Current // May 8, 2014

Summer is coming! And there is a new health and fitness destination online that will help whip you into shape. Brocollete.com is a new wellness platform for women of all colors. The site will provide video lessons from various health and wellness practitioners to educate, inspire and enable women to live healthier lives. Brocollete.com will cover topics from natural medicine, homeopathy, physical training, organizational tools, meditation, on-the-go fitness, juicing, clean cooking, utilizing creativity for emotional health and more. The site was started by LA based health and wellness curator, Njambi Gibson, who has devoted her career to inspiring and educating people toward passionate, healthier living.   

For this next week, in exchange for kick starting Brocollete, Njambi will whip you into your happiest, healthiest, most beach-ready self with recipe books and guides found on her RocketHub site. Here’s a sneak peak of some great tips to get you right for the summer!

1.    Drink Responsibly

Dump those sugary calorie-laden drinks in favor of chia seed water, fresh green juice, herbal iced teas and coconut water. You can also eat your water in the form of hydrating fruits and vegetables. Cucumber, watermelon, lettuce and celery are great choices!    

2.    Get It In

Your workouts don’t have to be hours long. Get them in where they fit in your daily routine.  Hit the squats in the a.m. while brushing your teeth, applying makeup or making a smoothie.  Perform isometric exercises at your desk and keep a pair of weights handy.  Don’t forget classics like parking further away and swapping elevator rides for stairs!


3.    Shake it Like a Saltshaker

Excessive salt consumption causes us to retain water, making us look and feel bloated.  While eating out or shopping for pre-packaged foods, ask for dressings and sauces on the side and opt for salt free alternatives.  When cooking, flavor food with fresh herbs, garlic, lemon and spices instead of salt.  

4.    Don’t get Gassed Up

Consume chewing gum, sugar free snacks, beer, sparkling drinks, dairy products and other gas producing foods in moderation.  Considering cooking fibrous vegetables --broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage -- and be sure to soak beans before cooking. Remember to eat slowly and make decisions based on the way your stomach feels.

5.    Get Me Bodied

Exfoliate skin weekly with a homemade salt and sugar scrub.  Scrub daily with a natural sponge or gloves to remove buildup.  Use Shea butter to even skin tone and reduce the appearance of scars.

For more great tips and insights including a Healthy Snack Recipe Book, Drinks and Smoothies Recipe Ebook, Wellness Guide for Busy Professionals and a Natural Beauty Guide visit the Brocollete Rockethub site, found below for the next week! And for exclusive first look of the site, leave your email address on Brocollete.com!

Published in Current
Monday, 29 July 2013 04:25

Style | We know It's Summer But...

Style // July 29, 2013

Every summer at my old job they would send out an email with the subject line, "We know it's summer but..." Basically, it was a friendly reminder to all employees that the summer heat didn't mean you should let it all hang out. These emails would always make me laugh, but then at lunchtime in the outdoor quad I'd look around and realized how necessary said email was. Even outside the workplace, I think some folks need the reminder to reel in their wardrobe as the temperature shoots up. Summertime makes people go crazy with their outfits and you can find these culprits at the grocery store, the mall or just walking down the street. So, with this in mind, I know it's summer but....

1. Lets not forget the fingertip rule. You remember... Your momma or your grandma always checked to see if your skirt was long enough by making you hold your arms down to make sure the hem reached your fingertips. This rule doesn't go out the door since you are an adult now. If fact, your skirts should probably be a bit longer than this for the office.

2. Booty cleavage is not a real thing. First of all, what the hell? I've seen this a lot lately and it really baffles me. I've heard of cleavage and even toe cleavage -- but booty cleavage? In terms of style, it's not sexy because you are revealing too much off the bat. I never thought I'd say this, but can we please go back to daisy dukes??

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3. Less isn’t always more. Summer is great for getting some sun and showing some skin but you can also be a showstopper by playing with colors and adding funky accents. Long maxi dresses, cute rompers and sexy jump suits are all great summer options.

4. Adding a vest to a bra or bathing suit only works at the pool. This may be cool for a beach or pool party but please put the girls away for all other occasions.


