Dec 2014 04

I can write about beauty, fashion and celebrities tomorrow. Today, I choose not to ignore or be distracted by what is truly happening in the world.

To choose knowledge and awareness over ignorance and distraction, click on the video above.


Sophia Lenore

video curtesy of 
The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell
Dec 2014 01

Halle Berry is in another heated dispute with her former partner Gabriel Aubry regarding their daughter Nahla. This time the former couple is engaged in a racially charged fight regarding Nahla’s hair. Berry alleges that Aubry has bleached and chemically straightened Nahla’s hair in an attempt to conceal the 4 year old’s biracial identity. Berry protests that this was done by Aubry in an attempt to make their daughter appear more White.

Gabriel Aubry’s decision to chemically process Nahla’s hair at the tender age of 4 years old is not only damaging to her hair, but it is also damaging to her self esteem. Aubry’s selfish choice to change Nahla’s natural hair texture, and hair color sends a negative message to his daughter that her hair is not beautiful to her father.

Nahla will internalize how she sees herself based on her father’s actions, because young girls idolize their fathers. Nahla is at an impressionable age and she is developing her personality. She is susceptible to fostering stigmas and characteristics of prejudice. Aubry’s actions can encourage Nahla to develop a negative self image.

In my opinion, Aubry’s actions show a lack of sensitivity, and awareness as a parent. I commend Berry for trying to protect her daughter from early self esteem issues that can be triggered by Aubry’s actions. However, I am not sure if suing Aubry is the best defense in order to protect her daughter.

So what do you think about Gabriel’s decision to chemically process the hair of his 4 year daughter? Do you think Halle is overreacting by taking Gabrielle to court? Or do you think Halle is justified in her actions?


Sophia Lenore

Beyoncé - 7/11 (Official Music Video) from MovieTrailers on Vimeo.

Dec 2014 01

Beyonce’s music video for her new song “7/11” is for an audience that likes the minimalistic approach. The video features simple choreography accompanied with barely any makeup and hair styling, which allows the viewer to focus more on the music and less on the glam.  But there is more!

Beyonce’s 7/11 music video is minimized perfection!

It is modestly shot with a Go-pro camera and an IPhone. 7/11 is shot at a hotel during an all girls sleepover. In the video you find Beyonce and her all-girl crew partying in the bathroom, on the balcony, in the hallway, and in the hotel lobby. In each shot the girls are drinking, dancing and just having fun.

I love this music video!

7/11 is simple, and less glamourous than Beyonce’s previous big budget music videos. In 7/11 Beyonce is engaged in silly harmless fun with her girlfriends, the casualness of the video makes Beyonce appear more personable and relatable to her fans.
To view Beyonce’s music video for her new song 7/11 click on the link above.

So, do you like Beyonce’s new video?

Leave a comment below to tell me your opinion about the music video.

