I’m number two! Allyuh.com, Trinidad and Tobago’s user driven social content website, ranked Afrobella number two in the list of top ten Trinidad and Tobago blogs, right behind Saucydiva’s perennially popular Trinidad Carnival Diary. I’m beyond honored to know that so many people at home are reading, and to share the spotlight with so many of the Trini blogs I habitually read. Yay! Thanks so much, Allyuh!

I hardly ever do step-by-step makeup application tips, because I’m not a makeup artist. Yet. (In the interest of actually knowing what I’m talking about when I talk makeup here, I’m seriously contemplating doing some professional makeup courses. If any of you know of good ones in the Miami area, let me know!)

But I love to try the techniques I find in books and online. I’m late to the party, but I loved the looks in this slideshow titled “A Cultivated Eye,” in last week’s New York Times Style magazine — scroll down to multimedia. I love the natural inspiration for these shocking looks, and I discovered a shade of eyeshadow I didn’t know that I always needed. Until now. MAC Bitter, you will be mine. Oh yes, you will be mine.

On Saturday afternoon, I attended the Macy’s Women of Color beauty event in Aventura. Bellas, I can’t say it enough — the local department store is your friend. Here in Miami, between Macy’s Dadeland and Aventura, there’s a makeup or cooking event every weekend. A week or so ago I attended an Elle magazine/Clinique event (look for a Clinique review soon!), and this past weekend, experts from Lancôme, Chanel, MAC, Clarins, and Dior (among many other brands) gave demonstrations, makeovers, and consultations. It was a beautiful sight. The first floor makeup area was filled with bellas of all shades and ages, getting makeovers, checking out the bright displays at the counters. There was a DJ and modeling, and the vibe was like a big, fabulous pretty party. I went with a clean face and comfy shoes, and was lucky enough to snag a makeup artist on a break at the Lancôme counter.

I wound up at Lancôme because I’m a sucker for shimmery water colors. What can I say? I’m a Pisces. The shade in the Color Design Survival Palette practically called my name. It’s a bright yet translucent aqua that’s both delicate and bold. And lucky me; Lancôme’s regional makeup artist Richie Paschal had an empty seat and a vision. He blended the dark and medium brown on my lashline and in the crease of my eyelid, and highlighted the lid with that fabulous blue. Then he brightened the corner of my eyes with the Color Design defining and brightening eye pencil in Island Bronze.

The shades of the eyeshadow quad seemed a bit daunting to a relative makeup novice like me. I mean, I like to play with eyeshadow, but when it comes to creating looks like the ones pictured above, I prefer to leave that kind of thing to the experts. But Richie assured me that I could do it. “Makeup is all about blending and having fun with it,” he said.

So of course, at the end of the mini-makeover and lots of compliments from passers-by, I bought the $42 eyeshadow quad — how could I not? The colors were amazing, Richie made me look and feel gorgeous, and the quad comes in a beautiful shell compact. And I’m gonna learn how to blend like there’s no tomorrow!

This is dedicated to the homie E-Fresh, who wrote in requesting a new music post for my “male readers”. I’ll be honest, I’ve been kind of musically starved these days. I’m pretty bored with the latest hip hop, and even my beloved VH1 Soul has become mind-numbingly repetitive. Four out of five times that I switch to that channel, one of Beyonce’s B-Day videos is on. I’m over it. I haven’t seen any R&B, rap, or hip hop videos that have really inspired me recently. (If you have, please turn me on to some new tunes).

So I’ve been exploring other musical genres, and I saw an amazing video that totally transported me to my teenage years, when I dreamed of being a video music director myself. Yes, among the amazingly impractical jobs I wanted to do when I grew up (farmer, astrologer, aromatherapist, movie critic… apparently making money was never a part of my daydreams), I yearned to be the female equivalent of Hype Williams or Spike Jonez. I found inspiration late at night on MTV’s 120 Minutes, which in those days was all about visual stimulation and quirky indie artists. 120 Minutes was where I discovered Bjork and Pavement and Wesley Willis (rest in peace, dude).

This video by Canadian songstress Feist took me back to those days, when seeing a new music video made me feel like I was opening a shiny new present on Christmas morning. I love the bright colors, the Busby Berkley choreography, and Feist’s blue glitter jumpsuit that looks like something a dancer would have worn on Solid Gold. This video made me happy that I saw it, and I hope it gives you some of that sense of wonder, too. This is 1,2,3,4.

So there you go, E-Fresh! I’m getting back to the beauty reviews later in the week. But that’s especially for you and I hope you like it.

