Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Haute Hair Tip for Winter: Hydrate

I love my haute natural hair! My winter hair care tip... hydrate! Keep your hair looking beautiful by keeping its moisture content high using steam therapy. It will grow fuller and longer with lots of shine.

My hair therapy session and styling is compliments of Robin D. Groover in Atlanta and New York City.

What do you think about haute natural hair with brilliant color and shine?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Haute Travels Tip: Mini Fragrances for Travel

As a girl on the go, I must carry my favorite fragrances with me. I absolutely love a beautiful vanity counter that highlights my various moods by the perfumes that I select. Mini-size fragrances offer space saving options for carry on bags and they look great next to your bed or in your dressing room.

Marc Jacobs Dot Fragrance for the Young at Heart

Marc Jacobs was so inspired by his love of poka dots that he created DOT a personal signature fragrance. The scent offers top notes of red berries, dragon fruit and honeysuckle. The mild and base notes contain Jasmine, coconut water with musk.

The fragrance is captured in a beautiful red bottle that plays with fantasy. I love the design of the bottle because it looks like a work of art. The bufferfly-inspired top plays with porportions offering a chic way to indulge in something that brings pure joy. The girls who are happy, vivacious and upbeat will enjoy DOT. You can find DOT at Bloomingdales for $89.00.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Haute Travel Accessories by Stephanie Johnson

I am in love with Stephanie Johnson’s Malibu Collection travel and beauty accessories in raspberry! The inspiration behind this fashionable collection is all about the laid-back California lifestyle. The travel bags and covers are little luxuries for the girls who like to make a statement when they pull things out of their travel bags.

The crinkle patent bright and breezy iPad and makeup case is a conversation piece along with my favorite passport cover. And the brightly colored luggage tag will make your bags stand out at baggage claim!
  What's your favorite travel accessory?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Cottage for a Princess is Haute!

When it comes to a great escape, there's no better place than the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I always find it very peaceful and enjoyable in the beach cottage. The view is absolutely stunning, it takes my breath away. The cottages are charming and intimate which makes life great. 

Here's a look inside... 

Passion and Purpose Meet in Jamaica!

One of the most amazing experiences of my life took place at a little elementary school in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I visited the Barrett Town School last month to meet the kids and deliver school supplies. It was an awesome experience. The kids are super sweet; I found their energy and smiles to be infectious. Unlike even the most impoverished schools in the United States, the Barrett Town School has even less. The kids are in small, cramped classrooms with bars on their windows. There is no air conditioning therefore the classrooms are hot. I also noticed that the kids don’t have computers, although a company has provided internet service free of charge.

There are so many things that we take for granted in American schools like a library, computer lab and cafeteria. The school in Jamaica had none of those things, but never-the-less the kids love to learn and appreciate even small acts of kindness. They respect their teachers and school administrators. They were kind to me and the girls who came along. It was refreshing to see little kids aspire to be better.

I plan to return to the school in May 2013 and take more supplies. I would even like to take iPads or some other kind of tablets and Kindles for the kids to use in class. After the New Year gets underway, I’ll put out a request for donations to purchase more things for the them. The school is small with only ten classrooms. It’s my goal to have gifts for each classroom even gift bags for the kids. I know that it’s a noble ambition, but I can do it. If you would like to help make a difference be sure to send an email to me at hautetravels@gmail.com. I believe that when passion and purpose meet its the result of a higher plan at work. My purpose is to help someone else discover their own; it's part of my destiny. 

What are you passionate about?

What's Haute in My Travel Bag?

When traveling across the globe, I look for products that offer multiple uses in order to save time and space in my travel bag. I find myself using some products all of the time.

Here's a list of my favorites...

Molton Brown’s Ambrusca Wash & Scrub from its Body Remedies Collection to deep clean and improve my skin tone with antioxidant, plus free radical protection and firming properties derived from the Ambrusca grape leaf extract. I use this a lot when I’m vacationing in the Caribbean.

