Thrift ‘Til You Drop!- A Thriftacular Experience

I remember being a kid and HATING when someone even mentioned “thrift store” and “shopping” in the same sentence. I mean, back then I loathed the fact that my Grandmom wore turbans too…see how far I’ve come? Yes, I’ve done a total 360 when it comes to style and appreciation for authenticity, quality, and wearability. To me, a thrift store automatically meant “someone else’s clothes” and I guess just being a kid, I wanted my OWN new stuff…you know, kids and that possession thing. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the value of the clothes and other valuables I find thrifting and can’t believe that I once looked down on it!

When I walk into a thrift store, it’s almost like I walk into the past of not only fashion, but the lives and personalities of the people who once wore the clothes. Have you ever done that? I honestly pick up different items and start day dreaming about what the person who wore it was like and how they may have styled it…who knows, maybe that’s just me but I find that it adds a little special something to the whole experience. I also love thrifting because in an age where much of society wants to mirror each other, I really just….don’t. I love knowing that what I purchase more than likely won’t be walking down every street in Philly, or wherever else I go for that matter. I always know that I’m getting something unique and that even if someone else owns it, they won’t rock it the same way I will!

I went to Boston this Thanksgiving break and went on the thrifting mission of LIFE. Yes, LIFE. I will not disclose the amount of $ I spent in the process, but it’s at least 70% lower than what I would have spent at my normal go-to retail locations for the amount of goods that I purchased. I went to Savers, and The Salvation Army and it was almost overwhelming upon entering the stores, clothes everywhere! Blazers for DAYS, dresses for every occasion, shirts that screamed “70s”, “80s”, “90s”, “LOUD”, “quiet”, and “I dare you!” It was definitely the best thrifting experience I’ve ever had. I got so many great pieces that are classic, versatile, and can also serve as staple pieces if need be. As I put outfits together I love to take photos, and would love to share them with you! On Tuesdays and Thursdays I’ll share my “Thriftacular” outfit posts and you tell me what you think! Well, since today is Tuesday, here’s one of my newest thriftacular finds…

Pictured above is a hot pink, 80s frock with button detail on both shoulders. Includes shoulder pads as well for more defined structure. Seam at waist w/ elastic reinforcement for a slight cinch. The fish tail earrings and triangular tribal necklace are also vintage. Tassle necklace is Forever 21, and bracelet set is Rue 21, Phosphor watch. Purple platform pump (tongue twister, ehh?) is Steve Madden.

Here’s another look I rocked last week via my vintage voyage!
Here I mix old with new: 80s printed blouse w/ shoulder pads and button down closure, 50s inspired long pleated skirt, waist belt from Iman Global Chic collection , Steve Madden purple platform pump, Rue 21 gold leaf earrings and bangle set, phosphor watch, and a pompadour to finish it up!
Do you love to thrift? Know of any great stores you’d like to recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Sharontina B.

Addicted To Red!

It’s probably pretty obvious by now that I LOVE rocking a red lip! I remember the days when I was scared to wear red lipstick because it was so bold and daring, but now you can’t get me out of it! The other day one of my Twitter friends said something that is so very true, “If you have on red lipstick, then you’re dressed!”…how true is that?! Red lipstick is definitely the icing on the cake.

As I often hear Sam Fine quote, “makeup is an emotional purchase”, so isn’t that emotion heightened when we actually put it on? Our makeup speaks before we even say a word; along with the rest of what makes up our outward appearance. Lipstick has been a part of our “makeup” as women for ages, dating back to when Egyptians used henna to paint their lips. In those times, it was also said that wearing makeup (specifically lipstick) was evil and that it was worn by women who were trying to seduce men. The British parliament even passed a law condemning lipstick that read,  “women found guilty of seducing men into matrimony by a cosmetic means could be tried for witchcraft.” We’ve definitely come a long way since then, and I think it’s safe to say that lipstick has new meaning. As a child, I was taught that red was a color only adults could wear and that if I wore it, it “said ” things about me. I wasn’t allowed to wear red nail polish specifically, and at that time I just went along with the rules and didn’t think much of it. As I got older and experimented with makeup and such, it’s so ironic that RED became my favorite lip color to wear.

