Read Smoke!

Read Smoke!
My latest book, "Smoke: poems of love, longing and ecstasy" is available for purchase on Amazon in e-book and paperback. Click book for link.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Glamour Make-Up for the Holidays

Hey Divas,
The crew went to a holiday party last night and it was a great excuse to get holiday glam. This is why I love the holidays. Ostentatious fabulosity is permitted! While the summer calls for bronzy glows and ethereality , 'tis the season of decadence and rich color. The Natural wore a fabulous bubble dress in a retro print of olive green, red, black and white. For her face, I gave her a dramatic kohl lined eye with a deep-berry lip.

The transformation is documented below.
Before and After!!!

We began by evening out the complexion with Revlon's creme to powder foundation. It's light but even coverage. Because it is the holidays and she wanted to have abit of a shine, I applied Revlon's Skinlights with a sponge all over. It has a light consistency and in the summer can be worn alone. This time we used Black Opal loose powder to finish it. I don't really believe in shiny-glossy-dewy skin in winter. I like a polished, powdered look.

Then we contoured her face. We used Milani's light loose powder to high light her t-zone, the bridge of her nose, cheeks, and chin. I used Milani's press powder in earth glow with a contour brush to contour under her cheek bones, her hair line, the side of her nose, and just under her lip. Note her enhanced bone structure. Contouring also brings dimension back to your face after you've just powdered down. Powder tends to leave your flace flat, lessening it's natural shadows.

Next I did her eyes. I used an angle brush dipped in L'oreal's mocha to darken the brows. Then I applied a fantastic duo, Loreal's HIP high intensity eye shadow in "Dynamic". It is a subdued gold with a deep brownish forest green. I used an angle brush dipped in black shadow to line her top lid and I extended the line out and up. Then to make her smaller eyes pop, she rimmed them, bottom and top lid, with a black eye-liner. I used wig-lash (liquid false lashes) as mascara.

Finally I applied a deep plum blush, Milani's Plum Parfait, and I gave her a deep berry lip. First I lined her lip with a chocolate brown, filled it in with Milani's lipstick in Royal Ruby, and covered that with Revlon's Amethyst Dazzle lip gloss. By the way, Revlon lip gloss is amazing and on par with Chanel.

And here is the final product. She looked fab. Remember, if you are going to be decadent with your glamourous make up, you must go all the way. Pair with chandelier or big cluster earrings. Wear a voluminous hair style or an elegant up-do and when you enter the room... own it.

And here is the Chocolate Diva and I at the same event.

-With flyness, glamour, and funk,


SPOTLIGHT: Miss Black USA Pageant, Gambia Africa, June 2007

Miss Black USA 2007

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As Miss Black CT USA 2007 I had the priviledge of traveling to the Gambia with 35 other beautiful Black women to compete in the Miss Black USA pageant. The trip was blessed. The women and I bonded as we shared in each others spiritual and culturally-enriching experiences. Somehow this experience allowed me to put my life into pristine perspective. It solidified my priorities to myself and to my world, and I really returned to the USA a different person, confident in her purpose here on Earth. Nevertheless, executive producer Dawn Moss composed this moving montage that I'm sharing with you. To learn more about the pageant please visit

Fly Alert: Two-Toned Cape, DVF

Perfect wrap for a sophisticated evening out.


Deelishis you look crazy!
1. Head to toe denim ensembles went out in 1998. I know. I was in the sixth grade.
2. Bamboo earrings went out right after LL rapped about them... I want a girl with extensions in her hair Bamboo earrings At least two pair A fendi bag and a bad attitude Thats all I need to get me in a good mood...
3. Mixing denims was NEVER in.
4. What is that substance in your hair, Hair gel or baby oil?
5. Can you ask your stylist to cut some layers in your weave?
6. Can you please powder your face, your shining. And... it's the mature thing to do.
7. Please study the likes of B' and Tyra when they pose for cameras. This push your booty out stance is very junior high.


Noemie Lenoir, French Model of Rush Hour 3 Fame, at the Heart of Gold Ball. This dress is phenomenal as is that lip color.

