Finding The Best Makeup Brushes For Your Look

Written by Lauren Thomas

For beauty mavens (and anyone who wears makeup on a regular basis), it’s a fact that a great makeup brush can be the difference between smooth sailing and a total disaster during your morning routine. The best brushes offer a comfortable grip, smooth bristles, and full coverage when used in combination with powder or liquid makeup. But with all the options out there, it can be hard to settle on a great set of brushes to make your mornings easy. That’s why the team at Reviews.com researched and tested leading brushes to create a buyer’s guide to help readers find the best matches for them. They recommend looking at a few key factors the next time you’re in the market:

Softness is an obvious first choice. Nobody wants a scratchy brush poking you in the face as you try to apply blush, right? Test out the feel of the brush lightly against the back of your hand to ensure it’s comfortable.

Fallout is an important indicator of performance. You want a dense brush that sheds bristles as little as possible. Tug lightly at the end of the brush to see how much fallout there is. You might be surprised, as higher prices don’t necessarily indicate higher quality in this respect. High-end brushes may shed just as much as cheaper options, so beware!

Check out the comfort of the grip. Many brush manufacturers are getting fancy with the color and shape of the handle of their brushes, but don’t let pretty designs fool you. Keep in mind that double-ended brushes might seem helpful, but can actually end up smudging your makeup as you go. And rubberized “gummy” handles may pick up lint and hair (not to mention tons of makeup) wherever you keep them.

Application quality, of course, is key. A makeup brush should facilitate a smooth, streak-free layer of product, regardless of whether its gel, powder or liquid. And while most consumers can’t go out and test all of their makeup brush options, buyer guides like this one from Reviews.com can help inform your decision.

Ultimately, the price and brand name of a brush doesn’t necessarily determine how well it will perform. After comparing 70 different brushes and hand-testing the leading options, they found that their finalists spanned a variety of price points from e.l.f’s $1 – $12 offerings to Tom Ford’s $47-$115 line. There are great options out there for every budget and every type of beauty enthusiast. For more information you can check out the full guide here: https://www.reviews.com/makeup-brushes/

Still not sure about investing in a great set? Cosmopolitan has a great intro to the 12 essential makeup brushes to have and their functions.

The Best Advice Mark Cuban Has for Entrepreneurs

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

Mark Cuban, serial entrepreneur, billionaire, and judge on Shark Tank, has always been “life goals.” The no-nonsense man is smart, forward-thinking and hard-working. And along the way, he has always been open about the road to his success and has given great advice on how to make it as an entrepreneur/business owner. Here, we rounded up some of the best advice Cuban has shared over the years:

1. “Don’t follow your passion.” “Or, if you have been able to have some success, what was the key to the success? Was it the passion or the effort you put into your job or company?” He suggests looking at how you are already spending your time and “follow your effort” instead of your passion.

2. “Work harder and smarter than most people in the businesses.” It seems simple, but more often than not, people try to take the easy way out instead of seeing something all the way through.

3. “It doesn’t matter how you live. It doesn’t matter what car you drive. It doesn’t matter what kind of clothes you wear.” No matter how much money you make, living beyond your means is guaranteed to get you in financial trouble.

4. “Rather than trying to convince people you are the best, let the quality of your work do the talking.” This goes back to working hard. Show people your success instead of just telling them.

Here Are 3 of Our Favorite Women Directors

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

Woman directors have been taking over Hollywood the last few years and 2018 shows no signs of slowing either. Here we highlight three of our favorites that have made a big impact on the industry:

1. Patty Jenkins – Wonder Woman (2017) – Jenkins set records as Wonder Woman became the highest grossing film directed by a woman, surpassing Mamma Mia! Jenkins has already signed on to direct the sequel to our favorite female superhero film.

2. Ava DuVernay – 13th (2016) – DuVernay has been making waves in Hollywood as a director for a while. 2014’s Selma earned her the title of being the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe. 2016’s 13th, a daunting look into the American prison system, made waves with its Netflix debut and earned an acclaimed 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

3. Angelina Jolie – First They Killed My Father (2017) – While a talented actress, Jolie has solidified herself as a talented director as well. Jolie’s movies usually have a strong political message, i.e. In the Land of Blood and Honey and Unbroken, and First They Killed My Father is no exception. It’s been said that the movie is her best work as a director yet, and has already won her some awards.