When I wear a bold red lip, I feel powerful, sexy, mysterious, fun, unpredictable, and confident! The negative stigma that RED once had from what I was taught had no meaning to me; it was as if I was wearing all the red I could from those years lost..HA! It is indeed the perfect accessory and I don’t see myself ever parting from it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll wear a subtle nude or a flirty pink when it calls for it, but red ultimately says I’m at my best! Similarly, many of my friends and “twiends” (Twitter friends) are also partial to red, and so I decided to do an #AddictedToRed photo series! There are so many brands, shades, tricks and techniques we use to get our perfect red, so why not share them with each other?! Due to my feelings about red lipstick and how it makes me feel when I wear it, I also wanted those featured to weigh in… see what they say. Let’s paint the town red!

Eileen of Miss Whoever You Are wearing Revlon’s ‘Really Red’
When I wear red lipstick, I feel unstoppable!”- Eileen
Aaminah wearing Beauty Scene of NY #06 Stacey Red, and  Sephora lip gloss, ‘Bronzed Beauty’, on top. “When I wear red lipstick, you can’t tell me ANYTHING!!”- Aaminah
Lisa wearing ‘Cherry lush’ by Tom Ford.
“When I wear red lipstick, it reminds me of an era where women were women. It makes me feel powerful, invincible. I AM woman.”- Lisa
Alexis wearing MAC Russian Red.

“When I wear red lipstick, I feel stunning, seductive & sexy! It’s like I’m wearing confidence on my lips!” – Alexis

Tineey wearing Youngblood Cosmetics in Vixen.
“When I wear red lipstick, I can take over the world! *cue pinky & the brain music :)” – Tineey
 Armand in MAC ‘Ruby Woo’.
“When I wear red lipstick, I feel powerful. I immediately grab your full attention without your permission :)”- Armand
Nichole wearing Inglot, shade #409

“When I wear red lipstick I feel unstoppable and all eyes are on me. I love it.”- Nichole
Asi wearing ‘IMAN Red’ from Iman Cosmetics
“When I wear red lipstick I feel powerful and sexy like a pinup doll! “- Asi
R’Chelle wearing MAC Russian Red.
“When I wear red lipstick, I feel like a woman.”- R’chelle
Brandee-Nicole wearing Victoria Secret Perfect Lipstick in Stiletto.

“When I wear red lipstick it gives people yet another reason to stop and stare!”- Brandee- Nicole

Dollie wearing Maybelline Color Sensational #645.
“When I wear red lipstick I feel unstoppable; I feel fierce!”- Dollie
Patrice wearing Revlon #5014.
“When I wear red lipstick, I feel bold and sassy!!!”- Patrice
Kimberly wearing NARS ‘Jungle Red’.
“When I wear red lipstick, I feel that I command your attention, not demand it. I feel beautiful!”- Kimberly
Stephanie wearing a shade from Wet N Wild.
“When I wear Red Lipstick….I am invincible!”- Stephanie
Tori wearing  Revlon’s Certainly Red # 740
‎”When I wear red lipstick, I hope to radiate a sense of elegance.”- Tori
Natalie wearing MAC ‘Ruby Woo’.

“When I wear red lipstick I feel glamorous, in Red!”- Natalie

April Antoinette wearing Turbulence lipcolor by Loreal HIP.
“When I wear red lipstick, I feel powerful!…Like I bring a little heat and flare to whereever I am!”- April Antoinette  
Merli wearing MAC ‘Amplified Heartless’.
“When I wear red lipstick, I feel like I’m every woman!”- Merli
Cammay wearing MAC ‘Ruby Woo’.

“When I wear red lipstick, I feel chic and bold. I love how red compliments my brown skin. I feel like my inner Grace Jones shines through my red lip! Can you say, WORK?!”- Cammay

Danielle of the Style And Beauty Doctor wearing ‘Plum Passion’ by fashion Fair.

“When I wear red lipstick….well, that’s really tough to answer because I wear it everyday!”

Now, for some of the FAB red lip wearin’ VETERANS! They show us how it’s supposed to be done!