She said what??? (The Daily Black Woman Quote)

"I don't know if it's people love to build you up to break you down or – I don't know what's going on. Things have just turned a little vicious. 'Cause I read stuff about me on the Internet, like, baby, what did I do to you?"
-Vivica Fox

SPOTLIGHT: Debbie Allen, Dreamgirls, 1982

In honor of dancer/choreographer/ legendary fly diva Debbie Allen's directorial debut on Broadway (Street Charity, West Side Story), I'm posting the Dreamgirls number she performed for a tv special. It's fierce.

Cat on the Hot Tin Roof Coming To Broadway!!!

Terrence Howard will make his Broadway debut as the lead in Debbie Allen's production of Cat on the Hot Tin Roof. This will be the fourth time that the play is on Broadway, and the first time it is done with an all African American casts. Other notable cast members include stage legends Phyllicia Rashad, James Earl Jones, and Dreamgirls' Anika Noni Rose. The play goes up March 6, 2008 at the Broadhurst theater and tickets will be on sale through April.

Visit the official website for tickets and more show info.

You won't want to miss this historic event.

The Many Lay-Outs of Fly Funky Diva

I know the lay-out has been changed literally every day. That is because the blog is less than two weeks old and I've been looking for a lay-out that really spoke to who I was, the type of woman that this blog represents, andwas pleasing to my readers. I hope you enjoy this one as it will be, in some variation, the finished product. Feel free to comment.


Off to the Sauna

Morning Divas,
It's a beautful life isn't it?

Sometimes we just have to remind ourselves of that.

Anyways, writing papers that should have already been written. Swizzling down some IZZE Sparkling Pomegranate natural drink, and I'm still buzzed off of my cup of jamal/red bull combo last night.

This evening I'm attending a kwanzaa ball with The Chocolate Diva and The Natural. But first we're all going to sauna. I think the stress of finals is getting to our pores and making them large and unsightly.

If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of hitting the sauna (at your local spa), let me inform. 15-20 minutes in a dry or steam sauna helps with the excretion of toxins from the skin and blood. You cleanse from within. Not only will you be in a fresher, more revived mood, but your skin will glow. I was so good about last year. I did twenty-minutes in the dry sauna after every work out while I was preparing for the Miss Black USA Pageant. If you are an athlete, it's wonderful therapy for after your workout as it relieves muscles. Just remember to drink water first.

If you are at home and you need to cleanse the face with steam, it's quite easy. Boil water, remove from the stove. Lean over the pot of hot water with a towel over your head, sort of creating an insulated space between you and the steam. Throw in some lavender essential oil or eucalyptus and mint for fantastic aromatherapy.

To your pores!

With flyness and funk,


Friday, December 14, 2007

Virgin Island Water, Take Me Away

Morning Divas,

I'm a little groggy. Crashing an article deadline for 12 PM. Unwritten papers looming on the horizon as is the arabic exam next week that will surely be the ruin of my life.

Time for an escape... to the Islands. I'm dreaming of turquoise seas, white sands, sun...and rum.

I can't travel right now, but this scent certainly puts me in this place. Virgin Island Water by Creed. The House of Creed is known world-wide as an elite fragrance dynasty. It has been lead by eight generations of perfumiers and the youngest son created this fragrance to appeal to younger women with a taste for sophistication.

Creed is an androgynous scent... which I'm learning to love because it appeals to men (or your man... or maybe the man you want to be your man) on a subconscious level by using notes they are familiar with.

This scent literally smells like paradise. The base notes are composed of deep and sweet notes of tonkin musk, white rum, and sugar cane. The middle notes are sultry; jasmin, ylang ylang (afro-disiac), and ginger. The coconut in the top notes are strong, but it is balanced with the citrus freshness of lime and mandarin, and the elegance of Bergamot. It contains all of the sexyness of a spicy oriental without being just another sweet spicy oriental. The distinctly island notes (rum, sugar cane, coconut) makes this an exotic scent and the citrus top notes tame it's sweetness and gives it a great wearability.

I also find that black men enjoy the deep fruity scents on us and every man that I've worn this with has commented. My daddy actually purchased this from Neimans for my mom. That's how I discovered it.

