Fashion | Project Runway All Star Launches New Clothing Line

Culture, Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel
Project Runway All Star Anya Ayoung Chee proudly launches her new clothing line Anya Ayoung Chee – Limited Edition

Anya’s rise to fashion stardom began when she graced the 2008 Miss Universe Pageant in Japan representing her country Trinidad and Tobago. Then, in 2011, the United Nations Association of Trinidad & Tobago (UNATT) spokeswoman auditioned for Project Runway Season 9 where she easily became a fan favorite. Anya’s creative designs always captivated a tropical island aesthetic, bringing something fresh and inspiring to the table which won her the Project Runway Season 9 title.

Fast forward seven years later, Anya has appeared on Project Runway All Stars and guest starred on a reality show with Tim Gunn where she mentored aspiring designers. Anya has never lost interest in her roots designing costumes for Tribe, Bliss and she has even designed her own line of fete and Carnival Monday wear, cANYAval. 

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Earlier this year, crowned in a carnival inspired headpiece, the designer tied the knot with photographer Wyatt Gallery at their small beachfront wedding in Blanchisseuse, Trinidad. Wyatt posted this photo on his instagram account saying, “In a small, intimate, family ceremony yesterday, I married my soulmate and my love @anyaayoungchee while overlooking the coastline of Blanchisseuse, Trinidad, a place that has been a part of my soul since 1999. It was a magical dream come true (finally!)”

After her extended break from designing for the rack, Anya is back with her new clothing line Anya Ayoung Chee – Limited Edition which aims to provide exclusive, small quantities of each design she creates.

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Lifestyle | Spring Break Haul

Culture, Food, Lifestyle, Travel

Nature has been giving us a few sneak previews of the crisp air and warm sun that comes with Spring for the past couple weeks here in New York, but as we all know, you could never get too excited with this bipolar transition weather. But, it’s finally March 20th, Spring is here and I’m ready for it! My favorite season of the year. 

With every new season comes new fashion statements, makeup trends and new friends so I just had to do a collab with one of the most fashionable lifestyle bloggers I follow, the gorgeous Diva Named Dom. The self proclaimed cosmopolitan diva creates fashion, food, culture and lifestyle content that captivates her essence and desire to be the best version of herself.

Collab Feature | Domenique

Domenique’s blog and instagram feed has successfully maintained an attractive aesthetic to amass loyal readers who are always genuinely inspired by her content and originality. When she isn’t blogging, this Miami beauty enjoys relaxing at home spending quality time with her mother’s foster children and five Dachshunds. This spring, Domenique’s followers can definitely look forward to more amazing blogs and fascinating photography as she plans to shed her winter clothes and enjoy the fabulous Miami weather. Check out her latest post Spring Has Sprung.

What Have I Been Up To Lately?

2018 started off a bit rough for me but I’m finally getting my life under control. While trying to be a little more consistent with my blogging, I’ve also been tutoring part-time while still wrestling a crazy schedule this semester as I prepare to graduate in May, hopefully. Unfortunately, I’m about six credits shy of the required minimum necessary for graduation. However, through several appeals and permission from the English Department and the Registrar at Queens College, I have been permitted to attend commencement in May. Hooray for me! The pit of the prune is, I’ll have to return in the summer to do two classes to make up for my unfinished credits. Not too bad, right? I’ll knock those off by June.  

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That drama aside, spring blossoms also means Spring Break! Turn up or Nah? Throughout the past four years of school, I have never looked forward to Spring Break this much because I usually never go anywhere. This year though, I am destination ready headed for sand, sea and lots and lots of tropical sun. Although I didn’t go too crazy shopping for this spring break trip, I definitely picked up a few blog worthy affordable finds that I am excited to share with you. 

Mini Spring Break Haul

I absolutely fell in love with these cute flats the moment I found them. They seem so retro yet modern at the same time, a bit nostalgic, because I almost remember having a similar pair in brown as a kid. I also picked up these fab African inspired accessories that just brings out the Wakanda in me! And of course, you can’t go wrong with a good ole pair of trendy thrift store sunglasses.

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Getting a straw bag for a trip in the spring is an absolute must have. I was especially attracted to this reddish brown color not only because it matches these cute flat sandals and compliments my skin tone, but I also feel like the regular light tan straw bags are so ordinary. I’m a sucker for a good glow and some lashes so I just had to snatch up these Kiss ‘so wispy’ lashes and this Elf ‘sunglow’ illuminator. 

