Thoughts, Travels, & Pretty Things


Beyonce’s Met Gala 2015 Dress Was All About Hoisting Her Feminist Power

An unstoppable force, a freak of nature, superhuman, and at this point in the game, Queen Bey really doesn’t give a f*ck. The press (dressed to the nines, leaned on the barricades in painful heels) waited two long hours after the biggest stars including Reese Witherspoon, Kim Kardashian, and Jennifer Lawrence made it up the red carpet coated staircase at the 2015 Met Gala exhibit, themed China: Through the Looking Glass, on Monday, May 4.

If you thought Beyonce’s MET Gala 2015 red carpet look was all about being naked, then you totally missed the point.

Just when hope for a Beyonce sighting appeared to be a lost cause the supreme diva announced her own arrival with high quality pictures via her Instagram account. Sorry reporters and photo agencies, Beyonce just stole your thunder once again. She did eventually decided to trek and pose on the stairs, showcasing her extremely sheer custom Givenchy gown with cautiously placed multi-colored jewels. Forget about the dress for one second because Beyonce’s body in itself is worthy of all the headlines. Queen Bey’s attendance was all about breaking the rules (i.e. Anna Wintour’s social media selfie ban), while showcasing her earnest dedication to loving her mind, body, and spirit. She didn’t pose in a matter that suggested fear or coyness.

Bey went bold. She glared at the photographer’s pit with passion and though wearing little clothes she remained confident in that presentation. Not even Kim Kardashian — a woman who is naked nearly every 3-4 months — couldn’t pull of a stunt like that with such ease. Though she tried, she took clear inspiration from the whimsical and sultry feel of Beyonce’s 2014 MET Gala dress, which explains the copycat version Kardashian donned in white designed by Roberto Cavalli.

The Beyonce of 2015 is not the 18-year-old we once knew. She’s a mother, a superstar, a CEO, a wife, and worth $500 million dollars. She brings her own to every table and makes no apologies for her accomplishments. She should be an inspiration for all women. Those suffering from Beyonce fatigue should probably run to a doctor to see about a prescription, because she has at least 15-20 more years of reigning to do.

Coffee aka The Stressed Out Career Woman’s Crack


* Written while downing a cup at 10:29 p.m. Welp * 

I have a confession to make. I drink way more coffee than what should be humanly allowed. I’m not the cute Starbucks Soy-Vanilla-Bean-Chai-Blah-Blah-Blah sipping with a straw type drinker, though I so wish I was. I take my coffee wrong and strong. No seriously, with each overflowing cup of caffeinated pleasure I sink deeper and deeper into the coffee drinkers’ remorse. Oh, you’ve never heard of such a diagnosis? Well, let me be the first to tell you it’s real and it’s bad. There’s the unshakeable self-consciousness that comes along with knowing you’ll never have those Crest commercial pearly whites. Sigh. That’s why MAC’s Ruby Woo lipstick was invented in the first place. With its vision-tricking properties, the dryer-than-concrete blue-based red is a first date essential. Besides, the man for me must love me for my than my teeth, right? Welp.

coffeeaddict Then comes the jitters. The jitters that seem to instantly take hold of your nervous system, making you a multitasking mess. And then once the high comes down you don’t even know how to productively function without your hit. At the start of every week you promise in vain that this will be the week to make a change. Along with waking up an hour earlier to work out, this is the week you commit to breaking free from the charmingly seductive roasted and liquefied beans’ hold. “I will not be a slave to coffee!” you say while avoiding eye contact with every coffee peddler in close proximity. So here’s the deal, Mr. Right: I will probably never get over my coffee addiction. Not until the day they sell it in small digestible tablets, and this is something I’ve come to terms with. Coffee, I love you.

Royalton White Sanda

The Ultimate Indulgence: Beauty Editor Getaway to the Royalton White Sands in Jamaica

Ended up with a puff and a red lip. #SoBeautifulInJamaica by @candaceamos

I went to Jamaica for the weekend. Not the section in the borough of Queens, but the actual Caribbean island, roughly four and a half hours away from New York by plane and where the people and the weather are almost always pleasant. I was invited along with a group of distinguished writers, bloggers, and beauty experts by Finn Partners and Strength of Nature, a hair care conglomerate that houses 12 unique brands.