I’m also a fan of Molton Brown’s Skinboost, a 24 hour moisture mist that hydrates and revitalizes my skin during a long flight. It’s from the Women’s Traveller kit and comes in a .03 oz bottle that easily fits into my bag and its TSA approved!

In my quest to find an organic Shea Butter product with a twist, Sula nails it for me with their multi use beauty balm. I prefer the waxy feel over other products that leave a greasy buildup. The cute little tin can travels with me everywhere. I use it on my lips, feet, hands and face.

Sula also offers a smart option to a quick manicure with Paint and Peel. This two in one duo with color and a top coat allows you to paint and peel off color when you’re ready to change your polish. There’s no need for nail polish remover offering more space in your travel bag!

Sula’s Pulse Points Perfumes are great travel options for the girl who wants to maximize an oil-based scent by rolling it on. Six different fragrances come in a cute little box with directions on how to apply the perfume to your “hot spots” like the neck, wrist and behind the ear among other places. When you apply the fragrance to these pulse points, it ignites with the warmest parts of your body to make your scent last longer. My favorite is Champagne Kiss!

Kerstin Florian’s Aromatherapy Lavender Body Spray transforms dry skin instantly with one spritz. This is a great moisturizer containing Vitamin E, aloe and lavender oil that calms heal and relaxes the skin. It’s a must-use when wearing sandals or flip flops!

L’Oreal Paris has a winner with Voluminous Million Lashes and False Lashes Mascaras. I love the way it makes my lashes pop! I don’t need faux lashes to look haute!

What's haute in your travel bag?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Haute Times in the Caribbean

One of my favorite past times is sailing in the Caribbean. While in Montego Bay, Jamaica on Saturday, the Jamaican Tourist Board invited me and a few girls who met me in Jamaica on a Reggae cruise by Island Routes. When we got on the boat, the fun started immediately. There were a group of people from Trinidad who really showed us how they “drop down low and sweep the floor with it!” We had so much fun watching them dance since as American girls, we’re a little more modest about suggestive dancing with men that we don’t know. But the chemistry between all of us mixed well. And they wanted to exchange contact information so that we could stay in touch.

So after the cruise around Montego Bay, the girls from Trinidad want me to hang out with them for Carnival next year! I’m thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” But, I’m up for visiting their island and getting to know a little more about their culture and island influence. Travel is a lifestyle and one has to adjust to the fashion and beauty of it no matter where it takes you… ;)

Have you ever gone to Trinidad during Carnivale?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Daisy By Marc Jacobs for My Haute Travels Bag!

While on my beach get-a-way, I brought these Daisy Petite Flower fragrances by Marc Jacobs to add a bit of an Indian summer garden to my weekend. The new spin on the “Iconic” Daisy design packaging is super cute and makes for a great conversation piece when you pull it out of your travel bag.

The duo fragrances in their retro chic charm offer two scents. Daisy is full of top notes like wild strawberry, violet leaves and ruby red grapefruit… with musk, vanilla and white woods as a base note. While, Daisy Eau So Fresh offers ruby red grapefruit, raspberry and green leaves as top notes with musks, plum and cedarwood as its base.

My favorite is Daisy! The set retails for $59 at select stores nationwide.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Haute Thoughts on Following Your Heart

Just a couple of months ago, I decided to return to Jamaica but this time driven by purpose. I invited women who wanted to follow their passion and investigate their purpose to join me. I also decided to make giving back to the local community a priority and therefore participate in “Pack for a Purpose,” a program supported by the Half Moon Resort to help the Barrett Town Elementary School by encouraging their guests to pack school supplies, games and recreational items like soccer balls for the kids.
In an effort to make this work, I reached out to those who support me and my Haute Travels projects and got a few generous donations and words of encouragement. When I decided to do this, I wasn’t sure how it would come together. I just knew that I was divinely led to do it. And I didn’t focus on how it would work out. I just knew that it would; there was no need to worry. As I get closer to the date of departure, more people have reached out with generous donations, like Najah, Owner of Like the River Hair Salon in Atlanta or my friend Kimberly Patterson, a talented makeup artist in Chicago, who highlighted the beauty of Iyanala Vanzant, as seen in her new show Iyanla: Fix My Life.

