The Blacker the Berry, The Sweeter The Product

Hello. My name is Maya-Camille Broussard and I am a beauty product fanatic. I’ve been strung out on beauty products for the past 22 years (Yes. I’ve been an addict since I was 8 years old. Wet-n-Wild was my first hit that got me hooked.) I love to raid the counters for skin care products, make up and anything that feels good and smells yummy! However, being the pro-black-with-a-hint-of-militant-Chicagoan that I am, I love to support the beauty products made by African-American companies. And since I’m so black and so proud, I’ve found three African-American women whose products that will have you shouting out loud!



Politicians are constantly being scrutinized about what color they should or should not wear. Campaign managers and image consultants know that the colors a politician wears will speak volumes about how they are perceived and how they make others feel about them. The colors we incorporate into our own wardrobe and aesthetic presentation can be just as important to others perception of you. Below are some color choices that are highly likely to be as monumental to your image as this race for the White House.


Black is the color of power and authority. A little black dress is a timeless entity in itself that says: simple yet bold. Black is the color that is also widely known for slimming a figure. However, to avoid coming across as plain, jazz up your black apparel with an eye-catching colorful shoe such as purple or silver. Women of any skin or hair color would look great in this color. On the day that Hillary suspended her presidential bid she wore a black suit.  This may have been a great choice because it allowed her to be more obscure, plain and simple, thus respecting that the true limelight should be focused on Barack Obama, who ultimately won the Democratic primaries.


White is the color of purity and innocence. The color itself is not widely popular, but it is also a feasible color to wear as by fashion standards we only have a few months we can wear the color without being penalized (to be worn after Memorial Day and before Labor Day.) White is a good color to wear if you are trying to clean up your image or people’s perception of you. White is parallel to an angelic persona. However, the color is not an easy color to keep clean. Michelle Obama wore white during a UCLA rally. She pulled wearing this color off by pairing it with a gorgeous blue double strand chunky necklace. This look made her look very approachable.


Red is the first color that attracts the eye. Red is parallel to sexiness or a bad girl persona. It is also the color of love. While many male politicians may wear red ties, the color also conveys confrontation or conflict. This color may be best used as an accent color rather than a primary color. When worn as a ball gown color, you are sure to be the main attraction of any black-tie affair. If your hair were blonde or black, red would look exceptionally fantastic on you. If your hair is red or brown, you may want to try another color. However, be careful wearing red as every villain portrayed in cinema, television and books almost always wears red. Cindy McCain wore a red leather fitted jacket when she proclaimed, “I don’t know about you, but I’m proud of my country.”


Blue is one of the most popular colors of the color chart. While red may scream confrontation and anger, blue does the opposite and translates to tranquility, peace and calmness. Politicians wear the color blue because it symbolizes loyalty. Blue can also come across as being cold and standoffish, so experiment with the different gradients and hues of blue. For example, powder blue is softer than electric blue. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden both wore this color during Joe Biden’s speech at the 2008 DNC. Perhaps the wives demonstrated being at peace with the newly paired Obama/Biden ticket. Michelle also wore blue during her speech on the first night of the DNC 2008. Wearing blue attributed to her loyalty to America after she continues to dispel the misinterpretation of it being the first time that she’s “proud of her country.”


Green symbolizes wealth. The color of money is also the color of foliage. Thus green is also a color that represents nature and fertility. Green is a very relaxing color. Redheads look amazing in green because the two colors are complimentary to each other. Women with olive toned skin should stay away from this color as their skin and the clothes may blend in too much. On the day that Hillary had to answer questions about her lies regarding the Bosnia trip and ducking from sniper attacks, she wore a green four-leaf clover scarf. Perhaps by wearing the color green, she wanted to assert herself as being a grounded and relaxed person who would never lie about false sniper attacks.