Sophia Lenore
Nov 2014 18
If you’re lucky enough to get backstage during New York Fashion Week,  you will get the opportunity to see the industry’s most elite hair, makeup, and nail professionals in action.
Fashion’s top designer’s rely on these creative professionals to create the amazing looks we see on the runways, in ad campaigns, and on the pages of fashion magazines. 
I have worked backstage during several fashion shows, and I notice a consistent trend among the products used by these professionals. 
For example: That dewy sheen on the model’s cheeks, is almost always a totally unknown highlighter. Or, that cool-girl, wavy texture that looks super easy and super pretty? It’s usually achieved with one salt spray in particular.
I have listed a few products below that the pro’s at NYFW actually can’t live without backstage. However, these aren’t just go-to products for the runway- all of these products work amazingly well in real life too!
 Scroll down to view some of the must-have produces that NYFW pro’s can’t live without.
Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream, $42.95 USD
Celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman is rarely seen without a tube of this richly scented, natural moisturizer close at hand.
It hydrates with shea butter and avocado oil, while marshmallow and St. John’s work to reduce redness, and balance oil production.
Estée Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator, $62 USD
Celebrity makeup artist Tom Pecheux considers this product to be one of his must-have’s.
Bioderma Crealine H2O Solution Micellaire Cleanser, $39.95 USD
“If you don’t have this makeup remover in your kit, the model will,” says Yadim, who was the key makeup artist at shows including Cushnie et Ochs, and DKNY. “It’s super gentle and not at all greasy, so it won’t leave a film on the skin.”
Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream, $28 USD
“All day, these girls have makeup being put on and taken off,” explains artist Alice Lane, who was backstage applying this product on each and every face she touched at Suno. “It’s so important that we take care of their skin with a calming, nourishing formula.”
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, $95 USD
Sir John, makeup artist for major icons like Iman, Naomi Campbell, and Beyoncé confessed backstage at Edun that it was one of his favorite products for makeup application. “I also like to put it over finished makeup, on top of the cheekbones, for a dewy finish that’s not sparkly,” he says.
Pro artists love it because it just gives you this really dewy, fresh, radiant look!
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè, $16 USD
This pro cult favorite moisturizer is so intensely hydrating that it actually has to be massaged and patted into the skin. But it also serves a dual purpose: Diane Kendal was using it to smudge the brown liner at Jason Wu, creating the illusion of a smoky eye.” At Proenza Schouler, she went without foundation and concealer altogether and insisted that a radiant, dewy complexion could be achieved with this moisturizer alone.
Egyptian Magic Skin Cream, $38 USD

“You can use it for pretty much anything,” says Benjamin Puckey, who keyed shows like Yigal Azrouël and MM6. “It’s great if a model has chapped skin, which is a lot more common at the fall shows. For right now, it’s ideal for pulling off that really fresh, dewy look on the cheeks and eyelids. It reflects the light in a natural-looking way.”

Chanel Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Care, $50 USD
“The girls’ lips are always so chapped because of all the lipstick and concealer that goes on,” Puckey says. “Every time I pull this out of my bag, the girls ask what it is. I know it’s so luxurious, but it’s definitely my favorite balm.”
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, $48 USD
“Most makeup setting sprays are mattifying, which makes sense, because they’re designed to finish your look or help refresh you during the day,” explains industry pro Troy Surratt at the Eva Fehren presentation. “But that’s definitely not the kind of look we’re seeing this season. It’s a lot more about a humectant, hydrated sort of finish, so I much prefer this product by Tatcha. It’s good to spray right before they hit the runway.”
MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl, $21 USD
Makeup pro Diane Kendal is known for creating natural-looking, radiant complexions. “I like the cream bases by MAC because they have a really nice sheen to them,” she said backstage at Prabal Gurung. “You can wear them over or under foundation and the light hits them for a really beautiful highlight.” She was applying them in a C-shape, starting from the center of the cheekbone to the browbone.
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat, $41 USD
“There’s just nothing else exactly like it,” Surratt says. “Even though there sure are a lot of imitations. No other formula has the perfect mix of pink and blue light-refracting pigments — it’s just so balanced! Any fine lines or imperfections in skin texture are just blown out by the light. I always use it under the eyes.”
Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Color in High Beam White, $30 USD
Dick Page, industry legend, keys big shows like Narciso Rodriguez and Michael Kors. “I always rely on these two face powders — High Beam White, a pearly white, and Soft Beam Gold, a natural bronze. They’re the perfect, finely milled blend of white and gold highlights. I love to mix them with blushes so that I can warm up a complexion without layering too many products.”
NARS The Multiple in Copacabana, $39 USD
Be it in Multiple or Liquid form, you can always tell when a look was created using Copacabana. In fact, at Rag & Bone, Gucci Westman started by patting the cream format onto the high points of the face, and then, once all the makeup was complete, went over her application with the liquid for added radiance. “I also added it to the tops of the eyes instead of using eyeshadow,” she said. (Do try this the morning after a late night — you’ll look instantly awake.)
Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof Undereye Concealer, $30.50 USD
Before Fashion Week, Kendal usually requests multiple boxes of these tiny little concealers, which are full-coverage when applied with fingers, but can be sheered out if you use a fluffy brush. She’s known to repeat the phrase “Concealer as needed,” backstage, meaning that she forsakes foundation altogether. This is the product that lets her do it.
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, $16 USD
“When it comes down to it, the only products a makeup artist really needs are a matte red lipstick, a sheer lip gloss, and a black eyeliner,” says Pecheux. His pick is this cream liner by MAC, which he used backstage at Ralph Rucci.“It’s my go-to black for whatever I’m doing,” seconds Val Garland, who used it to create the strong, graphic eyes at Herve Leger.
Madina Milano Chic & Shine Stick Foundation, $32 USD
This international treasure is the rumored favorite of Pat McGrath, who we hear purchases it in bulk every time she goes to Milan. Consider it the cultiest of cult beauty products — but you’ll definitely have to do some sleuthing when you need a restock.
Givenchy Magic Kajal Eye Pencil, $24 USD
Aaron de Mey, who created the look at Jill Stuart, is almost never seen without his favorite black eye pencil. The creamy formula is great for smudging into your waterline for a slightly messy, subtly smoky eye.
Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm, $3.99 USD
One of the most frequent things we see at Fashion Week is “glossy eyes,” which is actually a really pretty way to look polished without applying color. Normally, this is done withElizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, but since it’s oily, it can cause shadows to slide and is therefore undesirable for use in real life. “I prefer the Baby Lips by Maybelline,” Lane says. “They’re so cute! But, more importantly, they’re great for creating a dewy sort of eye look. And, it’s so nice to put lip balm on the lids, I think — it moisturizes them and feels refreshing.”
Surratt Relevée Lash Curler, $25 USD
There’s a certain iconic curler that’s dominated the market for a while, but Puckey insists it’s about to be usurped. “The arc on Surratt’s is larger, so it fits the eye better,” he explains. It also comes in a super-chic matte black color, so who could possibly resist?