5. Not all tights are created equal. I know -- it's convenient to throw on a pair of tights, get up and go. But some tights are super thin and show off everything. If you can see that birthmark on your upper thigh through your tights, then those are stockings. Check to make sure you aren't basically walking around pants-less and, to be extra sure, wear a long shirt whenever you wear tights.

While some would never leave home having made these fashion faux pas others may need the gentle reminder. It’s nice and warm this summer, but let's not lose our heads in the heat of the moment. Keep it classy and fun when putting together your wardrobe. We are Made, right?

Published in Fashion
Friday, 14 June 2013 01:16

Style | Best Nail Looks for Summer

Style // June 17, 2013

The temperature is going up, the skirts are coming out and you’ve completely updated your look for summer. Don’t stop with just your wardrobe. Here are some hot new nail trends to try so you can be summer ready down to the smallest detail:


1. Nude Nails

One of the biggest nail trends seen on the NYFW runway for 2013 was nude nails. From tans and browns to blushes and barely-there peaches, this look gives off a fresh polished vibe. Nude nails are also great accents to nail art; we love a basic nude manicure with glitter tips or an added pop of color. Nude nails are perfect for a versatile summer look and can look great with a summer dress or colored jeans and a tank.

Favorite Shades:

OPI - Mimosas 

Butter London- Yummy Mummy 

Deborah Lippmann- Fashion


2. Matte Nails 

Forget shine, gloss and glitter, one of the biggest trends continuing into summer is matte nails. Today’s best matte looks have a satin finish and slight sheen that creates a unique statement. There are plenty of matte polishes in every color, but you can also just as easily get the look with any number of matte top coats that will turn your favorite lacquer into matte finish. Matte colors also can serve as a great foundation for nail art that incorporates both matte and glossy polishes into one look.

Favorite Shades:

OPI- Russian Navy

Essie -Matte About You TopCoat

Zoya Mod Mattes Collection - Lolly



3. Textured Nails 

Who doesn’t love a little texture? This summer, go the extra mile and take your manicure into 3-D! Add some jewels, dots, hardware or embellishment to just one nail or on the tips for a wow moment. Some of the biggest trends for the summer include the caviar manicure in a number of colors which add an instant glam to your look. You can also try a textured look with Zoya’s Pixie-Dust polishes, which give the feel of a sand-art effect, or a “velvet” polish like with Sally Hansen’s new Fuzzy Coat line in a variety of wild shades and combos. Try these textured looks with a simple accessories, so that they can take center stage.

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Favorite Shades:

Ciate Caviar Manicure- Black Pearls

Zoya PixieDust - Godiva

Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat - Fuzz-sea



4. French Twist 

It’s time to rethink your clear and white tipped idea of the classic French manicure. This summer, update this trend with new colors and dimensions. Play up your favorite colors by adding black tips to a colored nail, colored tips to a peach or nude nails or adding metallic tips. Or reverse the whole trend and try a half-moon manicure instead, giving a different color to the base of the nail. The combinations are endless, and we are loving them all. For summer, experiment with shades like pink and coral, blue and aqua or try an ombre effect with different color tips.



5. Neon Nails 

Lastly, neon is a trend that we are seeing on the runway, and across our favorite fashion blogs. Our favorite neon nail trends include pops of neon in nail art with nude and black nails as well as ombre nails including neon colors. We love this look at the pop of color with a neutral ensemble.

Favorite Shades:

American Apparel Neon Nail Polish - Neon Yellow

China Glaze- Pink Voltage

Illamasqua Nail Varnish - Electric Lilac


What favorite nail trends and colors are you trying? Share your manicure photos with us and tweet us at @madewomanmag with your thoughts!

Published in Beauty

Lifestyle // June 17, 2013

Each month this summer Lindsay Jones of Foodflirt.com will pick one ingredient that is usually overlooked and share her tips on how to use it. Spice up your dishes and your life by trying something new! Read the other entries here.