The Gorgeous SanTara of The Gorgeous Ingredient wearing MUFE mat8; she worrkkksssss a red lip like nobody’s business!

“When I wear red lipstick, I feel a little coy; lots of confidence with a splash of sassy.”
Felicia of This That Beauty, who I like to call the red lip extraordinaire! Here, she is wearing Stila Cosmetics ‘Fiery’!
“When I wear red lipstick, Twitter goes crazy!” – Felicia

Brow architect Jennifer James looking ultra FAB wearing ‘Front Row Red’ by Black Opal, love it!!

 “When I wear red lipstick, I feel powerful – yet ultra feminine.”-Jennifer 

Blinging Beauty Tracey brown wearing Tarte LipSurgence natural lip tint in Lust.
“When I wear red lipstick, I feel…normal.”

..And of course we have our honorary celeb guests who rock a red like it’s no tomorrow…

My stylecon, June Ambrose, who rocks a red like…everyday lol. I’ve asked her on plenty of times what her red of choice is, and she notes MAC Ruby Woo as well!

The FAB Tracee Ellis Ross, who just tweeted me saying “Luv me some RUBY WOO!” when I told her I was including her in this post! Speaks for itself! haha
Our go-to relationship expert, Dr. Michelle working a BOLD red lip at her ‘Ms.Typed’ book launch!
Teyana Taylor, statuesque beauty. I’m going to take a wild guess and say she’s wearing MAC Ruby Woo?! haha…

Kerry Washington, who was painted into this divine red lip by the legendary Mr. Sam Fine! Gorgeous.

So, what are YOUR thoughts on red lipstick? What are your FIRST thoughts when you see someone wearing it? How does it make YOU feel when you wear it? I’d love to hear your feedback!
Thanks for reading,
Sharontina B.

Fashionably Late, IFB Conference NYC 2011

Yayyyyyyyy!!!!!! Ok….so I am aware that this post is light years late, but sometimes I need to let things marinate before I write about them. Just one of my “things”…hope you understand ;). First, I have to thank EVERYONE who read the post, contributed, or spread the word to help me get to the IFB conference! I am still completely humbled at your kindness and just know that it meant the world to me!

I totally anticipated the day that I would attend the IFB conference. Think about it… I KNEW that I would be leaving with bags full of KNOWLEDGE and new insight  on how to better my blog. As a newbie in the blogging world, I’m aware that there is always room for improvement and that those with experience and expertise are actually dishing out info more often than not! I went with my notebook and pen ready to learn!

The Conference consisted of a series of panel discussions, including some of the most influential social media, marketing, and business leaders! The panel discussions included…

Bloggers Tool Kit: This discussions covered everything a blogger should use in order to run their blog efficiently. This included highlighting the most effective social media platforms, tips to find out what readers are genuinely interested in, tracking traffic, and ways to promote your blog.
Panelists: Christen Rochon, Leandra Medine, Vahni Georgoulakos, Sammy Davis, Erica Chan Coffman, Lauren Kolodny, Alisa Gould Simon.

Is the Social Media Industry Broken?: This panel was great! Panelists discussed the rapidly evolving changes in social media and our role as bloggers. They emphasized blogger-brand relationships and the way they should develop and sustain, remaining true to YOUR brand and how to represent that, and of course the future of social media.
Panelists: Tony Wang, Carol Han, John Jannuzzi, Mark Beeching, Yuli Ziv, Bryce Gruber, Meghan Donovan.

– Balancing Act:Business & Blogging: This discussion was very beneficial for bloggers, because it is very important to maintain balance between blogging and the rest of your life. There was special emphasis placed on knowing your value as a brand and being able to properly translate that in partnerships or dealings with other brands. There was also a focus on important components of blogging such as media kits and proper ways to present them to those who inquire.
Panelists: Grechen Cohen, Coco Rocha, Annie Tomlin, Aimee Song, Natalie Suarez, Kristina Medhus, Ari Goldberg.