Big thanks to these women for help forging a path for other woman directors. It will be interesting to see what these women tackle next in the years ahead!

This Sneakerhead Turned His Passion Into His Paycheck

Written by Abner Jackson III

Alex Johnson is a sneakerhead that turned his passion into a paycheck and started his own business. Alex started his own business XanderCustomz and has his own sneaker brand The Xander Collection. The Pontiac, MI native is a young entrepreneur and one of the best at what he does.

 

Tell readers about Xandercustomz and how long have you been in business for?

I’m a sneaker customizer based out of Pontiac, MI. I’ve been doing shoes since 2015

How long have you been a custom sneaker designer for and did you take any specific training to become one?

I’ve been doing shoes since 2015 and I pretty much started customizing shoes in my dad garage. I was playing around never had any specific training, I just learned from the years of me doing them.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your field of work?

My biggest accomplishment that I’ve made is now I have my own sneaker brand (The Xander Collection) and I’m looking forward to having them in stores very soon.

What is your favorite shoe to design and why?

My favorite design of my custom sneakers would have to be the Air Jordan 11 BHM (Black History Month) Collab with Jc Customs. Cause it feels good to do a shoe Dedicated to the culture.

What current items are your best sellers?

Custom Air Jordan 11 “Royal blue”

If you could give any entrepreneur/ business owner any advice about starting a business, what would it be?

Stay consistent and stay hungry. Never give up

What is unique about your business?

That I can make any color sneaker you may need for any occasion. Things you cannot get in the stores.

Tell readers about your Xander Way Promotional Tour and are you going to do one this year?

The Xander Way Promotional Tour was crazy lots of love and support from the cities I visited. I want to do a bigger tour this year and take it to the west coast

What habits helped make your business successful?

Being hungry and just getting my name out there. I’m a very consistent person. I also feel like I have to make it happen.

Do you design anything else other than shoes? If not have you thought about designing other items.

At this time just sneakers, maybe in the future I’ll get into clothes.

Where do you see your business in five years from now?

To have my own store front where you can bring your kicks in. Have them customized and also teach sneaker customizing classes.

Thank you again for your time and letting our readers get to know you. Please let everyone know how you can be reached ( twitter, IG, FB, websites, etc.)?

( Instagram) @Xandercustomz ( FB) Xandercustomz (Website) www.xandercustomz.com

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Clothing Designer Roosevelt Broome IV

Interview by Dominique Bancey
What’s your name?
– “Roosevelt Broome IV”

How old are you?
– “22”

What is the name of your business?
– “Rich Apparels.”

When did you begin working towards said business?
“Rich Apparels began as a hobby. I remember sitting in my room on a group chat with two of my friends at the time and they were persistent that I should create something for my 30 thousand followers. After a couple of hours of thinking, I decided to create my first ever Rich Apparels t-shirt. I remember it was a black shirt, with a black/white floral print with the word ‘RICH’ in the middle. After creating my first Rich Apparels shirt, my cousin and I went Downtown and had a mini-photoshoot and once I placed the shirt online, to my surprise, my followers loved it!”

How long have you envisioned starting it?
– “Starting a clothing brand was an idea that I always had. Back in High School, I would experiment with many different styles to test boundaries and set trends of my own. I would shop at thrift stores for jackets, flannel button-ups, jean jackets, etc and I would rip them up myself or add patches to create them into a fashionable garment. Then when I would go to school, my classmates would ask “Hey Roosevelt, where’d you get that jacket from?” Happily, I would let them know that I created it myself but purchased the pieces from the thrift store.”

Have you always wanted to become an entrepreneur? If yes, why?
“I knew at an early age that I wanted to do something artistically whether it was being a clothing designer, an acting, a singer, etc. I still plan on pursuing those ventures however I am starting with my clothing brand Rich Apparels to be a stepping stone.”