What exactly is that white and green, bulbous thing sitting on the produce shelf with celeryesque stalks decorated by fine, feathery fronds? Why, it’s FENNEL my friend—a refreshing and delicious vegetable. The flavor is slightly sweet, with notes of mellow black licorice and crisp texture.

I had my first “fennel flirtation” at a cozy little cafe in Laguna Beach. I was sitting at a tiny table in front of an open window facing the ocean, breathing in the damp sea and feeling the cool, salty breeze. I wanted a light snack with bright flavors. Always one to try something new, I ordered the shaved fennel salad with blood orange supremes, cracked black pepper and a Meyer lemon vinaigrette. The subtle hints of black licorice from the fennel danced beautifully with the sour lemon, spicy pepper and sweet, juicy orange pieces. I became a fennel fan right then and there. Now I pass along to you some fun fennel facts as well as my three favorite ways to enjoy fennel.

What is Fennel?

Fennel is used frequently in Mediterranean and Italian cooking, but there are endless ways to create edible delights with this member of the Umbelliferae family. Carrots, parsley, dill and coriander are all relatives of this versatile veggie. Some will tell you fennel is also called anise, but it’s not. They are two different plants (though related), and if you need proof, click here.

Eat This With That...

Fennel pairs well with the following: butter, celery root, cheese, chestnuts, citrus, coriander, cream, fruit, garlic, hearts of palm, lemon, mushrooms, olive oil, olives, onions, oranges, pancetta, peppers, Pernod, potatoes, sherry, thyme, tomatoes, truffles, and vinaigrette. The best part? Experimenting with these combinations may produce magical results! Fennel can be served raw, roasted, braised, grilled, deep fried, pureed, sautéed and in soups.

Fennel Facts

The bulb, stalks, and fronds are all edible parts of the fennel plant, but the bulb is the section most commonly used in cooking, while the stalks and fronds are generally used for garnish. To prepare fennel, cut off the stalks and fronds (perhaps save for garnish or stock). If the bulb is large, you might want to peel off the thicker outer layer. Next slice off the root end and shave it, slice it, dice it, cut it into wedges or roast it whole!

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3 Fabulous Fennel Recipes

Shaved Fennel Grapefruit Salad with Pea Shoots and Vodka Citrus Vinaigrette My favorite way to eat fennel is shaved-thin and raw in salads with a perfect amount of sea salt and citrus. This is when I can really taste the licorice flavor that I love!

Scallop Fennel Chowder {By Coconut & Lime} Fennel is delicious is many soups, but this chowder, made with sweet scallops, shallots, and bacon won my heart recently.

Pecorino-Roasted Fennel and Carrots {By Buff Chickpea} Roasting fennel is one rockin’ way to enjoy this unique vegetable. It brings out the sweetness and is an easy side dish to make that still brings a fair amount of flare to the table.

So, the next time you’re shopping, toss a few fennel bulbs in the basket and have fun flirting with this healthy, fabulous food.

Published in Lifestyle
Saturday, 16 June 2012 17:40

Made Music | Summer Playlist

June 18, 2012

What would summer be without fun, friends, a mimosa or two, and—of course—great music! Wherever your life takes you this summer, be sure to have your soundtrack ready. If you’re having some trouble putting together your own mix, let Made Woman help provide some inspiration with a few tracks we picked out.

“Dancing in the Moonlight”-Toploader
Summer nights are perfect for making memories with friends, family or that special someone. Let this song by Toploader play and invoke carefree vibes in you and your loved ones.


“Twisted”-Usher
Uh oh! Usher is going back to his soulful roots with this one. Is he moving away from techno beats for good? No telling. But this track reminds us that he can always make us want to dance.



“We Are Young”-Fun. ft. Janelle Monae
Act as young as you feel and let the merriment commence. Now don’t go and start an all out bar fight, but don’t be afraid to take a walk on the wild side!


“Get Me Bodied”-Beyonce

Calling all ladies! Single or not, don’t forget to have a night on the town with your besties this summer. Show the world what you’re working with and how you rock it!



“Anything We Want”-Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple’s shaky yet powerful vocals captivate you as the cryptic melody tumbles along. I love how she embraces the ambiguity and create music so uniquely her own.  