MAC Prep + Prime Fix +, $22 USD
“It’s happened so many times where the girls will go to rehearsal and the makeup will be too much,” says Kabuki, who was the lead artist at Ohne Titel. “But, by that point, we don’t have time to start from scratch — especially if it’s something like taking down the foundation or the blush. A makeup artist’s worst nightmare is trying to remove complexion products, because it ends up creating a weird hole in the face! I really like the Fix+ spray because you can essentially use it as an eraser — it allows you to correct the mistake without creating a huge hole. We also use it a lot as a primer.”
Bumble and bumble Prep, $21 USD
“This is the perfect backstage product — I call it liquid conditioner. It has vitamins in it, so I can spray it all over the hair to rinse out any product residue and start with a clean canvas,” explains stylist Laurent Philippon. Think of it as dry shampoo…minus that whole dry part.
Kérastase Ciment Thermique, $18 USD
Because of the constant blowdrying, curling, and flatironing, models’ manes can look anything but tame by the week’s end. Odile Gilbert is a big fan of this conditioning milk, which she uses to give the girls a luxurious treatment before shows that require polished, “expensive” hair.
L’Oréal Elnett Hairspray, $14.99 USD
Because many of the shows are sponsored by specific beauty brands, that means pros have to use products from those lines to create the look. However, there are some products that are so good, artists insist they can’t create the looks they want without them. So, those products are smuggled backstage, but their labels are covered up by black tape so you can’t see what they are.L’Oréal Elnett is one such product. It’s nearly impossible to go backstage and not find a taped-up can with that familiar gold peeking out. It’s apparently the drugstore diamond of hairsprays — firm, brushable hold that’s cheap enough to buy in bulk in case of emergencies.

