Let's face it, we all love a little color sometimes, but highlighting natural hair is tricky. One slip and years of healthy hair maintenance can go right down the drain along with those once beautiful strands. Hair vlogger AminaMarie has learned the hard way the do's and don'ts of coloring and lucky for us she's all about sharing the love. So if you're thinking of adding a little pop of color to your mane, give this vid a look to save yourself any unnecessary heartache! And if you like, please comment, share or subscribe to her channel!


Congresswoman Maxine Waters
By Michelby Coco Whitehead
Hands down Congresswoman Maxine Waters is the most adored woman in modern politics. CNN’s Angela Rye refers to her as her mentor, and when Mother Maxine delivers a speech, the people sit up and pay attention—haters and fans alike. When you’ve got the gift of gab, you have influence and the ability to create a platform that gets you paid! 

And speaking of pay, speaking for pay is an excellent way for entrepreneurs to showcase their expertise, attract their tribe, and make more money. Authenticity is always a must, but so is willingness to learn. If you want to be a highly sought-after speaker, you've got to study the greats, like Mother Maxine. Here are 5 pointers to take from the ultimate teacher!

Confidence Is Key 
Have you ever been to an event where the speaker made awkward jokes and fiddled around with her hair and clothes? Whether the behavior is done consciously or not, this denotes insecurity and anxiety. Maxine commands her audience at all times with direct eye contact. 

Get To The Point 
Ever been excited to watch someone’s Facebook Live only to log off because they spent too much time adjusting the camera angles or getting to the point? Maxine Waters does not come to play. She addresses the issues at hand and moves on to the next question like a boss. Don’t lose your audience by wasting their time.

Appeal To Your Audience
The reason we love Maxine Waters is because she speaks directly to our souls. To do this, a speaker must know who she is addressing. Ask yourself why did the audience sign up for the particular event you’re speaking at? What’s the conference theme? Answering these questions will help you to understand the audience’s concerns, and what they need to hear from you. 

Know Your Stuff 
Maxine Waters always comes with a stack of receipts to support her argument. You can tell that before any interview or debate, she is well rehearsed and armed with facts. You can’t convey an idea that you have little or fuzzy knowledge on. The more well-versed you are on the subject matter you speak on, the better you can express it in your speech. 

Get Social 
If no one has ever seen you in action, how do they know you’re the right person to book for the gig? Share videos and sound bites from recent and past speaking engagements to showcase what you can do. Post pictures of yourself attending events and engaging with the crowd. Doing so shows you’re in demand and allows you to charge what you’re worth. Make sure there is a link for bookings inquiries on all your social media networks. Check out @repmaxinewaters on Instagram for some inspiration!
How do you slay at the podium?

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

By Michelby Coco Whitehead

January is all about new beginnings and executing ideas. For many women, that means finally saying bye-bye to the 9 to 5 and starting their own business. The National Women’s Business Council reports that there are over 1,500,000 black-owned female businesses in the United States. While sisters have always been capable of doing it for themselves, every new business owner will discover entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. Here are seven things to consider before you fire your boss!


1. Only offer what you excel at. 
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it really is something that you must be certain about. For example, potential customers will come to you looking for services that you don’t necessarily offer, but could offer. Let’s say you are a hairstylist that specializes in natural hair, but a client wants you to do a lace front installation. If that’s not your lane, don’t go there. Be confident enough to know that giving a referral will not cause you to lose out on anything.

2. Your ideal client. 
You cannot service everyone who has a need for what you offer. You’re probably thinking ‘Huh? That doesn’t make sense.' However, every bride is not interested in spending $10,000 on wedding decor. Some brides prefer to be frugal, and that’s okay. So, if you want to sell high-end services, target customers with higher earning potential. In turn, this will allow you to market your brand to the right clients for you.

3. Prepare to go virtual. 
The marketplace is so much bigger than your hometown, so brush up on your computer skills! You can reach more potential customers by offering products and services virtually. Many entrepreneurs are also presenting workshops and empowerment conferences online.

4. Pick a payment system. 
In 2018, we do not have time to chase clients down for payments owed! There are many systems and mobile apps for business. Test a few out to see what you’re comfortable using. Dosh, is the latest app and it has incentives for business owners to make money through referrals until January 21, 2018.