“California Love”-2Pac ft. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
When you think of great weather and parties, California always comes to mind. This classic is guaranteed to take to you back and remind you of a different time in hip hop.


“Cameo Lover”-Kimbra
Kimbra is definitely an up-and-comer to watch. If you’re sick of “Somebody that I Used to Know” at this point, you’ll enjoy hearing her on this upbeat throwback track.



“Let's Go”-Ne-Yo & David Guetta
Another song with a great club beat, this is sure to keep the hot summer spots packed. How could you hear this and not want to dance?



“Off to the Races”-Lana Del Rey
While Lana Del Rey is known for her slower, somber melodies, something about her music and visuals just scream “summer.” This is one for your more low-key summer moments.



“212”-Azealia Banks
Azealia’s flow and fresh blend of hip hop and house makes her one of the coolest female emcees out right now. You can’t help but pick up her confident, carefree vibe when you listen to this one. She does have a mouth on her, though, so this one isn’t for the faint of heart!




What’s in heavy rotation on your iPod? Tell us in the comments below!


Published in Entertainment

June 4, 2012

Now that summer is here, women everywhere are looking for the newest, cutest hairstyles. We have done the legwork for you and gathered a few of our favorites here for inspiration. We know our readers have all sorts of different lengths, textures and styles, but at least one of these should work for you.  Go ahead and give one a try....and be sure to send us before and after pics!

Ombre Colored Hair
Ombre colored hair is popping up everywhere. And for good reason -- it’s a fun way to add a pop of color to your hair. Ombre is a French word that literally means shaded; it’s a graduation of color from light to dark, or vice versa, starting from the roots. It basically looks like your hair color has grown out…but in a good way. I like it because it is low maintenance, it’s a good way to grow out your roots, and did I mention how fun it was?



Box Braids
This next style is a blast from the past: Box braids! They have become wildly popular within in the last year, largely due to Solange  (a style maven in her own right) rocking them. Box braids were really popular with young black women in the 1990s. I know had some when I was younger. They are basically single plaits, sometimes done with extensions-- but the beauty lies in the simplicity! Some wear them super thick (think Janet Jackson in the 90’s), and others add colors.  My favorite look is the one with all types of bright colors. I like them because you can do so many different styles with them and -- major bonus! -- you can get up and go without having to do much to your hair. This is definitely a trend I am going to be trying…



Fishtail Braid
It’s  safe to say that the fishtail braid or plait is the "it" style of the season. Whether perfectly neat or purposely messy, the texture and seemingly complicated pattern of this sea-inspired style provide a refreshing visual twist on your typical 3-strand weave. But before you go braid-crazy on your locks, you've got to learn the basics.  Do your research; there are tons of tutorials on YouTube and blogs. I like this style because it’s simple and it instantly turns your hair into high-fashion form.



Bohemian Crown
The bohemian crown may have started off as a wreath of flowers, but now the look has evolved into a 360-degree braided headband.  I knew that this hairstyle would take off because of the character that it adds to every look. We loved the braided crown on celebrities like Sienna Miller and Emma Watson, though some of us were intimidated by the level of difficulty. But don’t worry! Once again, YouTube will teach you all that you need to know to pull off this style correctly. 



Messy Bun
The messy bun is the perfect answer to the summer heat. The last thing you want is matted hair stuck to you face and neck…Not cute. Don’t fall victim to this. I like the messy bun because it’s low maintenance, chic, stylish, and suitable for many occasions. And the best part is you don’t have to worry about fixing your hair throughout the day because it’s supposed to be messy!


Asymmetrical Bob
Asymmetrical bob haircuts were huge in the 1980s, and they're making a comeback among women who live on the (jagged) edge.  Asymmetrical cuts and layers are in high demand and women are running to their local beauty salons to put in their request. If you are thinking about making a major style change, this is a trend you might consider if you want to add a touch of edginess and attitude to your style. I like it because it is fierce, fun, and flirty. Serve it up. *two snaps*


Hope this provided some inspiration for your next hairstyle! Don’t be afraid to try something different…fabulous hair is awaiting you.

