Commander In Chic Commander In Chic

Beauty Bar: A Chat with Mikki Taylor on Skincare and Makeup

Fashion and beauty books are common place. But, where’s the blueprint to help you pull off looks for every occasion and suggest ACTUAL beauty products? Enter Commander in Chic: Every Woman's Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady ($26.99) by Mikki Taylor, former Beauty and Cover Director at Essence Magazine. Finally, a book after our own heart that teaches us to have style and class like Lady O. It’s filled with almost 200 pages of Mikki-isms and tidbits that even our grandmothers don’t know, so I had to sit down with her to get the scoop on all things beauty-related. Her reason for writing the book? “I wanted us to have a book that makes sense in our life,” she says. “Not a coffee book, but a book you live with and will guide you in your day to day.” Love it!

DEENA: What impresses you most about Michelle’s style?
MIKKI TAYLOR: Michelle is very clear about what works for her and is not trying to be anyone else but herself. She is a true role model. I’m amazed how she mixes [high and low] designers and I love that there isn’t a place in the world you will see her not working her own dress code. And, her ‘classics with a twist’ theme allows for experimentation, but is never off track.

D: Tell us what we can learn about makeup in Commander in Chic?
MT: Women tell me all the time “makeup is too confusing!” Well, in CIC I’ve given you the best picks. There’s no way I could write a book and not mention products. Women know that I know the best products and I’ve provided tips and actual brands that work best for our skin.

D:What types of makeup and skincare products do you keep on you at all times?
MT: Beauty is about having smooth skin and I love a foundation that has a skin-like finish. I also keep an array of nude lipstick—espically ones that allow me to put it on whether I have a mirror or not. A great long-wearing mascara is always great too. Working women can have days that last from 6am to 10pm; you need to have mascara that needs very little touch-up. Finally, you need a great set of tools. Honestly, you can wear makeup at any price point with a great set of tools.

D: In chapter 2 you state, “A chic sister is always modern and effortless in her appearance.” What’s the most effective way to look effortlessly georgeous?
MT: It’s all about mastering your own look. Sometimes cosmetics counters will give you a look and you’ll ask yourself, ‘How will I do this in my day to day’ or ‘who is this woman? This is not me’. You have to discern what’s for you. Anything that takes you out of your comfort zone and doesn’t have your DNA in it is your first indication that look isn’t for you. When your look is effortless, your make up is not the standout, YOU are. If your face is shouting make up, that’s not the message you want.

D: What are the top three common misconceptions on skincare? And what’s the truth we need to know about them?
MT: 1. African American’s tend to think we don’t need sun protection, but we do. Of all the women on the planet blacks are the primary ones trying to keep skin even and keep hyper pigmentations at bay. The truth is, you must use a moisturizer with sunscreen everyday.

2. Women have a tendency to shop labels. But I’ve told women for years that you really want to understand your skin and shop accordingly. Identify what your skin needs and your inner desires. Sometimes the performance of the popular brands may have nothing to do with what you need.

3. Everyone thinks that skin has to be squeaky clean. But, you don’t want to strip your skin completely of natural oils. You want to be clean, but don’t destroy your moisture balance with over-cleansing.

Thats all ladies. But, catch Mikki Taylor tonight at Hue-Man Bookstore 2319 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York, NY 10027 (between 124th and 125th Streets) at 6pm for a Q&A moderated by Bevy Smith.

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SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)


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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

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