discrimination of a person because of the lightness or darkness of his or her skin. This type of discrimination can also be shown to men and women by their own race. I know people will argue that colorism is a direct behavioral and psychological screw up that stems from slavery, and I wholeheartedly agree with them. But now it's time for people of color to take responsibility and undo all that foolery by embracing themselves in all varieties and flavors of Black.
A few years ago, veteran actor and director Bill Duke did a powerful documentary called Dark Girls that aired on the OWN network. It. Was. Phenomenal. It allowed women to talk about their experiences with loving the skin they're in. Would you believe there were people who said the documentary was "alright" and even unnecessary? Some even pulled an All Lives Matter move and said light skin women face more hate than dark skin women, when in fact both groups, male and female, face equal bashing by people who share the same racial background as them. Don't act like you haven't seen the memes on Instagram.

Mr. Duke did in fact release a film called Light Girls shortly after Dark Girls, yet people still complained, rather than value the lessons in both of his documentaries. But here's some truth tea: When God wants to open your eyes to something and you ignore it, it remerges. And that's why Amara la Negra and all her bold blackness is on and poppin' for such a time as this.

Giving props where it’s due, Love n Hip Hop Miami is the most thought-provoking production Mona Scott has assembled. Kudos to her! I don't care that Amara’s platform for the message is ratchet reality TV; that's honestly where it needs to be. Just last year some fool from another Love n Hip Hop cast said ignorant things about passing a brown paper bag test. So, it seems to me that Amara la Negra is positioned in the right place at the right time to declare the right message. So for all those who are tired of seeing us rave and Stan for Amara, get over it. She's an international treasure. We're celebrating her all year long like healthy edges and good credit, okay?

How do you feel we should address colorism in the black community?
A woman of the bayou pimping my pen because I'm scared of a day job. You can find me somewhere telling stories like Nas and Terry McMillan on April Fool's day. Writing is life so follow me on IG @cococurator 
K. Michelle before butt implant removal
By Ta-ning Connai

Looks ain't everything, yet the women of reality TV and the pop culture icons of Instagram seem to think otherwise. They are the self-proclaimed leaders of the new so-called Feminist Movement who obsessively promote themselves and all things shallow, while promoting a sisterhood amongst their fans by encouraging them to embrace their bodies, love themselves and feel empowered by taking half-naked selfies ALL. DAY. LONG. Now wait a’re a champion of self acceptance, yet you didn’t accept yourself until AFTER all your major cosmetic procedures??? Oh ok.


K. Michelle
Two celeb forerunners of the most recent plastic surgery phenomenon have recently had their implants removed. K. Michelle, who was honest early on, stated she was very unhappy about the enormity of her new bottom and the unforeseen problems it brought along. Amber Rose always denied having any work done, yet there are before photos that say otherwise.

Amber Rose
At any rate, she's recently had her H cup juggs “reduced,” perhaps back to their normal size. I guess being deliberately known for your banging bod is not all it's cracked up to be. But what does this all mean for the average women who scrambled together lots of hard earned cash just to follow in their footsteps? Let it be noted that implants are not something you can just take off like makeup or a wig. And the repercussions can be a helluva lot more than just simple regret.

Well, in case you didn't notice, there’s a war going on in the hearts of young girls and women worldwide and your tools for victory are destroying them. Great job on using your celebrity to perpetuate the message that they’re not good enough as they are. Any woman who does such a thing should really think twice about contributing to this sudden wave of superficial power and fake self esteem. Demonstrating a false sense of confidence on the outside instead of radiating it from the inside just won’t last, no matter how good your plastic surgeon and photo filters are.

These social media phenoms have (albeit unintentional) sided with the many men, ad agencies, make up brands and publication giants that pressure us CONSTANTLY about how we should look in order to belong. They try to make us believe that the obsessive pursuit of physical perfection is the key to success, relational bliss and self-love. Going all out to get that face, hair and body snatched can be downright fun, but to dramatically alter one’s self to unrealistic proportions is simply a whole ‘nother level.

Things Change.

I got teased for a lot of things in school, but because of my full lips I used to get called Chewbacca (the Star Wars ape with the blue eyes). If I’d had the money (and my mother’s permission) to have them surgically reduced, I would have. Now decades later, people are filling their faces with deadly poison just to get the same effect. But they don’t know I used to hide in the bathroom during lunch just to get relief from the taunting. Like I said, things change.

It’s time to come to terms with who God made us to be, regardless of the lies we sometimes believe. In Psalms 139: 14, He describes us as His most brilliant workmanship ever created! He says we are marvelous and wonderfully made! And until we believe that, we will never be satisfied.

Have you ever altered your looks just to realize you were better off before?
TA-NING is a former model and clothing designer who one day got the "call" to leave the fab world of fashion behind. While in Bible College, she discovered her knack for mixing her quirky style of writing with her gift to teach. TA-NING'S TELL IT TUESDAY is a weekly column (originally launched on Facebook) that uses doses of pop culture to tear down the walls of churchy tradition, change the face of Christianity, and present it's message in a lively way. Ta-ning resides in Santa Monica (by way of BK), is obsessed with dogs, and is an old school Hip-Hop junkie!
Photo via
By Mwabi Kaira

In the ongoing conversation about skin hues and how uncomfortable the world seems to be with dark skin, Academy award winner Lupita Nyong’o has fared well and seems to have come through pretty unscathed since emerging in the public eye back in 2013. Other than former NBA player Gilbert Arenas dumb remarks about Lupita only being cute with the lights off, Lupita is a media darling and well loved and accepted. She is a red carpet favorite and always makes the best dressed lists. She has been on the cover of multiple magazines including Vogue, Elle, Essence, In Style, Marie Claire, Glamour, and was even named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful while making the cover. She is the face of Lancome ads, and has dolls made in her likeness. Her poise and classiness are bar none and the fact that she has accomplished everything while celebrating her natural beauty make her the epitome of black girl magic.

Lupita will team with Simon & Schuster to write her debut children’s book “Sulwe."


The picture book is aimed at readers between the ages of 5 and 7. “Sulwe,” means “star” in Luo, Lupita’s native tongue and is the story of a 5-year-old girl growing up in Kenya. Sulwe has the darkest skin color in her family, a fact that makes her uncomfortable and determined to find a way to lighten her skin. As the story unfolds, Sulwe embarks on a whimsical adventure in the night sky that, coupled with advice from her mother, helps her see beauty differently.

Lupita was not always the self-confident Goddess we know now and gave a speech about it in 2014 at an Essence Women in Hollywood Luncheon. The speech went viral and was a pivotal point for young girls who thought lightening their skin would make them feel more beautiful. She encouraged them by saying,
“I hope that my presence on your screens and in magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel validation of your external beauty, but also, get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.” 
 The speech going viral is where the idea of “Sulwe” was born explains Lupita,
“I felt really grateful that it had this impact and at that time it occurred to me that there was an audience that this was resonating with, but the age group that really needed to hear this wouldn’t necessarily hear the speech.”
Dark skin is not just an issue in predominantly African countries; South America, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, and South Korea are all countries who sell skin lightening creams. The sad untrue belief is that lighter skin gives you a better life. Sulwe’s story will resonate with children from all over the world and teach them that self love and acceptance are the key. Children learn life lessons at an early age and books are a huge way in which they learn.

“Sulwe” will hit the shelves next January. Will you buy it?

Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world.  She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993.  Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy.  She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon.  Keep up with her at