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I try my best to be a minimalist whenever I travel but I just gotta have a different shoe for every different outfit! So, the minimalist way to try to achieve this is to get the staple colors; white, brown and black. I can’t wait to get my toes freshly done to wear these gorg sandals. I also had to try these layered lashes from Kiss that I got on sale at a beauty supply store in Brooklyn, it was only $1! Can’t beat that bargain. I always get compliments on this floral embroidered crossbody bag so why not include it in the fun right? And it was only $13 on Amazon! Bargaaaaaaain!

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Shockingly I’ve become quite a sneakerhead lately. These suede mauve Reebok Classics are giving me so much life! I’m so looking forward to sporting them with my matching  headwrap this spring! My favorite sneaker brands at the moment are Reebok, Vans and Puma, mainly because they have so much unique colors in simple classic styles. 

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Last but not least, I just had to cop these crocodile hunter looking Under Armor sneakers for all the animal farm, camping, hiking and long walking trips that I plan to take this season. However, it’s just a shame that this picture isn’t doing this headwrap justice! I’m so looking forward to wrap my hair up in all its glittery and sparkly glory.

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I hope you guys enjoyed my quick mini spring break haul. Stay tuned for my travel updates within the next couple weeks, I promise you it will be amazing! Happy Spring! 

 

Skin Care | Winter Routine

Fashion, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

PicsArt_01-15-10.21.20I love discovering new skin care tips and ideas so it’s my pleasure to be sharing my affordable winter skin care routine this week in collaboration with one of my favorite beauty bloggers Emily Burns. Her blog emilyburnsmua features make up tips, reviews and tutorials where she inspires her followers’ make up techniques and creativity.

Collab Feature | Emily Burns

Although most of us look forward to the winter season for enjoying the holidays with family and friends and playing in the fluffy snow, for some of us it also means dry, itchy skin, cracked lips and ashy elbows and knees. The crisp winter cold can be so harsh on our skin, that we lose moisture at a much faster rate, leading to the weakening of the protective top layer. It is very important that we take extra care of our skin throughout these cold winter months focusing on ways to help keep our skin moist and protected.

MiraBelle’s Winter Skin Care Routine

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1. St. Ives Apricot Scrub $5.49USD

I absolutely love apricot scrubs. As a kid, I remember seeing my mom using St. Ives Apricot Scrub as part of her night time skin care routine, I guess the apricot doesn’t fall too far from the tree. This blemish control oil free scrub is a great way to exfoliate away dead skin, make up and dirt giving me a deep clean leaving my skin feeling fresh and smooth. This scrub helps treat and prevent my acne and blemishes and it has  also  helped minimize the appearance of pores on my cheeks and nose leaving my skin looking smoother and clearer over time.

2. Proactiv Revitalizing Toner $24.99USD

I know, I know, I shouldn’t be mixing products, but this is one of the few toners that has worked well with my skin. I have tried Neutrogena, Olay and Clean and Clear toners in the past however they didn’t do much for me. After my first 6 weeks of using this proactiv toner I noticed a significant difference in the evenness of my skin and complexion. Fortunately for me, during the winter I rarely break out so I prefer to use toner no more than twice a week to avoid dryness and irritation. On the other hand, during the summer months I would break out almost every day so I would ultimately use it every day as well. 

3. St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer $5.49USD

Oh the woes of combination skin! During the summer my skin would mostly be very oily, especially in my T-zone, but in the winter time, it’s the complete opposite, my T-zone can get very dry and itchy if I don’t moisturize well. I have discovered that although collagen moisturizers are mostly used to help combat the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s also a great way to add suppleness and moisture to cracked and dried out winter skin. 

4. Aloe Vera Vaseline $1.49USD

One of my biggest winter skin problems is having dry, chapped and peeling lips. It’s so unattractive and uncomfortable. The top most layer of our skin is called the stratum corneum,  this layer of skin is far thinner on our lips than it is anywhere else on our body. Our lips also don’t have any sebaceous glands to keep our skin stay moisturized, so the only source of moisture is saliva. Thank goodness for the wonders of Vaseline! Any type of petroleum jelly can be used as a great moisturizer to help soothe and protect our precious stratum corneum. My favorite petroleum jelly used to be Vaseline’s cocoa butter jelly but now I’m absolutely loving the fragrance of the hydrating aloe vera version for my lips.