You can't bottle Paradise, but this is a close as it gets. Purchase a 4.0 oz bottle here for $187. (worth every penny)

-with flyness and funk,


Thursday, December 13, 2007

She said what??? (The Daily Black Woman Quote)

There's one more thing I want to say. It's a touchy subject. Black beauty. Black sensuality. We live in a culture where the beauty of black people isn't always as celebrated as other types. I'd like to help change that if I can!
-Jody Watley

SPOTLIGHT: Ike and Tina Turner, "River Deep Mountain High"

In lieu of Ike Turner's death (of no relation to me, IKE is just my nickname) I got to thinking of Tina. This video captures the infamous couple during their hey day. "River Deep, Mountain High". By the way, Tina.... fly. No one has reached her level in performance quality. No, not even Sasha.... I mean B'.

Saleisha Wins

Evening diva's,

Listening to the dream girl soundtrack, nursing a hurt stomach in and a little bit of a broken heart. It's final's week. Life is crazy and so is learning about humility.

Nevertheless, congrats to Saleisha Stowers on winning America's Next Top Model. I, like Tyra, never thought she'd make it into the final 3. She is, at best, pretty "black girl next door" and her sweet personality is often times exasperating and a bit forced. I originally cheered Bianca. I thought she had a wonderful exotic look, but a rotten personality... almost reminescent of Jade's arrogance and inability to empathize with others. I hated how she treated Heather. Jenna, hands down, was the strongest model in the house, but seeing that Tyra feels she must humble the girls and impose emotional break downs break downs in order to create some Cinderella Effect, guarded Jenna had no chance.

But after the Covergirl commercial, it was a wrap. Saleisha has fantastic camera presence. She's charming, confident, and articulate (so important). Plus, her runway walk is fierce. So more power to her. You go girl!

... I wonder if BET will take Saleisha under their wing, as they've done with previous Top Model Queens Eva and Tacara.

More flyness to come, promise. Soon as I get finished writing these papers!

-With flyness, funk and finals,

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Back to Barbie

Good afternoon divas!

My life is currently a fiercetrocity. It's reading week at Yale, the week before finals, and I have three papers to write. Are they written? Hell no. This morning for breakfast I had two left over chicken wings from Dominoes and a can of red bull. Wait.... I'm suprised I'm not sick. Yet.

Anyways, as we are thirteen days away from Christmas I wanted to tell you about a few gifts I discovered for the little diva's in your life. I grew up in a house where only Black dolls were allowed. I didn't understand it fully then, but young girls and tweens are still forming their self-image and they use the dolls that they play with to help them understand the concept of "pretty". Therefore it is really imperative that they play with something they can relate to.

First, please don't buy them BRATZ. Yes, it is the "it" toy of the moment, and the little diva might be asking for it, but let's not be mistaken. BRATZ is really not a good symbol of "beauty" fo young girls. Why? Would you want your child to grow up believing that to be "pretty" is to be "sexy" with a face full of make up, a short skirt, and her tummy showing (by age 10). BRATZ is trash... not class.

Consider revisiting an old classic: Barbie. Barbie is still iconographic for beauty, style, and sophistication. Yes, it's debatable whether or not we want our children to play with this modelesque doll. Are we promoting the wrong standards beauty? But I have to say despite the changing trends in girls toys, Mattel really has never lossed it's class. I'm sure we're only a few years away from seeing a Carmen Electra stripper doll (poll not included), but I really don't believe that Mattell will ever stoop to that level. It has maintained the sophistication that prevailed in the era that barbie started, the fifties.

Today Black Barbies are no longer the brown version of the white prototype. There are special collection's devoted to African-American figures with beautifully crafted faces and spectacular wardrobes.

Consider getting a younger girl something they can play with, especially a doll with multiple ensembles. Shown below are , the Top Model Barbie Nicki, the 2007 Holiday Barbieand the Milan Barbie.

For older girls and even some women, consider purchasing a collectible. Even I still collect barbies and the dolls by artists such as Byron Lars and Bob Mackie are truly works of art. Pictured below is the Jazz Diva (the next to be added to my collection), Byron Lars' fly-on-top-of-fly Sugar Barbie, and Bob Mackie's special edition African Goddess. These dolls are more expensive and will cost between $200 and $500.

For more Black Barbies visit Angelic Dreamz.

-with flyness and funk,



Michelle Ogundehin in classic Emilio Pucci Dress at Art Basel in Miamia. She has such a great smile!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Zoe Saldana at the Hollywood Life Breakthrough of the Year Awards.