Happy hump day, bellas!

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Mushaboom says:
May 2, 2007, 10:00 am
OMG, Bella. You teach me about makeup, culture, and race relations AND you love Feist!! I love you even more for showing this video. Thanks for always thinking outside of the box, I LOVE FEIST
Anita Grant says:
May 2, 2007, 11:04 am
Oh yeah, love Feist! You can listen to more of their music on http://www.listentofeist.com Mushaboom is my favourite..(all the mixes included) Cheers Afrobella!
TooCute says:
May 2, 2007, 11:14 am
Bella, how do we email you if we want to recommmend a site to you? Can I just leave the URL address in a "leave a reply"?
bella says:
May 2, 2007, 11:19 am
Hey TooCute, you can e mail me at bella@afrobella.com, or leave it as a comment, as Anita did up there. Can't wait to see what you wanna share!
Karel Mc Intosh - Trinidad says:
May 2, 2007, 1:46 pm
Sam Fine was in Trinidad about a week ago for a makeup extravaganza.
E-Fresh says:
May 2, 2007, 3:07 pm
Wow, congrats on being the #2 blog in Trinidad. My favorite comment on the Allyuh blog is from Petal : ) Cracked me up! I know it's quite an honor for you. You know, I read every single one of your posts, even all the beauty ones. Thanks for throwing up the music video. I had never seen that one, it's awesome. The images are so fitting to the vibe of the song. Sorry to hear about the musical down right now. Here's what I've been listening to recently... Belle & Sebastian, The Shins, Prince, and some Zero 7. Speaking of Zero 7, there's a really cool album called "Another Late Night" of theirs that's a compilation hip hop & R&B. One of the songs feature Sylvia Striplin with her classic "You Can't Turn Me Away" which the Junior Mafia later sampled for the "Get Money" remix. Check it out!!! http://youtube.com/watch?v=3pDcJlD8-sI
afrobella says:
May 2, 2007, 4:22 pm
Hey E, I know, right! Trust my sister to come in batting for Afrobella's defense even when I don't need to be defended! But yeah, it felt good to be recognized by my homeland peeps. I know many of my readers are American, but I do try to fly the Trinidad flag as high as I can whenever possible. And I KNEW you'd love that video, it's like a kaleidoscope. And the vocals remind me of what I've heard of Zero 7 (still not much) and Cat Power, who I also like a lot. I'll check out that link. Thanks, man!
Auragirl says:
May 2, 2007, 4:53 pm
That eye is SO pretty! Afrobella, would you ever sport such dramatic makeup? It's most def for NIGHT only! :-)
tan says:
May 2, 2007, 5:05 pm
Bella, This neophyte appreciates each beauty nugget you drop on us. Never really was an eyeshadow girl until your post about Sting eyeshadow by Urban Decay. I purchased it and my eyes sparkle like brown quartz. On the music tip you should check out Van Hunt. He's posted new variations on a few of his songs. First things first though check out "God Moves at Midnight". http://www.myspace.com/vanhunt
E-Fresh says:
May 2, 2007, 5:09 pm
Seems like you get a lot of love from the UK too. You're international! You should have another post where you ask everyone where they're representing from.
afrobella says:
May 2, 2007, 5:41 pm
Hey Auragirl! The wonderful thing about having chocolate brown skin is, eye colors that look WAY too dramatic on caucasian bellas look perfect on us! I already bought the MAC bitter, by the way. I'll try to take some pix with it on for you to see. And yeah, that'll be an evening shade. =)
Christine says:
May 2, 2007, 7:33 pm
Love the video, so much fun! And I happen to be jealous of your ability to wear some of those dramatic colors. Although, I must say...I could probably do the bitter as an evening color with some brown...Hmmm...
TooCute says:
May 2, 2007, 11:16 pm
Hey Bella, Well I heard about this Trini artist named K-os. His new song "Saturday Night" is hot. Check it out on youtube. Also, I found another blog site from mimi magazine, which taliored for all women of African descent. If you google "mimi magazine" it will come up. But personally I like the blog spot better. Here is the link: http://mimimagazine.blogspot.com/
Angela says:
May 3, 2007, 12:15 am
I love Feist--the moment The Reminder dropped, I was in stores! Kudos to your #2 spot--you rock.
nappygungun says:
May 3, 2007, 12:43 am
congrats to you Mrs. Bella!
Otis says:
May 6, 2007, 1:13 pm
This video is too fun! It's nice to see something different and creative.


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