My family has even stepped in to make contributions… my mom and my cousin have been inspired to support the kids! My friends, Robin, Greta, Vernon, Samantha, Rolanda and others like Christa, Angela Myers, April (an absolute travel addict) and Debbi Howard have been generous with their support of my Haute Travels endeavors. Their sponsorship has allowed me to help more kids on this trip because of their recent contributions to my love of mixing beauty, travel and philanthropy. Although, their angel investments were for a Paris project, I redirected some funds to help the kids. I love Paris but this was more important at this time.

But the love doesn’t stop there… the girls who are coming along with me are also buying school supplies to encourage the kids to discover their passions. And even the Half Moon and the Jamaican Tourist Board sponsored activities or covered costs to help offset our expenses so that we can give more. The spirit of giving is contagious!

Those who stepped up to help did so without reservation, but others who could help just remained silent, even though, in the past, they’ve benefitted from my help in a number of ways, including getting paid to work with a brand that I sent their way, receiving fully funded press trips or helped promote their projects using my own platform. I’m reminded of those things because it shows that when God puts a promise in your heart; nothing can stop it from manifesting. There is always something so much bigger at work. I’ve learned… what you give out, you always get back and this is an example of what giving and karma is all about. Sometimes people want to help but simply can’t financially, but nothing can stop them from using their own platform to spread the word or encourage someone else to do something good if they want to. If you take nothing else away from my story… know that when something is in your heart to do, just believe that it will all fall into place as the universe intended. You already have everything that you need to move forward... just believe and trust that it was put in your heart and spirit for a reason. You can do it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I AM Powerful!

I love Glenda from the Wizard of Oz when she says, "Go away you have no power here." I've adopted that to mean... the goodness and the light coming from me is way too strong; you have no ability to affect me.

We all have dreams that we must release into the universe. There are times when people who don't wish us well try to block those dreams. But, as long as you know the power that's within you, no one can block any blessing or dream that God has for you. Just remember Glenda, the good witch or spirit, who told Dorothy that she's always had the power. It comes from within... it lives in your heart. As long as you know that you have nothing to fear, you'll live an abundant life!

The ability to manifest great things in your life comes from being grateful for what you have... and serving others in some way. It can be as small as helping someone see great potential within themselves that they may not have seen before. It could also mean using your life to inspire someone to step out on faith. We all have a purpose that's divinely connected to each other.

When you travel just remember the stranger that you meet may be someone who was sent to help you discover more about yourself. My intuition always guides me to the truth, so I've learned to trust it. On the occassion that I meet somenone who connects me to my purpose, I know that the universe is at work guiding me to something bigger than myself. Power comes when you can connect the dots.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Haute Pink Lips for Summer!

One of the joys of summer is finding lipsticks that pop! I decided to venture away from my Nars “Orgasm” lip gloss offering a more neutral lip for something that shouts, my lips are haute!

While visiting several cosmetics counters recently, I fell in love with Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Fuchsia lipstick. The color is a beauty statement to say the least. It added a bit of glamour and intrigue to my face… and brought my entire look from head to toe alive. I wore Le Fuchsia to a cocktail party at the Mandarin Oriental and the Style Bloggers of Color Conference. I really enjoyed the color, it created a sense of role playing for me. I got a lot of compliments and I have to say, I'm glad that I tried something new. Haute pink lips are definitely bringing the wow factor for summer!

What lip color makes you stand out in a crowd?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Haute Thoughts

When a connection seems broken, the universe finds a way to reconnect... guiding us back to the source with light and love.

No matter where I travel in the world, I always know that there is nothing like a connection with a stranger that proves to be life changing. I've had this experience happen to me in some of the most unlikely places, but each time teaching me something about myself that makes me a better person.

The connections with people who are brought into your life for a much bigger reason... to help you find your purpose are powerful. It reminds me of the Chinese proverb, The Red Thread of Destiny... some connections can never be broken. The next time you run into that person who seems to be connected to you, in ways that you can't explain, consider the possibility that he or she may have been sent by the universe to help you walk into your destiny. Just remember even "angels learn how to fly."