Can I be candid with you? I was afraid when I received this invite. Not because I was traveling alone to another country, but because I felt like I no longer belonged in this circle. It’s been a while since I’ve written about black hair care let alone natural hair. I’ve been natural for four years now and I’m beyond the stage where I continuously obsessed over hair styles and hair types (ha!). I was excited to go on the trip, but I wouldn’t even allow myself to believe that I was really going until I arrived at the airport and checked in; no lie. Well, after a six hour delay following what seemed like a never-ending snowstorm, I finally arrived at the Royalton White Sands resort in Trelawny Parish around 9:30 p.m.

The New York crew and I met the writers from Atlanta, Washington D.C, and Chicago, who all arrived promptly, sans weather delays and airplane mechanical problems. With a few greetings and hugs, it didn’t take long for me to get my mind right and realize that this weekend would be about more than just dipping my hands in product. I’d soon be establishing new relationships and celebrating the beauty of women who look just like me.

One big massive selfie with some of the journalists and bloggers on the trip. Regram @browneyereporter #SoBeautifulInJamaica by @candaceamos

On Friday morning we had breakfast, which was followed up by an in-depth presentation featuring celebrity hair stylist Felecia Leatherwood and hair educator Pamela Hogan, who both offered a bevy of styling tips using African Pride, Elasta QP (my fave!) and Soft & Beautiful Botanicals on a spectrum of hair types. Being beauty experts for our own individual outlets allowed us to chance to extract information, skills, and techniques to implement into future stories. Like, did you know that you need more than water to moisturize your hair? There’s misinformation floating around the natural hair community that suggests we only need oil and water for our manes to thrive, but unfortunately that just isn’t the case. And natural ladies, please, don’t be afraid to detangle with combs; so many of us aren’t doing it.

Cruising around Montego Bay. by @candaceamos

After our morning tea wrapped up we took a catamaran cruise around Montego Bay. The DJ was live, the drinks were flowing, and many of us were sprawled about in our cute bathing suits like we were in a music video. And when the DJ played Beyonce’s “7/’11,” you couldn’t tell us nothing!

A group of beauty writers + Beyonce + Rum Punch = This #SoBeautifulInJamaica by @candaceamos

The highlight for me was our visit to the River Bumpkin Farm in Falmouth, Jamaica, along the Martha Brae River. We learned so much information from the names of the trees to why bananas are curved (Thank you, Island Routes!).

Y’all see my foot in the air? I was in the middle of the best foot massage I’ve ever received from “Surprise” our @IslandRoutes tour guide during the River Bumpkin tubing excursion. He gave us fresh coconuts and made our straws from a nearby bamboo tree. Then he gathered some flowers and made us all personal bouquets. It was such a wonderful and relaxing experience. #VisitJamaica #LiveFunner by @candaceamos

We were offered an opportunity to go biking, tubing, or kayaking. I was leaning more towards biking (you know, for safety reasons), but I said what the heck, YOLO, let’s go tubing and it was the best decision I made. Christina of LoveBrownSugar, Jessica of The Glamazons Blog, and Lexi of LexiWithTheCurls and I lazied around the river for hours gabbing on about life as we occasionally roughed through the rapids. The girls even got out of their tubes and jumped off a small cliff. (I didn’t because HEIGHT and SPEED).

Then our tour guide who’s nickname was fittingly “Surprise” gave us limestone foot massages that felt like heaven. We had raw coconut juice, sugar cane, oranges, and just so many sweets along the way. If his generosity wasn’t already stretched enough, he made us all personalized floral bouquets. At the end of the excursion we feasted on divine pumpkin soup, jerk chicken, and rice and beans. Ugh, so delish! I can go on and on about how amazing this trip was. I already want to go back.

I enjoyed lazying around the river with these ladies for two hours. I learned @msandrews can dance her butt off, @lovebrownsugar has been to every country around the globe, and @lexiwiththecurls is an excellent rope cliff jumper, and our tour guide is full of surprises! Haha #IslandRoutes #SoBeautifulinJamaica #VisitJamaica by @candaceamos

It just felt good to connect with my sisters in media if only just for a few days. It felt great to be reminded that I’m black woman with kinky hair and my beauty deserves to be acknowledge just the same as anyone else. We were a group of women from different places and backgrounds who united to celebrate our beauty. I had one more late revelation on my plane ride home: Our trip coincided with International’s Women’s Day, and instead of just tweeting about it, I was really living it! How’s that for divine intervention?

Peace out Jamaica! Love ya long time. Yeah mon! #VisitJamaica #SoBeautifulinJamaica by @candaceamos

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