Tigi Bed Head Superstar Queen For A Day, $19.98 USD
“We have to ship boxes upon boxes of this product to all the big stylists,” explains TIGI creative director Nick Irwin, who also was in charge of the hair at Jonathan Simkhai and Libertine. “It’s always hiding! It’s taped up at all of their stations. If you look closely, you can see the purple color peeking out.” Apparently, this volumizing mist is the industry’s gold standard for adding “guts” (stylist-speak for lift and touchable texture) to the hair without weighing it down or feeling tacky. “It’s also got the best spray — most other formulas like it are designed for targeted root use. This one you can use all over.”A couple of hair pros insist — off the record — that it really is everything it’s chalked up to be. “More products like it are coming out, but it’s still the best one I’ve used. We have tons of it going through customs right now for when we land in Europe.”
Wella Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Spray, $16 USD
Piecey texture is the sort of mainstay look every stylist can count on doing at least once every Fashion Week. “It’s all about creating different points of interest on the head,” explains stylist Eugene Souleiman, who’s been known to literally tuck this product into his back pocket while doing hair. “If you apply this salt spray to blowdried hair, it’s given a bite. It behaves more like chemically treated hair because it’s more porous and tough, which is a cool sort of texture.”
TRESemmé FreshStart Volumizing Dry Shampoo USD
Star hairstylist Paul Hanlon coated the roots and lengths in Tresemmé Dry Shampoo at the 3.1 Phillip Lim Show. “If you spray all over, you’re able to really mold a style into something beautiful. It adds lots of texture and guts to the hair,” he says.
Bumble and bumble Surf Spray, $26 USD
If grittier, saltier, and matte texture is more your speed, then hair pro James Pecis insists you can’t go wrong with the cult classic Surf Spray. “A lot of brands create products that are in-the-middle — they’re not too weak that they don’t do anything, but they’re not too strong that only a pro could use them. Surf Spray is actually super-strong, but people really like it. People have tried to copy it, but I don’t think there’s one as good as this.”
Redken Control Addict 28 Hairspray, $20 USD
The legendary Guido Palau, who’s backstage at shows like Proenza Schouler, Hugo Boss, and Versus, is almost constantly surrounded by a cloud of hairspray. “I love this one because, despite it being high-hold, it’s still brushable and doesn’t flake or leave any visible residue,” he says. Translation? Even though it’s used to keep some of his more avant garde ‘dos in place, you can actually use this at home.
Mason Pearson Nylon & Boar Bristle Hair Brush, $170 USD
“It’s every stylist’s staple,” says hair guru Anthony Turner. “It’s great for everything from a really smooth blowdry to teasing without damaging,” he explains. That probably explains the hefty pricetag.
Qtica Solid Gold Anti-Bacterial Oil Gel, $22 USD

Models at Fashion Week can average up to six polish changes per day. And, while getting a manicure for your job doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, it can actually take a serious toll on the nails. “All of the remover and the chemicals in the products can really take a toll on the nail bed and the skin around it,” says Alicia Torello, who was in charge of tips and toes backstage at Oscar de la Renta. “I love applying this stuff to the skin right after a manicure because it makes the cuticles look super healthy right away.”

Orly Bonder Basecoat, $7.99 USD
“We have to work so fast back here,” Torello says. “And, the models will sometimes leave the chair and grab something from their purse or get food before the polish is dry. Basically, that means I need a bulletproof basecoat. This one has been my favorite for a really long time.”
For Pro Expert Gel Polish Cling Removal Wraps, $33.40 USD
Manicurist Madeline Poole was backstage at Peter Som, which was one of the first shows of the week. “A lot of the models still have gels on,” she says. “Removing them can really be a logistical nightmare — not to mention time-consuming — especially if you want to preserve the integrity of the nail. I randomly found these on Amazon and they’re seriously amazing. Plus, they’re way prettier than wrapping the girls’ fingers in tin foil!”

Jin Soon Diamond Nail File, $32 USD
“The shape this season has been short,” explains Jin Soon. “It’s an active nail to fit this very sporty, active woman. That means that the beginning of the week means a lot of filing for my team. My diamond file is expensive, but it’s very fast and easy to use. I couldn’t do the shows without it.”
Essie Nail Polish in Mademoiselle, $8.50 USD
“This nail polish has walked more runways than Karlie Kloss,” quips Michelle Saunders, who led the nail teams at Proenza Schouler and Carolina Herrera. “I would even say that it’s been at more shows than any other nail polish color ever. It’s fashion’s favorite nude. When I’m at a nail test and the stylist asks for a subtle, clean, but still pretty nail, I pull out Mademoiselle.”
Watch Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B Online Free Putlocker - PutLocker.Tw

Aaliyah - One In A Million from Inspire Music on Vimeo.