Shia, you look crazy!
Ashanti's little sister was photographed recently at a club in this knit contraption. Isn't this a shirt? Shouldn't this be worn with jeans? Isn't your *&%$^ hanging out?
Just cause they make it in your size doesn't mean you should wear it.
But in the case of this dress/shirt... no one should wear it.
Shia, I hope you left the tags on it. Please febreze under arms and return to Hoes are Us and get your $4. 99 back. While you're at it, get better friends.

Fly Alert: Anyi Lu 'Jolie' Pump

They remind me of flapper shoes in the twenties but I think these shoes are fabolah with a very modern pencil skirt or a short A-line dress. Purchase at Nordstrom's for $395.

Brick House Divas and the Jeans They Wear

Dear Divas,

I stumbled across this pic of B' at the LAX air port in fierce ruby stilletos and a fly jacket but questionable pants. Should Brick House Divas with beautiful curves that just wont quit wear skinny jeans? While the verdict is still out by many, my ruling is no. And I'm mad that trendy-fashion blogs out there written by sistas haven't wrapped the caution tape around this product. The wonderful thing about this for women with a more boxy biuld is that these jeans create the illusion of curvature. However, for women already blessed in that department, these jeans create the illusion of two ice cream cones walking down the street in a pair of stilletos. There is something about the tapering at the bottom of the leg that just ruins the beautiful curvacious line.

Let's look at B' without these contraptions. These boot cut jeans she's wearing here are tight in all the right spots but they still flatter the line of the leg.

Now I know that some of you BHD's may very well own this knew fashion fad... the skinny jeans.

Considering donating them to charity or to your more scrawny friend.

Are you a Brick House Diva shopping for Jeans?
Here are some tips.

Look for things like:

dark and medium-blue rinse (slimming and sophisticated)
sturdy jean fabric with some stretch
some form of a crease down the front and an obvious verticle grain (makes legs look longer)
a straight (trouser cut) or boot cut.. your body will add the curves
waiste that stops an inch before belly button

and avoid:
bleaching or distressing on the thighs or buts
back pocket flaps (too much emphasis on the but)
flimsy jean fabric
Lack of stretch
too much stretch (ewww, they end up looking like denim stretch pants)
jeans that stop right above the but (you'll be flashing people your undies all day. That style is not for us)
Bell bottom cuts and skinny jeans that taper at the bottom (argh)
bulky side pockets (too much emphasis on the hips)
acid wash or really light blues

Fav Brands: DKNY, House of Dereon (ironically), Miss Sixty, The Gap

-with flyness and funk

Fly On the Street

I was at a horribly dry Christmas soiree this weekend that mom dragged me to. It was thrown by one of her physician colleagues at their get-away house, read 'castle'! This one particular anesthesiologist had oodles of style. Had to get a flash of this fabulous coat!

She said what??? (The Daily Black Woman Quote)

"When I got my divorce, the women jumped on me like white on rice! I said, 'Look, I ain't ever did fish, I don't intend to do fish so leave me alone.' I said, 'I'm looking for a man and you're not a man!"
-Patti Labelle

Monday, December 10, 2007

SPOTLIGHT: Davanna, runway show

Eight year old storms the runway. They start 'em young these days.

The Perfect Five- Minute Face

Hey Diva's,

It is very possible to look polished with five-minutes or less of make up application every morning. My friends often ask how long I spend on hair and make up in the morning and are shocked to find out that it is always less than ten minutes.

So this morning, just for you, I decided to document the process.

It's really all made possible by creme-to-powder foundation. This morning I used the product by Black Radiance but I have also used Revlon's version, and it also nice. Above is my blank face wearing nothing but the coconut oil that I use every day. You will see darkness above my eyes and just above my lip. (Wait, I actually just look a hot mess, but that's what the make up is for, and I sort of chose a really bad before pic on purpose.)

I apply the foundation, gently, with my fingers under my eye, over my lips, and on any other blemishes I have. It blends right in. Afterwards I dust MAC studio fix pressed powder over my face with either a kabuki brush or a powder puff for fuller coverage.

Then I work on my eyes. I fill in my brows with a dark brown shadow and an angle brush. The brush is by MAC and the shadow that I used is L'oreal Deep Mocha. Side note, my eye brows are naturally very full so I don't allow anyone to make them thin. I keep the fullness and I keep a clean, high arch. Each morning I use the angle brush to create a dramatic, lush brow. When it comes to brows, please do get rid of excess hair, but try to work with your natural shape.

