The Instagram Model Who Isn’t Real Takes Over the Internet

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

We know when we go on Instagram that there are going to be pictures that aren’t real. Many of the people we see on social media are “fake” in some way, as in having tons of Photoshop, editing and filters. Shudu, who boasts over 65k followers on Instagram, takes it to a whole new level. In fact, she’s not a real person at all. She was created by a London photographer, Cameron-James Wilson.

As Shudu’s page rose to popularity, people began to question if she was too perfect, since she looks to have absolutely no flaws. Since being outed, Wilson has updated Shudu’s Instagram bio to read, “World’s First Digital Supermodel.” While stunningly beautiful, Wilson’s decision to create her because of “the big movement with dark-skinned models” is very problematic. Many social media users have asked the question as to why he wouldn’t just commission a dark-skinned model for his shoots instead of just creating one. Also, his thoughts imply, in a sense, that black people are trendy, which dangerously strips away their humanity.

What are your thoughts on Shudu?

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 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 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:

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.

Do Not Fall for This Coconut Oil Myth!

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

There has been a lot of information circulating about so-called “health foods” and their seemingly endless amount of uses. One of these superfoods is coconut oil, which has been praised for its versatility. It has been a trend for people to reaplce normal cooking oils and even butter with coconut oil with the thought that it is a healthier alternative. However, coconut is actually very high in saturated fat, which the American Heart Association advises that peope should try to avoid because it is linked to increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Olive oil, on the other hand, is a much healthier alternative to and is low in saturated fat.

But this doesn’t mean you have to remove coconut oil from your health regimen entirely. Unprocessed coconut oil is still a great way to supplement your skincare or hair routine because it isn’t too heavy or oily.

Should I Go Abroad For My Cosmetic Surgery?

Written by Siam Benji

Millions of people in the US regularly undergo some type of cosmetic procedure each year but this does not mean that the procedures are cheap. If there is one fact about cosmetic surgery that all consumers should know is that this profession is a mega-billion dollar business and every procedure is expensive. And no cosmetic procedure is covered by any type of health insurance plan. Since the cost of cosmetic surgery are always going up, many americans now regularly go abroad to get their wrinkles erases, their face-lifted and breasts augmented. Just to the south in Mexico, there are hundreds of cosmetic surgery clinics which cater strictly to americans. Anything you do not like about your body, these clinics will gladly modify, tuck, remove, reshape and recontour for you at nominal cost.

Asides from Mexico there has been a boom in medical tourism all over the globe. One can go to Brazil, India, Thailand, Korea, Israel, South africa, Dubai, Argentina, Costa rica and many other countries- and all these countries offer cosmetic surgery at a far lower cost than the US. In addition, countries like Thailand will also throw in a spa vacation, and if you go to south africa, you can get to recover on a wild african safari. In Costa Rica, the recovery is in 5-star hotels overlooking the tropical rain forests.

Many americans have had their cosmetic surgery abroad and anecdotal reports indicate that they are satisfied. So should americans start flocking abroad for cosmetic surgery?

No so fast say the experts.
While most of the above countries may offer cheaper cosmetic surgery and you may also get to see the Taj Mahal or get to taste exotic Thai cuisine, surgery in these countries is not without risk.

Here are some things you should consider before you even consider going abroad for cosmetic surgery.
First, you have no way of knowing who will be your surgeon and if he or she is even qualified. There have been many cases of americans who have been operated by people who were absolute butchers. Just because you sign up with a online clinic in thailand for a cosmetic surgery procedure does not mean the surgeon is qualified and you have no idea who will put you to sleep.

Secondly cosmetic surgeons all over the globe are in the business of making money and when you get offered cheaper procedures, it means the surgeons are cutting corners. For example, in india, surgeons are notorious for reusing surgical equipment or using inferior products. You have no idea what type of dermal filler is being injected in you or what type of implant you are getting in your breast. You just have to take the word of the surgeon.

Third, like all surgeries, cosmetic surgery is also associated with its share of complications. And in many cases, these complications do not crop up right away. For example, your breast implant may not leak for a few weeks or months, or your tummy tuck may fall apart after you arrive back in Milwaukee. It is very unlikely that you will fly all the way back to Cape Town to get the complication fixed. So whatever complication you develop, you will need more money to get it fixed in the US.

So what can you do to lower your risk of complications?
First make sure the surgeon is licensed and accredited. Ask if the surgeon is accredited with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Read online reviews about the clinic and the doctors. Talk to other people who have had surgery in that place. Since you are paying, ask all the questions you want. Remember cosmetic surgery is never an emergency- it is purely an elective procedure and the more homework you do before you depart, the lesser the risk of problems later on.
Even when you get to the place, simply do not undress and get on the operating room table. If none of the staff or the surgeon speak english, then the best advice is just enjoy the holiday and forget the surgery. The ability to communicate is vital for the success of your surgery. Ask to speak to the surgeon and get to know first hand what he or she is all about. Determine the bedside manners, the professionalism and ask for before and after pictures. Ask to see the clinic and where the surgery will be done and where you will be recovering. Speak to the staff and walk around the clinic. Ask about the surgery procedure, how long it will take and what will happen if there is a complication. Is there an extra charge to take care of your blood clot?