Evolution of Fashion Media: This was a great panel that mainly focused on the question, “what’s next for social media?”. Each panelists had a different answer, which only emphasized the fact that social media is different for everyone. It depends on the reason you use social media and what YOU want to get from it.
Panelists: Ann Colville Somma, Mr. Mickey, Mary HK Choi, Claire Sulmers, Ari Seth Cohen, Joyce Chang, Christian Remrod.

The key note speaker was none other than Joe Zee, Creative Director of ELLE Magazine. He was absolutely amazing! He walked in with a big smile and a boat load of advice. There was one thing he said during his interview that I thought was so interesting and never quite said that way before. he said, “Bloggers are the entrepreneurs of journalism”…I said to myself, “wow…never thought of it that way”. he continued in saying that he doesn’t see bloggers as a threat to journalists because he feels that we have a unique voice, position, and relationship with the said audience that yields a different perspective. He spoke in great detail about how important it is to have a unique “voice” in your writing and also said that just because you have a blog doesn’t mean people will read it. He wanted to bring light to the fact that in a social media controlled world where everyone has a blog and something to say, you have to figure out a way to be DIFFERENT. Joe Zee welcomed a Q & A where people asked the any and everything blogger questions they’d been wanting to ask him. Afterward, I caught up with Joe Zee as he was leaving to snap a quick photo

..and of course I have a bunch of other photos I’d like to share…

How cool?! Marina the doll blogger, for the Missoni for Target collab
Supermodel, Coco Rocha speaking on blog content.


Bloggers mixing and mingling
Lovely ladies known as the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas!
Tina Craig of Bagsnob interviewing Joe Zee


…and of course some style shots…

Loving the chunky sweater and the perfectly wrapped turban!
Thanks M.A.C. and Milk studios!

I learned so much at the IFB conference, so many great tools to apply to my blog and life in general! In addition, I got a chance to meet so many fellow bloggers, looking forward to great blogships! (yes, I make up words sometimes ;-))

Special thanks to:

Jennifer James of Jennifer James Beauty
R’Chelle Mullins of Creatively Yours by Ro
Tanica Davis of Intermix blog
Felicia Yvette
Merli Desrosier of Miss Merli
Brittany of Clumps of Mascara
Yumnah of Yumnah Najah Designs
Brittanie Jones
Kimberly Purcell


Through The Decades “Pretty Girl Rock”!

Okay…so friends,I am LOVING LOVING LOVING Keri Hilson’s new video for “Pretty Girl Rock”for so many reasons!!!When I first saw the video I actually applauded!It was so creative…the costumes were on point,makeup was flawless…the whole creative aspect is just perfect in my eyes!Okay,before we talk about it and break it down,let me just say that the amazing Mr.Billy B is responsible for the flawless makeup you see Keri rocking in this vid.I’m loving the fact that I can now really distinguish between Makeup artists’ work.I saw the video…paid close atention to the details of her makeup and called it!Sure enough,Mr.BillyB responded with a” Hey there! Yes! I did do @MissKeriBaby ‘s video ‘pretty girl rock!”…Okay..before I just keep going on and on,I want you to see the video if you haven’t already,form your thoughts/opinions,and join me to delve IN! …Watch Keri’s”Pretty Girl Rock” HERE
Ready?Took it all in?Liked it?Hated it?…Let’s talk about it!
So…Keri begins with her “Flapper frock”(try saying that 10 times really fast!).. and since I want to talk about the overall looks for each scene,I will touch on the makeup and fashion!Here’s a few of my favorite screen shots from her”Roaring 20s” scene…


Keri channeling the flapper fashion of the 1920s

The 1920s were like a whirl wind of revolution for women in many ways.Voting,entering the workforce,and fashion were just some of the changes that completely transformed the view of “the woman”.Previously women wore clothes that covered most of their bodies  and they were made of fabrics such as cotton and wool,but the 20 brought about changes to the styles of clothing and the fabrics used such as silk and satin. Women also began wearing makeup,and they did NOT approach it lightly.They wore deep bold colored lipsticks and shadows that made a statement and let it be known that women were now in charge!Their attire was very daring,revealing,ostentatious and went against what it is that they had been used to for so many years.Pictured above,Keri reminds me so much of the beautiful Josephine Baker who often wore beautifully beaded cloches with a perfectly polished piece of swirled  hair that laced the forehead and added to her signature look.Keri did a spectacular job of capturing the ethreal beauty of the roaring twenties woman!..Below are a few other screen shots that I loved from this scene…

This SCREAMS Josephine Baker!!!!A genuine smile that expresses her love for performance…

A roaring 20s Keri pouts as to say, “My way or NO way!”