Published in Hair
Saturday, 02 June 2012 17:01

Entertainment | Summer TV Preview

June 4, 2012

With no space to waste on your DVR, its important to know which shows you need to catch and which you can skip. Here is a preview of what the summer TV season has to offer:

Single Ladies
I’m not going to lie; last summer this show was my guilty pleasure. I can’t do nonstop-drama shows like Basketball Wives and all that nonsense, but there was something about Single Ladies that made me overlook the blatant ignorance and poor representations of black women and DVR the hell out of it. Maybe it was the way the fashion choices veer from hawt to hot mess with each episode. Maybe it was the parade of beautiful people men, with everyone from T.O. to Common making guest appearances. But this season opener made me seriously rethink my ladies night TV pick. I mean, how did the already bad acting and plot lines get worse?? Stacy Dash playing Val, with her showstopper body and incredibly naïve storyline, is gone. Replacing her is the younger, but no more believable, Denise Vasi as Raquel, whose storyline is so disempowering (she leaves her high paying job to become a wannabe model?). LisaRaye as Keisha and Charity Shea as April have the same complicated storylines, but without Stacy Dash to anchor all the drama everything seems way too convoluted. In short, I think I am going to be switching over to re-runs of Sex In The City on ladies night. It never fails!



Duets
Sigh. Yet another singing competition show hits the airwaves just in time for the summer season. Duets features Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Robin Thicke and Jennifer Netters, who are not only mentors for a group of up-and-coming singers, but also singing partners who compete with them as well. Potentials from around the country will perform alongside these stars in order to win a recording contract with Hollywood Records.  I’m not sure how this show based around a recycled premise plans to cover new ground, especially since Kelly Clarkson and Robin Thicke are already regulars on The Voice, but I do know that my momma is already hooked.



Dallas
Premiering June 13th TNT is bringing back the classic 80’s soap Dallas. Not quite sure how they managed to resurrect Patrick Duffy (Dallas, Step By Step) for this one, but the cast including Jesse Metcalfe (Desperate Housewives) and Josh Henderson should liven things up.  This show is bound to be chalk full of drama and backstabbing. Nowhere else on TV will you be able to watch a rich family torture each other and lie, cheat, steal in order to get even richer. Oh, wait I forgot about the Kardashians…



True Blood
Everyone’s favorite group of vampires, witches, fairies, werewolves and shapeshifters are back starting on June 10!  The last season of True Blood left viewers with a lot of questions.  Is Tara really dead?  What is going on with Arlene and Terry?  How the hell does Sookie manage to have 3 of the hottest men in town all drooling over her?  Will we ever get tired of hearing Bill say “SOOK-EH!”?  True Blood loves reveling in its completely over the top fantasy-world and getting as wild and out there as possible, and that’s what makes watching this show so much fun.  Even when some of the story arcs get a little ridiculous (Jason in a cult, anyone?), this show is impossible to tear yourself away from.  You never know what new thing they’re going to cook up next, and it definitely doesn’t hurt that you get to watch Alcide’s amazing body running around shirtless, either.  My DVR is already set!



Newsroom
This one is not for the casual couch potato. The Newsroom is a fast paced, new drama starring Jeff Daniels (THE Jeff Daniels!  Love that guy.) that explores what happens when a news anchor actually, you know, tells the truth. The preview for this one looks like what might happen if Bill O’Reilly took a truth serum right before his show. And maybe a few shots of vodka.  It has me intrigued. Can people really tell the truth on TV?? The Newsroom plans to find out.  Premiering June 24th on HBO, vote yes for original, scripted television and tune in for this one.




Published in Entertainment

June 4, 2012

The word bootcamp incites dread or, even fear, in some people. Other people won’t workout unless in a bootcamp class. I’m here to tell you about a new way to bootcamp. It’s easy on your joints, makes you sweat hard but you won’t even know it, and can take your fitness training to a whole new level. Sounds unreal doesn’t it? No, it’s not mythical. It’s Bootcamp H2O, and it ain’t like your gram-mama’s water aerobics class.