Aaliyah-Try Again [Clip 2002] from iWeeZy on Vimeo.

Aaliyah - More Than A Woman from Fabio Dantas on Vimeo.

Aaliyah ft. Timbaland - We Need A Resolution from DeVaughn Mills on Vimeo.

Aaliyah - Rock The Boat from DeVaughn Mills on Vimeo.

Aaliyah - If your girl only knew by welcomeback
Nov 2014 17

The bio pic detailing the life and career of singer/actress Aaliyah Haughton finally premiered over the weekend, and the response from the public was beyond harsh!

R&B singer Aaliyah Haughton died tragically in a plane crash in 2001 after filming a music video in the Bahamas.
After her passing there was a tremendous amount of demand to produce a movie about the singer’s life, and career.
Aaliyah’s family have consistently blocked, and rejected every attempt to produce a film documenting the singer’s life.
It has been 13 years since the demise of the R&B singer- and Hollywood, has respected the wishes of the Haughton family-until now.
Talk show host, and gossip queen Wendy Williams decided to cross that line of decency, and respect.
Williams decided to move forward and produce “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B”.
This movie was produced against the wishes of the singer’s family, which has many people outraged!
The film was produced by Wendy Williams without the consent, and support of Aaliyah’s family, friends and colleagues.
Since the movie garnered no support from Aaliyah’s family, and inner circle, Williams was denied access to Aaliyah’s music and imagery to support the film.
However, William’s boasted on her talk show stating that she was not going to let that prevent her from making the film.
This left Aaliyah’s fan’s outraged, and baffled by William’s audacity to produce the film without any reliable information, or contribution from the singer’s family, and people who knew the Aaliyah personally. Hence the film may be based on no real facts, and just assumptions about the singer’s life.  
Throughout my adolescence, I was an admirer and consumer of Aaliyah’s music.
I thought she was a wonderful developing talent, who’s life was cut short way too soon.
When I heard about the bio pic I was very excited. Like everyone else, I thought it was long overdue!
However, when I found out that Aaliyah’s family, friends and colleagues were against the film’s production, my excitement quickly turned into disappointment.
My disappointed steamed from the notion that if the family did not support the film, how accurate and honest could the film be?
Then when I learned that the film would not feature any of Aaliyah’s music I was completely turned off!
I had the opportunity to view the film, and needless to say, my assumptions about the quality, and accuracy of the film were confirmed.
In my opinion, the film was beyond disappointing. I felt like the film was a diminishment of Aaliyah’s legacy instead of a reflection of it.
It made the singer I admired, and enamored throughout my high school years appear lack luster, and talentless both as a performer and a personality.
The film was a poor representation of  Aaliyah’s status as a entertainer and A-list celebrity.  
Again, in my option,  the film attempted to downplay Aaliyah’s legacy, which was both sad, and discouraging to someone who remembers the singer, and her ability to capture an audiences attention, and soon the world.
So, judge for yourself!
Click on the link above to view the full film, “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B”.
After watching the movie leave your comments, and reactions below.
If you are too young to know, and appreciate who Aaliyah was, I have taken the liberty of adding a few of Aaliyah’s music video’s above for your viewing pleasure.
Also, below you can find the IMDB links to the films that Aaliyah starred in before her untimely death.
If you have the opportunity you should check them out. I recommend stating with the film”Romeo Must Die”.
Films starring Aaliyah:

S. Lenore


Other celebrities that are mentioned in ”Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B”.



R. Kelly




Missy Elliot


Damon Dash



Before Aaliyah’s death she was hired to star in the last 2 Matrix films.
Unfortunately, Aaliyah died before completing the films so her role was re-casted with Nona Gaye.
Here are a few photos of Aaliyah on set filming The Matrix shortly before her death. 
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