Has this ever happened to you?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Special Thanks to smartwater!

Thank you smartwater for making me your special ambassador for Charleston Fashion Week 2012! I had the most amazing time... your team rocks!


Disclaimer: smartwater provided travel expenses and compensation for Charleston Fashion Week 2012

smartwater Brings Haute Hydration to Charleston Fashion Week!

Designer Mychael Knight
As an official sponsor for Charleston Fashion Week 2012, smartwater offers fashionistas runway ready hydration. As a special ambassador for smartwater I got to cool off in the Charleston heat along with a few noted designers, models and fashion week –insiders with our favorite premium water in hand. As I moved through the tents on Marion Square, I could see smartwater flowing everywhere! Haute hydration mixed with fashion chats made for refreshing talk under the tents.

Charleston Fashion Week Creative Director Ayoka Lucas
Check out our pictures as we strike a pose with smartwater… the zero-calorie vaper-distilled water with added electrolytes became our haute new accessory. Some might even say vapor distilled is the new black and smart because it’s made that way!

To learn more visit http://glaceau.com/
Become a friend of smartwater on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/smartwater and follow on Twitter http://twitter.com/smartwater

Model Cynthia Bailey

Haute Ready-to-Wear Collections Hit Charleston!

Take a look at some emerging fashion design talent hitting the runway at Charleston Fashion Week 2012. The five-night event is produced by Charleston Magazine and offers young talent a gateway to New York City's fashion week. I had a bird's eye seat with smartwater in hand to capture the latest in style trends. Take a look at a few pieces that caught my eye.

What's your haute new fashion accessory for 2012?

Mychael Knight Debuts Bridal Collection in Charleston

Atlanta-based fashion designer Mychael Knight introduced his new line of gowns and dresses during Charleston Fashion Week’s Spring Bridal Show 2012. Knight was the featured designer for the much anticipate sold-out show during the sixth annual event.

As a special ambassador for smartwater, a premier sponsor, I had a front row seat to all the haute fashion designs coming down the runway. Knight’s collection was tastefully done, but a bit restrained. Although Knight has been making wedding gowns for the past couple of years, this is his first collection to hit the runway.

The Project Runway, fan-favorite for season three, showcased an assortment of form-fitting silhouettes. In this collection, he took a bit of a detour from his “club-style” garments that generally merge the future with the present. This collection offers a softer, youthful approach for the girl who wants more simplicity and less glamour for her wedding day. Knight says his dresses are “sleek, sophisticated, and wearable.”

Knight is known for dressing Hollywood celebrities like Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah who love his bold and futuristic approach to designing unforgettable clothing.

Haute Bridal Collections Hit the Runway in Charleston!

Fashionistas, brides and so many others came out to view the spring bridal collection from emerging design talent during Charleston Fashion Week. As special ambassador for smartwater, an official sponsor, I was sitting front row at the celebrated show.  

The collections offered something for everybody about to walk down the aisle and say ‘I do.” This year, designers added a bit of color to traditional gowns and dresses. Romantic blush colored gowns and other more passionate collections accented with red accessories offered a modern approach to traditional classics… building on a canvas of white garments for that special day.

Featured designer Rachel Gordon offered a first-time bridal collection that simply flows down the runway. Her “One Love” Bridal and ready-to-wear collections were attention grabbers. Silk draping, vintage-inspired creations and the celebration of women down to every detail made Gordon one of my favorite designers. She even ended her showing with an eco friendly –inspired ball gown made of live plants.

To learn more about Rachel Gordon visit http://www.onelovedesign.com/

Join the smartwater Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/smartwater

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Haute Hydration Mixed with Fashion!

I’m thrilled to be a smartwater Ambassador for Charleston Fashion Week 2012! The hautest fashion event south of New York City takes place in less than two weeks under the big tents in Marion Square in Charleston, South Carolina. Fashionistas can expect more than 30 runway shows, emerging new designers, and fabulous cocktail parties over five nights. This year, 7,000 people are expected to hit the charming southern town as smartwater gets runway ready as the official water sponsor for the big show!