The full set…

The beautiful Josephine Baker

Tyra as “Ursula Nyquist” as “Josephine Baker” on an episode of Gossip Girl!…I had to guys…I had to…
Keri transitioned out of the 20s and gracefully danced her way into the serene being of the 30s and 40s.Oh,but things changed!The makeup was much more subtle,the dress ever so tailored,made with delicate fabrics that purposefully accentuated the changes in the body form.My favorite screen shot from this scene….

Keri saunters into the 30s with grace

This screen shot is devine!!!The 30s and 40s served as the “modest middle” so to speak…just coming from the bold and daring 20s,the 30s and early 40s went in the opposite direction and created balance.Dresses transformed from the “Flapper”form which wasn’t meant to show off the body form,to dresses like the one Keri is wearing where it accentuates her curves and”celebrates”the body.Length of dresses changed dramatically as well because now it became more popular to see longer hem lines that passed the knee.Hair and makeup changed too!The edgy bob of the 20s soon morphed into soft curls and waves that graced longer manes and added more femininity to the woman’s overall look.As mentioned before,makeup was much more subtle,they wore lighter shades on the eyes but embraced mascara,continued wearing rich lip color and it was popular for the brow to be very sparse and compensated for with the penci to fill it in(sorry,this makes me laugh).Here are a few more shots from this scene that I liked…

Gracefully dancing across the set abundant with flowers..

Here you can see the details in the makeup technique dfferences from that of the 20s(those brows though…)..ha I was looking through the shots,I realized that Keri reminded me of one of the most renowned entertainers of that time…Lena Horne….

Lena Horne in the 40s..

Keri in a similar pose and dress!Coooool

 Towards the late 40s and into the 50s..patriotism began to be expressed in clothing with the progression and ending of  World War II.Women were now entering the work force as mentioned before,husbands were returning from war and families were still rebuilding their foundation from the ending of the depression in previous years.Along with the many changes that were happening in politics and the economy,a few took place in fashion.Dresses were even more form fitted and were very popular to have a full or layered skirt at knee length or above,cropped jackets and higher heels!I have to think that this is the scene where the video changed from black and white to color because of the coming of the television!…That’s my story,and I’m sticking to it!;)Here are some of my favorite shots from this scene…

Patriot Keri

I LOVED her makeup in this scene,the white eyeliner in the inner rim of her lower lid and the BOLD red lip just did it for me…PERFECTION… Mr.Billy B is MAGICAL!

Keri flashes a BIG smile

Y’all see the white eye liner making her eyes go POP!??..Dahlinnng
The 60s were filled with so many trends that I’d be all day trying to touch on every one of them,so I’ll stick to what Keri emphasized from the video for the most part.Just as an overview,the 60s was a time for trial and error(mostly trial though)because people were becoming more expressive and mirroring their fashion with their feelings towards the many social movments that were taking place during that time.In the video,Keri channels what seems to be the”Supremes”,her being”Diva Diana” of course;). The murmaid style gowns that shined like nothing I’ve ever seen,the bouffant hairstyles,the neck length gloves(joking).Style was expressive and very impressionable at this time,daring prints and patterns were introduced,elegance was still key and everyone tried to look “better” than the next person.Life in entertainment seemed to be in the hindsight of so many people in this decade…think Keri pulled it off?..I do!

Keri as Diana,think she pulled it off?..

They all had those little 8 count dance steps that they repeated like 17 times..haha
The 70s…ohhhhh the 70s.I wondered where Keri would go with this funkadelic time frame,but instead of getting her “Gold Member” fro pic’d out,she went for a more “Donna Summer” look.When I think of the 70s,the first thing that comes to mind is bell bottoms….but hey,give the 70s credit for more than that!Metallics,platforms,COLOR COLOR COLOR was IT!Deep rich saturated color that could make you uneasy at a glance because it was that powerful.Makeup was somewhat dramatic,the eyes saturated with colored shadows,rich lip color..but with that also came more earthtoned pigments.The 70s also introduced the retro styles,shapes,patterns that were so popular.Tiny mini skirts were still very popular..and hair…was BIG!..and they knew it…and so did you…ok,here are my favorite shots..