After that I apply liquid eye liner, as close as possile to the lash line and I extend just a little bit out. I start the line at about three quaters into my eye lid. Then a coat of mascara. I love Fiber Wig Mascara. The products calls itself "paint on false eyelashes" and it does produce dramatic results. Purhase at Sephora.

The penultimate step is a sweep of blush across my cheeks. In winter I like the deeper blushes. This morning I used Revlon's Hint of Ruby. I also like Fever by MAC. Finally I line my lips with MAC's chestnut pencil, I added a coat of Matte lipstick in Manhattan by Milani and to accentuate the pout I added a gloss to the center of my lips. It is MAC's Sinnamon.

Do you have an extra minute or two? Try light contouring to bring dimension to your face and to enhance the appearance of your bone structure.

First I start with Milani's soft sand loose powder and a the back side of a make-up wedge (the square part). When highlighting, choose a slightly golden toned shade of brown and always go for a loose powder. It blends well and gives more natural results. I dip the sponge into the pot and tap of the excess. Then I press color onto my cheeks, the bride of my nose, the center of my forhead, my chin, and the bottom of my jaw line.

Next, with a contour brush, I use Milani's pressed powder in Ginger and I sweep over the hollows of my cheeks, the side of my nose, under my lip, and the side of my hair line.

Finally I take a large powder brush and I blend well! And I'm done.

More make up tips to come. If you have a specific question feel free to leave them in the comments area.

With flyness and funk,


Urban Expressions Hand Bags

Hey Divas,

Featured in Life&Style and Cosmo magazines, my latest fashion find is a trendy, sophisticated, quality hand bag for a steal. At last! Urban Expressions bag designs rival those of Marc Jacobs and Lanvin. They all come in great color combinations with fantastic metal hardware. I also love that they are roomy and conspicuously fabulous, for women with big lives to carry around. If only the envious women on the street knew that I shelled out about $50 for my piece of flyness.

Purchase them here.
-with flyness and funk,


Serena, you look crazy!

How to not be fly:
Wear sheer black stockings with holes at the knees. It looks like you've just been down on your knees for quite some time and we know Serena doesn't do manual labor. Hmmm. It's not a good look.
She may be a trend-setter on the courts but this one is a miss. Common looks good though.

She said what??? (The Daily Black Woman Quote)

"Contestant number 42 Sharon Quinn told me to ask you one question. Sharon told me to ask you, is big in? (Yeah!) If you don't have a plus then you must have a negative!!!"
-announcer during Maybelline Shades Model of the Year Competition in 1995. Sharon is the only plus-sized model to ever win.

(I attached the video below. Couldn't resist. It's one of the few times when platinum blonde is okay).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

She said what??? (The Daily Black Woman Quote)

"I am not here to tell you what to think. I am here to tell you to think."
-Oprah Winfrey, Obama Rally in Iowa, Dec. 8th 2007

Fly Alert: Steve Madden Suede Slouchy Boots

Boots these days are decidedly narrow-minded in design. They are leather, pointy toe, knee-contraptions with a four-inch heel and several metal bells-and-whistles. I love this boot for what it is not. It is none of the above.
It does not plead for attention.
It is sexy uncontrived, the best kind of sexy to be.
Oh, and these are perfect for women with calf muscles.... in fact it looks best on them. Pair with black leggings, a shirt-dress like this one from Richard Haines, a fabulous belt, and an armful of bangles for a laid-back, easy, and sexy look. Purchase at for $104.

SPOTLIGHT: Oprah Winfrey Endorses Obama in Iowa part. 2

SPOTLIGHT: Oprah Winfrey Endorses Obama in Iowa part. 1

conquer thinning edges

Hey Divas,
While I was home for the weekend, mom informed me about a wonderful hair solution. The ill-effect of most popular hair styles for women of color are thinning edges: chemical relaxers, pressing, hair extensions, twists, ponytails. Preventing hair loss from around the hairline is a frustrating struggle for many of us, but there is a solution. Pure Vitamin E oil is said to works wonders for restoring growth of the hair line when used in tandem with a style that doesn't put too much stress on the hair. It can be found at most health and beauty supply stores or on-line.
*Vitamin E also banishes blemishes!
-With flyness and funk