This color is very interesting. Yellow represents sunny and cheery feelings, but people are more likely to lose patience with this color. It could be that women wearing this color could be considered a “Goody-Two Shoes” or an annoying “Miss Perfect” type. The color is considered to be an optimistic one, so variations of yellow should be considered. Bright yellow may be hard for the eye to take in, but mustard yellow may induce a calming affect. Blondes, redheads or fair skinned women should shy away from this color. Yellow looks best on women with black or brown hair. To offset the sugary sweet cheeriness of yellow, pair it with a nice set of peacock blue shoes. This will show others that you are grounded and have some balance. Hillary Clinton pulled off wearing this color beautifully during her speech at the 2008 DNC. She appeared softer and more approachable, thus erasing her “Ice Queen” image.


Purple is widely known as the color of royalty. All things royal are also connected to wealth and entitlement. This color stems from the red family and can also be a romantic color. Purple is great for African-American women and women with black hair to don. It is also a great color for accessories such as a purse, shoes or a brooch. Michelle Obama pulled this color off exquisitely when she shared an infamous fist-bump with her husband Barack. She looked regal and fierce without being intimidating. The black belt she wore broke the color up and accentuated her figure. By wearing this color, she presented herself as the true royal queen in Barack’s life.

Whatever ever color you choose to wear and present yourself in, remember it’s your attitude, personality and temperament that will truly let others know what kind of person you are. To present yourself in the best light, always remain true to yourself or at least politically correct.

Writer Maya-Camille Broussard is a proud Hyde Park-residing-Chicago-representing-Donkey-sign-carrying-supporter of Barack Obama…regardless of what color he wears!


Masquerading Around

Most women do not have the time to drop everything and go to a spa for the ultimate facial treatment. Thus, I recommend creating a homemade mask to rejuvenate your skin while you continue to cook dinner, fold laundry or work in the garden. Homemade masks are perfect for giving yourself the spa treatment without sacrificing the time or money. I recommend that you treat yourself to a “masquerade party” once a week to give your skin a healthy glow. Here are three masks for various skin types.


Ingredients: 1 banana, 1 tbsp of honey, 1 orange or lemon.

Prepare: Mix the banana and honey together, add a few drops of citrus juice, apply to face and neck and leave on for 15 minutes. Remove by dousing your face with warm water using your hands to remove the product. *

Why you should use this: Citrus juice is a natural astringent and banana creates a solid paste base to bind the ingredients. The honey will keep your skin moisturized and prevent your skin from drying out.

Quick tip: Parsley has been said to be effective in removing blackheads if you add to your facemask mixture.


Ingredients: Avocado, ½ cup of honey

Prepare: Remove skin and pit of Avocado and toss. Place avocado in a bowl and knead it. Add honey and stir. Apply to face and neck and leave on for 10 minutes. . Remove by dousing your face with warm water using your hands to remove the product.

Why you should use this: Avocado is naturally high in fat and with fat comes moisture. Adding honey prevents your skin from drying out.

Quick tip: Wash your face at night to eliminate the dirt accumulated that day. However, don’t wash your face in the morning but rather use baby shampoo to wash your eyes and mouth. Not washing your face twice a day will further help your skin from drying out.


Ingredients: 2 tablespoons of rose water, 1 tablespoon of natural yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey.

Prepare: Mix the rose water, yogurt and honey in a bowl. You have the option of crushing rose petals in the mixture as well. Apply to face and leave on for ten minutes. Remove by dousing your face with warm water and using your hands to remove he product.

Why you should do this: Rose water and petals are good for all skin types. It is especially good for people who have skin sensitivities.

Quick tip: You can always mix a facemask for oily skin and a face mask for dry skin and use them simultaneously on the various oily and dry areas of your skin.

*Please note that using a face cloth on your face can contaminate or irritate your face with its detergents.


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Beautiful and Broke

It’s no secret: The economy sucks! Instead of dinner and movie, we’re treating ourselves to dinner OR a movie. Many of us are opting to walk and ride bicycles rather than drive. Trips to the grocery store produces three to five bags worth of groceries instead of the usual ten. Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life” debuted ten years too early. It’s no longer just a “Ghetto Anthem”; it’s now the American anthem.

Despite the hard fiscal times, ladies still have an image to upkeep. If you are secure in your finances, then you can carry on prettily as usual. However, if money is tighter than a cramped muscle, you don’t have to let it crimp your style. Here are four easy ways to stay beautiful on a budget.