How would you describe being an entrepreneur?
“Being an entrepreneur is rewarding. You have to maintain tough skin in order to be in the industry of entrepreneurship. You have to accept failure as a learning experience and challenge yourself to step away from your comfort zone and test boundaries. In the fashion industry, in particular, there are so many individuals out there creating clothes and you have to think “What exactly sets you apart from the rest?” and “What is my purpose?” Allow those two answers to propel you and inspire you to never quit.”

What pushed you to  start this business?
– “The necessity for diversity. I wanted my clothing brand to have meaning and purpose. I want my brand to exude and embody empowerment and diversity. For example, for my last collection “Revolt”, I had shirts such as ‘only want you’ and ‘savage’ alongside a male crop top with the word ‘masculine’ across the front- I wanted to show that men can be vulnerable and masculine at the same time. I use Rich Apparels to speak out for topics I deem necessary and important to discuss. My slogan of my clothing brand is the “the t-shirt for any occasion” I want to show my existing customers as well as my new customers how to dress up or down a Rich Apparels t-shirt.”

What would you say has been the most difficult thing so far in being an entrepreneur?
– “The most difficult part in being an entrepreneur/fashion designer is relevancy. Things are changing constantly and there is a ton of pressure on keeping up with the trends and grasping people’s attention and keeping them engaged. With my brand Rich Apparels in particular, I think I have gained enough of people’s’ attention to keep them engaged in wanting more pieces from my future collections. Once individuals recognize your growth, hunger, and consistency for success and recognition, oddly enough, your buyers recognize that and will buy into your business. Anyone can start a business, however, not many businesses maintain longevity and that is what I am striving for.”

What would you classify as the best part of being an entrepreneur?
– “The best part of being a fashion designer is inspiring individuals. There are times where I want to completely put up the white flag and give up however, I will have someone message me on social media or telling me face to face how much my clothing brand has inspired them to start their own business or the positive impact my brand has had on them. I want to continue the path of inspiring generations before and after me, to take those dreams and mold them into your reality. Sometimes our biggest competitors are ourselves and once we overcome that and our fears, opportunities are endless.”

Would you advise others to become entrepreneurs as well? And why?
– “Absolutely! I believe that every single person in this world has a gift/talent in some way that could contribute to their entrepreneurship goal and could bring something radically different to the business world. At times, we battle “What would people say or think about this idea?” and people end up talking themselves out of possibly changing the world. This world is filled with dreamers and thinkers who are so creative however they should be pushed into putting their ideas out there in the world.”

What would you say to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
– “To anyone who is wanting to start their own business, my advice would be to take your ideas and run with them. When starting your business, always think of your purpose- Why am I starting this business? What do I hope to accomplish? Who am I trying to impact? Once you discover your purpose, everything will fall into place. I am always pushing my best friends as well as people I encounter to always push yourself beyond to what you can think. There are no limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence and imagination. Limitations only exist if you force them upon yourself within your mind.”

Finally, tell us what to look out for as it relates to your business and any other information you would like to contribute.
– “A lot of people think I have reached my goal of getting my clothes into stores doing, doing countless number of press and doing fashion weeks, however, people have not even seen the half of what I want to accomplish. Only my three best friends know my ultimate goal. I will share my ultimate goals once I have achieved them but in the meantime, I am constantly setting new goals for myself each and every day. In 2018, I myself as well as my brand are taking a shift in a different direction. Next year makes 5 years for Rich Apparels which means growth so I will just say everyone needs to buckle up because it will be quite the ride.”

As Mr. Roosevelt Broome IV stated, being an entrepreneur is a difficult task, but you have to be aware of what you want and the impact you want to have on others. I think it is safe to say that there is much to look out for at Rich Apparels.

If you are interested, you can check out Mr. Broome’s clothing like at richapparels.bigcartel.com and his Instagram is soberichs.

Until next time.

Actor Julian Brittano Partners With International Association of Women on New Venture To Honor Women

Julian Brittano is not only a rising actor on the move, but an activist and voice for various cause based organizations for women. We spoke with him about his new partnership with IAW ( formerly NAPW,) along with taking a deeper look into the man in front of the lens.