Remember in most countries outside the US, you have no recourse against the surgeon. Medical malpractice is alien in other countries. Secondly ask what type of confidently the clinic will maintain regarding your medical information. Before you even embark on this trip you should know your legal rights in that particular country.
Know what you are getting into when going abroad- everything looks glossy and picture perfect on youtube but in reality things can be different. Going thousands of miles to another country and having surgery is a difficult proposition for most people and you have to be prepared for the unexpected. For example, if you develop a blood after surgery, will that treatment be covered with your cosmetic surgery and how much more will it cost? Can you fly back home with your complication?

Finally ask yourself why you even need cosmetic surgery and if you can afford it. Granted, everyone wants to look beautiful and young, but unfortunately cosmetic surgeons have created many myths and make false promises about their procedures; in most cases the ‘ageless’ look is transient. If you are really desperate for cosmetic surgery and have decided that you want it done, speak to people who have gone abroad and even when you get to the destination, remember, you are not bound by law to have the surgery. If there is any doubt in your mind about the surgeon or the clinic, step back and just enjoy the vacation- in life one frequently does not get second chances.

How Fenty Beauty Inspired A New Makeup Trend

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

Rihanna’s beauty line Fenty Beauty has already caused major waves in the makeup industry with its inclusive foundation shades for women of all colors. The feedback and demand were so positive for the 40 different foundations that many other makeup lines scrambled to market their shades to women of color as well.

But now the cosmetic line is setting trends in a new way. Spring 2018 fashion show makeup was all about draping, where the same color is used for the eyeshadow and highlighter and they melt into one another. These shows’ artists definitely took a page out of the Fenty x Puma fashion show, where this look was first made prominent this year. Makeup artists used Fenty products to prepare the models for the runway and were given some artistic freedom and they ended up giving draping new life in the form of bright, colorful purples, pinks and greens.

Draping started in the 80s as a predecessor to modern contouring, but with the vibrancy of the colors in the Rihanna’s beauty line-up and with the impact her brand has made since launching in September, it’s safe to say that the makeup for the singer’s fashion show served as inspiration for other makeup artists in this year’s Fashion Week.

3 Beauty “Myths” That Aren’t Really Myths

Every woman wants to look her best, but with so many tid bits of beauty advice floating about out there, it’s difficult to tell the fibs apart from the facts. Here are three popular sayings that often circulate the crowds as myths–but are as true as day. Let’s set that beauty record straight–once and for all.

Rubbing your eyes causes wrinkles

Kinda, sorta, yes. While itching your eyes or touching that sensitive skin around them won’t immediately cause crows feet to sprout up around your eyes, constant or frequent rubbing can and likely will the skin around that area to weaken and eventually wrinkle.

Waxing keeps you hair-free for longer

True! While shaving just gets rid of the hair at the surface of your skin, waxing actually pulls hair out from its very follicle, meaning from beneath the skin. And it takes longer for a new hair to grow in a follicle, which is what has to happen after you wax, than for it to break back above the surface of skin again, as is the case when you shave.

Certain foods cause acne

Roger that. People react differently to different things—food included. While your BFF may have all the dairy and chocolate in the world and never see the light of a pimple, it’s very likely that you could have just a whiff of a Snickers bar and wake up to a face flooded with acne. We know; life’s just so unfair.

Regardless of all the contradicting advice out there, there are two universally acknowledged tips to keep you looking your beauty best, so if you’re not sure where to start, begin with these: eat well and exercise, exercise, exercise!

Stylist to The Stars Kee Kee Taylor Shares Her Journey to Success

How did you get started  in the Hair care Industry?

As a child I was so tender headed. I was raised by my great grandmother and she was so insensitive to my pain till finally she would wake me up for school and my hair would already be done! It was so good that as I got older everyone would ask me to do theirs too. I really care about every strand of hair. Hair care is essential.

How did you make a name for yourself in such a competitive field ?
To be honest, I just stayed true to myself and did all that I could to master my craft and the opportunities just presented themselves

What are some obstacles you have faced as a female entrepreneur?
The issues I faced are not unique to females these are issues for entrepreneurs. For instance, just learning people, feeling like there’s not enough time in the day and basic trial and error. The hardest is finding a work life balance.

Growing up, was being a celebrity hair stylist something you always envisioned, or did you have other plans?
I’ve always wanted to do hair but the celebrity aspect of it didn’t kick in until I was 17. That’s when I decided to push it to the limit.