Join me as I bring lots of photos, tweets and style trends from some of the most exciting designer talent to emerge in years.

What's the hautest new accessory for 2012?

Haute Birthday Fun!

I’m a Pisces girl with lots to be happy about. This year, I celebrated my birthday with friends who inspire me to live my highest spiritual self. It was a weekend to remember but none-the-less, I’m so grateful to have friends who really care about me.

My haute hair stylist and groovy friend, Robin, gave me sexy, seductive hair to ring in the start of my special day. It brought my hair to life and a few extra looks from some unlikely admirers with an ego boost to match.

Although, I’m a year older, I’ve never felt better… cheers to me!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Haute Travels 2012!

This year, my Haute Travels blog is evolving to more than just where I travel; it’s all about a lifestyle. My blog is a place where I get to write about anything that inspires me or helps me discover something about myself that I can share with you.

My haute travels may take me to amazing destinations, cool places in my hometown or self-reflective moments that inspire and motivate me to live my life better. I’ll even introduce you to some friends, some famous others are more low key but nonetheless just as wonderful. But, they all have one thing in common; they teach me things about myself that inspires me to live in the moment.

Confidence, inner beauty and a great glow are the things that you take with you every time you leave your home. And yes, from time to time I’ll tell you about what’s new in Paris, London or my favorite little Islands in faraway places. And yes, I’m planning another Haute Travels Beauty event and fashionable night out event so stay tuned.

There’s just one thing left to say… Welcome to Haute Travels 2012!

Haute Healthy Hair for 2012

As you know, I started my hair evolution in 2011 with healthy hair strategist Robin Groover. We began working together last spring and the results are amazing. I’m completely Keratin-free and I will never put any kind of chemical back in my hair again. (Although I do add mininal color to keep my roots in check ;)

My golden brown tresses are all natural and extremely healthy and hydrated. My hair has grown tremendously over the last few months. It’s also a lot stronger and fuller thanks to frequent hydration therapy and Groove Therapy products.

In a few more months, my hair will get longer thanks to frequent trims and custom shampoo and conditioning treatments. Our goal is to grow it out to the middle of my back with lots of bounce and shine. Although, I'm in the hair salon about every 7 to 10 days on average... I have noticed that even if I can't get to the salon, my hair will still maintain shine and movement.

If I could give advice to girls who are struggling with their natural hair... I would suggest that you contact Robin at Too Groovy Salon in Midtown in Atlanta. She's the truth when it comes to beautiful, healthy hair first and style second. She is not only a hair stylist and product specialist but she really cares about hair and educating the consumer on individual hair needs. I've had a lot of great hair stylists take care of my hair but I have never had a stylist that invested as much as Robin... she's amazing!

What's your hair story?

A Haute New Year!

Every New Year brings about an opportunity to start out fresh and explore something new and different. As 2012 gets underway, I’ve discovered things that are moving me closer to a life that I had one only imagined. And thanks to some wonderful news and signs from the universe… things are well on their way to coming true. But the journey is the real story because just when you start to doubt, you change the course of your life. If you make a decision to stay positive and ride the wave, as my friend Crystal tells me… magic and miracles really do happen.

As you move closer to your true self, you’ll discover that a lot of things and people that once occupied space in your life will suddenly be removed. There’s a season for everything and a reason for it all… if you pay attention you’ll understand why things move progressively in your favor once you open your heart. Just know that no matter what happens—you’re equipped to handle it.

Starting today focus on your destination, listen to your inner voice and let your intuition guide you. When you start to see visions of your life ahead that’s a sign that everything is coming true. Change is in the air… and last Monday’s full moon confirmed it because it was a “wishing” moon. Everything that you’ve always wanted is within reach… you just have to trust and believe that you can have it. The choice is always yours. Here’s to a haute New Year!

What's ahead for you in 2012?