5. You don’t need to hire a business coach immediately.
Listen, I know social media is flooded with amazing business gurus who have incredible platforms, but take your time when choosing a coach. If you have your eye on a coach, take advantage of his or her Facebook group first. This will allow you to see how knowledgeable and sincere that person is.

6. Network your butt off. 
Your network increases your net worth! Attend events and mixers where you live as well as in cities you want to start building your presence. Opportunities will not fall into your lap on a regular basis; they must be created.

7. Celebrate your accomplishments. 
Celebrating the little victories in your entrepreneur journey will motivate you to stick to what you started, even when business isn’t booming!

Do you have any business tips to share?

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 

Recently I've been trying to stick with a 'theme' on my Instagram account (follow me here) and I much prefer how it looks since ensuring all of my images are light, bright and consistent. I've done this by trying to stick with White backgrounds on every image and also using certain techniques to make my images as bright and light as they can be. With Instagram it all comes down to personal preference and some people may not like this style of feed but for me personally, I prefer my feed to look quite simple and not have too much going on in every picture as this can end up looking quite busy and cluttered. I've decided to do a post sharing some tips for how I achieve bright white Instagram images as it's one question I'm always getting DM's about. I hope you can take something away from this post to maybe apply to your own feed!

Take photos in natural light; This is a pretty obvious one but taking your Instagram photos in natural light whenever possible will give you bright images that don't need a great deal of editing. Editing photos with various filters and effects can diminish the quality so taking them in natural daylight is always a good option. I must admit the weather has been so dull lately that it's really affected my blog photography and Instagram images. Roll on Summer - brighter days & light nights. The bloggers dream.

Use a white base; If you want to create a white, light and bright Instagram feed, you'll need to take your images on a light base. This doesn't mean you need a house that's all white (although that would be ideal) as there's so many things you can buy to take your pictures on. For example, I recently bought some white floorboards and laid them over my carpet to create a nice bright look on my Instagram feed. It may seem a bit extreme but for £50, it's made the biggest difference. I also use a white rug, my white dressing table or even white bed sheets to get that nice bright theme. I picked most of my 'props' up on Amazon for really cheap so it doesn't need to cost a lot of money but can make a big difference to the overall look of your account.

Add a filter; Adding a filter and sticking with the same or a similar one throughout your whole feed can really help create that consistent theme that so many blogger have these days. Long gone are the days of sharing your dinner on Instagram (unless it looks pretty and is on a white table - obvs!) but now people are all about the matching images and this can be achieved with a filter. I used VSCO cam mainly and love the filters A5 and HB1 as these really brighten my images and get rid of yellow tones which I personally don't like. I don't use the filters at full strength (which is 12 on VSCO) as I feel this looks a little harsh so I usually take it down to around 7 which creates a nice subtle effect. I then use VSCO to up the brightness too! I sometimes use Afterlight for brightening too which is also a great app with some lovely filters.

Brighten and whiten; If you really want to brighten your images or in some cases, change the colour of a background completely, you can use Facetune or Snapseed to change colours and brightness on certain parts or all of your photo. FaceTune is supposed to be for editing faces but I don't use it for that - I like to use the whiten tool (which is supposed to be for teeth whitening) to brighten up my images and remove any yellow tones. This is honestly so good as it means if you take an image in artificial light which gives that horrible yellow tone, it can be whitened to make the image appear brighter and also make the image your photographing stand out more. As for Snapseed, this is something I like to use if I only want to brighten certain areas on a picture. For example, sometimes I'll want the background to be nice and bright but don't want the item I'm photographing to look too over-exposed. You can use the brush tool on this app to literally paint where you want to add brighteness. Genius!

Remove the warmth; One thing I always do before uploading a photo to my Instagram is remove the warmth from the image. I'm really not keen on yellow tones so I always drop the warmth slightly to make it really white and cool toned. Sometimes this adds a slight blue tone to my images too but I don't mind that too much and feel it adds to the overall look I'm going for.