Most fans know you from being apart of the “Greenleaf” show cast, which is produced by Oprah Winfrey. What were you doing before acting, and how did you get started.

I owned a club and restaurant in Virginia. Fortunately for me, I ended up having to be shut down. It messed me up for a little while, but I bounced back. I was alone one day and came to a place of clarity within myself of who I am. So the path began from there starting as a background actor for two weeks to landing on Greenleaf.

As a previous club owner and entrepreneur, how did that experience prepare you for life as an entertainer on the big screen?

Well, on the big screen and tv it is my responsibility to (entertain)engage the viewer, and have them connect to the story. So I’m able to use all of my life experiences as an entrepreneur and club owner, which has allowed me to connect and interact with many different types of cultures and lifestyles.

We know that preparation is key with anything you want to do in life. What are some things you do to prepare your each role you take on?

First I like to look at the overall vibe of the story/ agenda. Once the main characters are identified, then I imagine how my role assists in the story.

Touching a little more on entrepreneurship, what are some things you learned about overcoming failure, being persistent and consistent?

My perspective on failure is simply another opportunity to perfect ones ability to handle a given situation. We all have differentiated learning. So each consistent and persistent attempt at something allows you to learn every aspect of your business, which is a core value of being an entrepreneur.

You seem to have a deep connection working with various women’s organizations. Tell us about your experience with them, and your connection to these organizations as a young male.

As a man that was raised by strong minded women, I was privey first hand to their perspectives and views on different social issues. I’ve also been blessed to have some close female friends that confide in me. With that said, when I realized I had a platform that I can help open up conversation amongst the community by stepping into a gap that most would run from. I’m learning more and more each day that I lend my support and time to help the women empowerment movement.

Speaking of women’s organizations, Tell us about your new partnership with IAW ( formerly NAPW), and was it so important for you partner with them in particular.

They offer a valuable resource of collective networks amongst women of three generations due to the commonality of entrepreneurship and business. I feel like partnering with groups like IAW in particular adds a component to my SOW (Save Our Women) initiative. Which at the end of the day thats is why RTB is a great platform for all women to come together, celebrate and learn from one another.

What are some of the goals that you hope to accomplish through your partnership with this organization?

I would like to see more balance in our society at large between men and women. I also am believing that this will serve as a platform that other male supporters can join in and assist.

What are 3 things your fans don’t know about you that you want them to know?

1. I play multiple music instruments.
2. I used to be 320lbs at one point. But thru dedication and patience, I dropped down to 240lbs, now Veggie Life is what I enjoy.
3. I can only come up with 2.

What advice do you have for upcoming actors and importance of having patience on your way to the top?

You must be patient as well as equally aware of YOUR timing. Not what other people expect or intend for you. Know your own intentions, and why you want to attain certain levels of success. Many people want it all for the fame and popularity. I say, that will all be there if you commit yourself to serving humanity first with your gifts and talents.

Black Panther Brings Big Bucks to Georgia’s Economy

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

One of the most hyped-about superhero movies of all time is also making the Georgia economy some big bucks. As part of Atlanta’s bid to become the next Hollywood, the state of Georgia have been luring big movie and television productions down to the Peach State, and it’s been paying off.

Marvel’s newest venture, Black Panther, has made Georgia almost $90 million in revenue from local vendor and small business purchases. The VP of Marvel had nothing but good things to say about Georgia and continues to bring productions there, including Avengers: Infinity War, which will be released later this year. Looks like the movie business is booming for Georgia and there is no sight of it slowing down!

What Makes A Great Leader?

Written By Dominique Bancey
Many persons have different opinions of what it means to be a leader. Being a great leader, will lead to a successful business, so what makes a great leader?

Transparency. As a leader, you have to strip off that mask you used to wear. If the people you’re leading think that you are hiding things then they won’t trust or believe in you. Therefore, you have to be transparent. The things you say will need to align with the things you do.

Focus. This should be known. As a leader, if you are not focused, then no one else around you will be either and that means that no work would be done. You have to focus on your duties so you can motivate your team to focus on theirs as well.