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1. Dove Beauty Cream Bar $1.29USD

I started using dove bar soaps and body washes three years ago and I have not turned back since. They’re so thick, creamy and luxurious. I usually buy the 12 -pack fragrance free bar soaps for sensitive skin for about $9.99USD but I always wanted to try this pink beauty bar version so I bought a single box at the beauty supply store and it works just as well. 

2. Vaseline Pure Baby Petroleum Jelly $5.99USD

Of course I must also use this magical wonder on my body as well. Every morning after my shower and every night before bed I massage Vaseline onto the soles of my feet, my knees, my elbows and my back to keep these areas that are prone to dryness soft and well moisturized. 

3. Lubriderm Daily Moisture $10.99USD

I definitely appreciate the non-greasy thick creaminess of Lubriderm’s lotions that leaves my skin feeling super moist and hydrated. This daily moisture lotion for normal to dry skin is enriched with vitamin B5 and mineral oils which helps naturally restore softness and brightness with every use. 

4. Bath & Body Works Body Lotion $13.50USD

Since I usually prefer to use fragrance free soaps and lotions, I always have scented options on hand for when I choose to indulge in the amazing scents that bath and body works has to offer. This sweet and sensual black current and vanilla lotion from their aromatherapy collection is genuinely therapeutic. I usually use this particular fragranced lotion when I’m having me-time spa days at home and even on special date nights, yes they smell that good.

I hope you enjoyed this detailed outline of my affordable and practical winter skin care routines! Don’t forget, this is a collaboration so go check out Emily’s blog about her skin care routine!

Culture | Is H&M Up To Some Monkey Business?

Culture, Education, Fashion, Lifestyle, Music, Uncategorized

H&M is under major scrutiny for what many are claiming to be a racially suggestive hoodie. It didn’t take long for social media to catch on to the fashion brand’s biggest uh-oh yet. Black Lives Matter advocates accused H&M for its blatant racist imagery and slammed them for trying to subliminally make fun of the young model.monkey-hoodie

The billion dollar Sweden based retailer, with stores all around the world, even issued an apology over the controversial image of a young black child modeling a hoodie with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” printed on it. A spokesperson for the company told the EW on Monday, “We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. We have removed the image from all our channels and the sweater is no longer for sale in our stores. We will also look into our internal routines to avoid such situations in the future.” 

The likes of Lebron James, Diddy, Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku and even The Weekend who also partners with the retailer expresses outrage and disappointment at the company’s carelessness.

Screenshot_2018-01-09-11-59-00Lebron James uploaded this remake of the photo to his instagram saying, “@HM u got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up! Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo. I see a Young King!! The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied! We as African Americans will always have to break barriers, prove people wrong and work even harder to prove we belong but guess what, that’s what we love because the benefits at the end of the road are so beautiful!!” Many of his followers expressed the same sentiments yet some were a little reluctant to see his point. One of his followers said, “I don’t think @HM meant to offend anyone people come on. Shit happens!!!! Why is this being taken as racism? It’s a picture man, the parents obviously allowed the kid to take that picture wearing that hoodie. Didn’t offend them! Are we that sensitive as a society?”
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Diddy also uploaded a similar photo to his twitter with the caption, “Put some respect on it!! When you look at us make sure you see royalty and super natural God sent glory!! Anything else is disrespectful.” He too received a mass of tweets, retweets and comments agreeing with his position on the matter yet there were also those who disagreed with the general opinion. 

Was this really just a careless accident? Or was H&M intentionally trying present the image of this  young model as the butt of their monkey joke? Regardless of their intent, what remains true is that in 2018, race is still a major defining factor in the way we view others, but more importantly in the way we view ourselves. This “coolest monkey in the jungle” caption became very personal to those who took offense but the question must be asked, if the model in the ad was white, would the picture still receive the same response? What if the caption said “coolest lion in the jungle” would it still create the same negative connotation against black people? 

Is it the unforgettable knowledge of slavery and the negative comparisons of the features of a black person and that of a monkey what makes this advertisement racist?Understanding that history plays a major role in the way society sees race and color, will there ever come a time when a person’s race or the color of their skin not predicate one’s judgement?