Keri channeling who seems to be Donna Summer..

Donna Summer
Hmmmm…where do I even start?….Well,we all know what the 80s and fashion shared.Many of you reading this probably grew up in the 80s…or waited until 10years later to be born like me haha..To me,the 80s were the years of self expression..the reinvented 60s.Color,shapes,jewelry,music,assymetrical hairstyles,dances…it’s all a big melting pot of cool stuff that produced  a great generation of trends,fads,and…..dares.Out of allll possible directions,Keri took it to “Thythm Nation”!She went Janet Jackson on us y’all…

The”Pretty Girl Rock” “Rhythm Nation”!

Did she do Janet justice?…;-)

The original!..
Okay,so I’m a little biased because I am a 90s baby(1990 to clarify ehh hem)…BUT,I think the 90s were the best years ever!!!Our economy was great,I was a child so it really didn’t matter,and life was so carefree!Anyway….when I think back to childhood and what people used to wear…I kind of cringe.I remember seeing people wear square toed shoes,embellished jeans,matching EVERY aspect of their outfit in ONE color…BUT…when I look beyond that,I do remember some pretty notable fashions.It seemed that the 90s were very laid back,comfortable…most clothing was loose fitting,layered…lots of plaid and flannel,denim,sneakers…bamboo earrings,finger waves,short cuts….ok,I’m reminiscing.Keri chose to take an interesting approach to tackle the 90s which I thought was so cute!She emulated the hit trio TLC and her “T-Boz” cut was PERFECT!..The”pajama dance”,almost looked identical..loved it and it basically summed up the 90s to say that we wanted to be relaxed and comfortable!

90s face

The”grunge”look was said to have defined the 90s style.It was supposed to look unkempt,rebellious and wild.Makeup trends were such that heavy eye liner,more neautral shadows,and varying shades of lipcolor were worn.I remember seeing my step mother use very deep shades of lip liner which would contrast the shade of lip color she wore greatly….still not sure 13 years later if I like it or not..ha.Deep lipstick shades were still worn in reds,plums,and browns…the movement towards a more natural makeup face was more popular.

Truthfully…I love that in the present,people define what fashion is to them.If they choose to embrace a fad from the 50s,a hair style from the 80s,the brow shape of the 30s(PLEASE DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME…lol)or the bold makeup techniques of the 20s(DO AT YOUR OWN RISK)haha…ok,but in all seriousness I love that this generation has embraced the epitome of self expression and leaves that decision up to the individual.In the closing scene after all of the looks were recapped,I love that Keri chose to present herself in casual attire..jeans and a shirt,the most naturally BEAT face I’ve ever seen in my 20 years of life,and a nice edgy haircut.I believe that was done to show that now the purpose it to be yourself and not feel the need to conform to any one style or way of thinking no matter how much history and influencs we have that affect that decision.I don’t know,maybe I’m over analyzing the situation…but this is how I see it and that’s kid of what I do with every situation haha..and maybe you see it diferently..but thats my point! ;-).In closing I’d like to say that the last images were simply beautiful and that Mr.Billy B is such a talented MUA and visionary who did an amazing job on this video( and only everything else he does!)…

Casual Keri

Natural Beauty
It must have been so much fun to make this video!!I appreciate it for it’s creative aspect and tribute to the history of fashion in a nutshell…there’s much more to it,but this was just enough to give everyone an idea that what they consider”fashion”didn’t come from no where!It has a history just like everything else.If you’ve made it far enough to read this,I thank you for not getting discouraged at the length of this post(sorry,I really love to analyze projects like this and sometimes….I talk a lot)I thank you so much for staying with me dring this visual history lesson and I hope that you give me feedback on your thoughts about the video or anything else you may want to say.
As always,thanks for reading…..