Confidence. If you aren’t confident in what you’re doing, then why would your team be?

Integrity. Honesty is the best policy. If you focus on being your authentic self and putting that forth for everyone to see, then your team members and company will inherit this key feature.

Inspiration. Something in life has to inspire you to be someone or do something. This inspiration could be small, big, simple or complex, it doesn’t matter. As long as you as a leader find something to inspire you, your team will find something to inspire them as well.

Passion. You have to love what you are doing in order to motivate and inspire others to want to help you to achieve the goals you have set. If you are doing something just to do it then you will tend to have a ‘don’t care’ attitude and you won’t put in much effort or time into ensuring that it is successful.

Being a leader isn’t the easiest job in the world, but it’s not necessarily the hardest either. Many say that leaders are born, not made, what say you?

Until next time.

Combating Serious Illnesses With Bioengineered ‘Sonar’

Written by Benjamin Roussey

Medicine has reached a point where illness fighting microbes can be delivered deep into our bodies to fight the condition and inflammation caused by it. However, where do these microbe-sized warriors go? No one knows. There has been no way of finding out what these micro-agents are doing inside the body or how they are doing it. Until now!

Illumination with Sonar

A research team at the California Institute of Technology published a paper that tackled the lack of images and data in this situation. The experts regenerated the two most common bacteria – E. Coli and Salmonella, and integrated them with nano-sections of gas that act like sound waves underwater and produce ultrasound signals.

When placed inside a living being, these bacteria can be detected by ultrasound and reveal the precise location of microbes, just like sonar bouncing off underwater objects, explains Mikhail Shapiro, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Caltech.

According to Shapiro, there are many examples of genetically modifying a cell to go inside the body and treat the problem. Many companies are now receiving backing from investors to work on reprogrammed bacteria that can be used to detect gut inflammation or a tumor.

Mapping the Microbes

Nobody thought that these microbes could be mapped until the ultrasound, tissue-imaging method, was repurposed for this reason. Though no one thought The Force Awakens and Meet the Parents II were going to be that awful either. You never know how things are going to turn out!

So far, researchers monitored illness-fighting bacteria in the body by reprogramming them to glow in UV images. However, sometimes when microbes are buried deep inside the tissue, they are either blurry or not visible at all. Ultrasound makes it possible to precisely see these microbes as far as a hundred micrometers.

Shapiro and his research team members injected genetically re-engineered bacteria into the belly of mice. The results were far more specific, as compared to glowing bacteria that could only be located in the mouse’s stomach. Ultrasound picked up the precise location of gas-filled pouches in the mouse’s colon.

The researchers used the same experiment to map Salmonella bacteria that could be helpful in delivering cancer-fighting drugs directly to the infected tumor cells. This method can also be used to diagnose other illnesses in a non-invasive way.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Creative and Artist Ravin Lawson

Interview by Abner Jackson III

When did you realize you wanted to become an artist and was there any artist who work influenced you the most?
Art found me at a young age. I have been drawing as long as I can remember and started selling my graffiti sketches to my classmates in 4th grade.

Tell readers about your Mlndsoul and RavinFresh website? How did you come up with the idea to start those websites.
Melanated Soul (MLNDSOUL.com) was created to ‘Consciously engage the dynamic in Black Culture.’ In a world that constantly feeds us negative images, I felt it was necessary to put out positive apparel for our young Kings and Queens to look up to. RavinFresh.com is set to launch in February 2018 and will be another creative outlet for my Art and Apparel.

How long have you been artist for and did you take any specific training to become one?
I have been creating my whole life, however I didn’t take it seriously until college. I have no formal training whatsoever.

What do you feel separates your art from others?
I feel that my life, experiences, multiple talents, and perspective separates me from anyone else.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your field of work?
I’m not sure what my biggest accomplishment is but, hopefully, it is yet to come!

What is your favorite painting and why?
I dont have one specifically, but I love doing my “splash marley” paintings. I would say that’s my signature look right now.

Where do you see your companies at in five years from now?
In five years I see Melanated Soul being a well known clothing brand and my artwork (Freshpaintz) to be in thousands of homes across the world.