In addition to water resistance devices that are handheld and strapped around your ankles, expect to use resistance bands, dumbbells, and medicine balls, that are typically found on dry-land bootcamp classes. Some of the exercise include drills reminiscent of Navy Seals, water polo, and competitive swim team exercises. Because the workout is done in water, you’ll be able to do far more squat jumps, lunges, and high intensity cardio intervals without your joints feeling like you switched bodies with granny. So, this is a great alternative for those of you who might want an intense workout but have nagging knee, back, or hip pain.

A workout like this, in addition to working you hard without being hard on your hips, knees, and back, will have you burning anywhere between 400-700 calories per hour! You’ll burn fat and sculpt muscles you didn’t know you had. And you do one thing that no other land workout will ever do for you—increase lung volume. Depending on how hard you work, you will have the potential to increase how much oxygen your lungs can hold. Water workouts are the only forms of exercise, scientifically proven to improve your lung capacity (however, this is a temporary improvement; it goes back to “normal” once you discontinue your training.)

Are you convinced yet that this workout is phenomenal? This water workout will kick you booty just as hard if not harder than any land workout without making you feel like you got hit by a train. If you’re worried about your delicate joints doing what sounds like unnatural movements, don’t—this workout was developed by a physical therapist and an expert swim coach and are offered at different levels. There is one prerequisite, however. You must know how to swim. Oh, and that you have to be in the Los Angeles area—go to www.bootcamph2o.com for the class nearest you. (If you’re not ready for the water, check out my other article that will help you pick out the best bootcamp class for you)

If you have that covered, grab a $3 swim cap, goggles, bathing suit, and a towel, and get ready to get wet and then get in beach body shape.

Published in Health

May 07, 2012

Summer is right around the corner! That means it’s time for hot summer days and nights, barbeques, exciting vacation, beaches and…bathing suits. Just hearing the words bathing suit can either make you super excited or want to run to your nearest gym and get on your Kanye work out plan. Either way, the time has come for us to do a bit of shopping for a new suit.

Shopping for swim suits can be an awful experience if you are unsure of the type of suit that fits your body type.  Like all clothing, not all trends can be worn by all women. When selecting a bathing suit, you want to look for the right fit, style, and pattern that will flatter your shape. Here are a few options for several body types which should give you a few ideas on what to look for this season.

Body Type: Athletic

Show off all of the hard work you’ve put in at the gym with a sexy bathing suit this summer. Avoid suits with wide straps that will broaden your shoulder and may make you look manly. Stick with bikinis with a low cut chest and bottoms to create the illusion of curves on your figure. Also, stick with bold bright colors and patterns.

   

Body Type: Hour Glass Figure

If you are lucky enough to have an hour glass figure, you can pretty much pull off any look. You want to focus on the shape of your suit. Your breasts should be well supported and you want to choose suits that will complement your tiny waist. These two piece picks will look great on you!

   

Body Type: Full figured

The perfect suit for a plus sized woman will provide maximum support for her bust, flatters her shape, and hides any imperfections. Look for tankini tops, built in bras or one piece suits for your most flattering look. If you prefer two piece suits, look for suits that have the high-waist vintage look for additional tummy control. Also, ruching, fringe, ruffles and other elements are great ways to hide your problem areas while pulling off a flawless look. 



Body Type: Small Bust

Women that have a smaller bust should look for tops with additional padding, push-up bras, halter tops or bandeau tops which will create the illusion of a fuller top. Look for bright colors and bold prints for your most flattering look. Look for tops with ruffles to create the illusion of additional volume and avoid tops that are too big or provide too much coverage.

   

Body Type: Bigger Bust

If you have a bigger bust you want to look for suits that provide maximum support. If you prefer a two piece suit, look for halter tops or a top with under wire for support. Look for tops with thick straps or built in bras and avoid strapless, bandeau or string bikinis. Draw attention downward by looking for suits that have dark colors on top and brighter colors on the bottom.

 

Try out different types of bath suiting before you buy. Know your body and know what looks best on you! 





Published in Fashion