So there's my top five tips to create a white and bright Instagram feed! I apologise if you already knew all of this but if not, I hope you picked up a couple of tips! I'd love to know what little tricks you use on your own Instagram feeds too so let me know in the comments below. 

You can also follow me here if you want to keep up with my posts!

ITG’s Best Water Tips

Even if you're not a betting man, it's hard not to gamble on the fact that everyone's "beauty secret" is that they drink loads of water—or maybe lemon water. To prove the point, we gathered every water-related tip from every Top Shelf, After Dark, and The Face. By the end of the exercise, there were 14 pages of quotes. Here we've shared the more intriguing of the bunch—and categorized them, too. Enjoy and stay hydrated, kids.

Drink More Than You Think You Should
Michelle Monaghan: “In terms of what I eat, everything's pretty healthy. I drink so much water—at least 3 liters a day.”

Domino Kirke: “I have chronic dry skin. I went to a dermatologist and found out it was more about hydration, like drinking water. I was putting on the most expensive, thick, goopy stuff, but it just wasn’t sticking. I feel best when my skin is soft.”

Rose Bertram: “I used to have a problem with getting bags under my eyes, but I drink a lot of water now, which really helps.”

Cindy Crawford: “I mostly drink water because there are a lot of hidden calories in drinks.”

Wash Your Face A Little More
Charline De Luca: “One thing I do every night that might sound a little weird, but I can't get over, is that I wash my face with chilled water seven times—just out of the tap. The shock of the cold water on skin tones it. I do this after I cleanse. I don't know why seven, but I heard it should be seven, and I've been doing it day and night ever since.”

Occasionally Be Wary Of Tap Water
Claudia Kim: “I also try not to use tap water on my face—especially when I’m traveling. I’ll use bottled water to rinse instead. It just seems safer to me.”

Katie Nehra: “Not to keep ragging on LA, but the water here is tough for your hair. I did one of those water test with the drops, and LA water is five percent acid. I’m not crazy—LA water will turn your hair green, so I have a special filter on my shower.”

But Not Too Wary
Isamaya Ffrench: “Honestly though, for removing body paint, your best bet is just soap and water.”

Charlotte Tilbury: “I always wet the cotton pads with water, squeeze them, and hold them on my skin to let it soak, melting the makeup off. This way, I’m not just dragging my eyes around my face, and I won’t end up looking like a bag.”

You Can Be Clean And Also Environmentally Friendly About It
Athena Curry: “I usually take a shower because I don't like going to bed with makeup on my face. Because we're in LA and going through a drought, I have a little red bucket that I throw in the shower before I get in, so that it captures all my water as it's heating up. Then I use that water on my flowers out in the yard. I fill up a bucket every time.”

Consider Steam
Hannah Sider: “I like to use really hot water to steam my face and then splash some cold water on afterward.”

Sheila Marquez: “So first, I wash my face. Then I bring a pot of water to boil and sprinkle in a handful of the loose leaf tea. Then I take the water off the heat, drape a towel over my head, and stick my face over the steam for about five minutes. It makes your pores feel open and detoxed.”

Mix It With Things
Andrea Mary Marshall: “If you put it in a spray bottle, with equal parts vinegar and filtered water, and spray it on your head every day after you shower, your scalp will have a perfect pH balance. I massage it in and just dry my hair normally.”

Camilla Blackett: “[My hairstylist] taught me how to make my own tea tree oil spray with pure tea tree oil and water—20 percent oil, 80 percent water. If I work out first thing in the morning and have to go straight to the office, I’ll just spray the mixture into my roots, and I'm good to go.”

Sidney Williams: “Yeah—me and my friend India would put hydrogen peroxide and a little water in a bottle and spray it on our hair right before we went surfing.”

And Keep In Mind...
Diane von Furstenberg, Book of Beauty: “You cannot have a healthy body without drinking a great deal of water. But remember, you can’t just drink a glass of water and tell a glass of water to please go straight to your skin and moisturize your complexion. Water has to be there all the time, doing what it does naturally in a healthy body.”

Leela G. (NEXT) photographed by Tom Newton.

Cindy Crawford shares some of her favorite beauty and health tips learned over the years as a supermodel. Read more from Water Week here.

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