What would you say are the main keys to success?

The first would have to be PATIENCE, which is needed to be able to trust the process and keep faith in your journey to success.
Second you have to DO EVERYTHING IN LOVE. When you do things from the heart it’s done well. It will never feel forced and always make you happy.
Last but definitely not least you have to always remain HUMBLE. I came from humble beginnings and no matter how much success you achieve you have to remember you are always one moment away from losing it all.

Competition is something that a lot of business owners like to stay away from. How do you view competition, and deal with it?
I don’t believe that I’m in competition with anyone but myself. I believe that what God has for me is truly for me. I focus my energy on always doing my best work and providing the best experience for my clients. I wish the best for everyone in the industry.

What other future projects are you invested in?
I have an invention that I’m working on that will change the game for hair and continuing to expand the Deeper Than Hair brand.

How are you using you gifts and talents to give back to those around you? 

The Deeper Than Hair Project, is a service project that our stylists gave birth to as a concept to empower women who have experienced a tragedy or life changing event. In 2016, the salon was able to give back to the women in our immediate community. It was through this vision that we have been able to outreach women who are not able to access the services that the salon provides. The Deeper Than Hair project kicked off in Philadelphia. We have improved the lives of numerous women, on that day. We provided makeovers for the women selected. The power and improved self esteem that was created, impacted the Deeper Than Hair stylists in a way that spawned the concept to continue this mission of helping others. Stay tuned as 2017, the project will be going mobile.

How is life in California, are you originally from there?
Although I have visited California often, I’ve only been a resident for 3 months. And I am absolutely loving it. I’m originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

What has been one of the most memorable moments in your career so far?
My first year working for Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey popped up on the set! Best day EVER!
Follow Kee on Instagram @sosheargenius or YouTube at DeeperThanHair TV

5 Hot Lipstick Trends That’ll Sizzle your Look

Written by Salina Jivani

Ahh…lipstick. Leave it off and look like a plain Jane, no matter how much other makeup you cake on. But wear it—even solo—and transform your entire look. Probably one of the most powerful tools in your makeup arsenal, lipstick (or lack thereof) can be the difference between making you look drab or changing you to fab.

This year, rock the most popular colors of all and give your face that extra pizzaz in seconds flat.


Red’s in—and it’s not going anywhere. We saw the emergence of sexy blood-red lips in the late part of 2015, throughout 2016, and now again in 2017. If you’re looking for a great way to make your look pop, smear on some crimson. The beauty about this shade is that it looks great on nearly every skin tone and really makes you stand out. Plus, because it’s vibrant, crimson is a lovely addition to any color palette.

Suggested product: M.A.C. Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick in Feels So Grand


Orange is new —and it’s hot. We’re not talking bright, zesty orange, but more of a carrot-y orange. A plus? This one, again, is one color that goes well with many different skin tones, but remember: it’s always best to test before you try to buy.

Suggested product: Nyx Cosmetics Macaron Lippies—Orange Blossom


Women aren’t anything if they’re not full of shimmer and sparkle. If you’re looking for a way to make your pucker more alluring and glitzy, spread on the glitter! A daring look for nighttime events and the perfect way to add that extra shine to your look, glitter/metallic based lipsticks are all the rave this season.

Suggested product: Lancôme Le Metallique Lipstick

Biscotti rose

If you’re not yet ready to traverse the land of bright, bold colors, don’t worry, we’ve got the perfect shade for you: biscotti rose. Not quite nude but not really pink either, this lipstick will give you that subtle kick of color without seeming too obvious, making people wonder whether you’re wearing anything at all or if you’re just naturally blessed with beautiful lips.

Suggested product: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Biscotti


Pink’s a woman’s best friend. Magenta lipstick? Her beauty charm. Magenta is a surefire way to help you enhance and blossom your natural beauty. And don’t be surprised if you get a few appreciative double takes while you’re sporting it.

Suggested product: Wet N Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Don’t Blink Pink

5 “da bomb” Lip balms for Chapped Lips

Written by Salina Jivani

Every time I think of the bitter cold, I imagine pasty, flaky skin and dry lips. Maybe because that’s the kind of damage I’m used to witnessing in my mirror during the ruthlessly cold winter months.

Given in Atlanta we’ve been extremely lucky this winter, with temperatures topping the 70s on occasion, but I can’t say my lips have been completely safe from harm.

If your lips are feeling a little rough around the edges and you don’t want to look like you just escaped a Saharan desert, give one of these candidates on our “da bomb lip balm hit list” a try:


Popularly used on infants as a diaper rash deterrent, Aquaphor also has a line lipcare line that’s equally as effective for doing what this brand is best known for: sealing in moisture in areas of your body that are most susceptible to dryness. With a petroleum-like consistency, this formula is pretty thick and heavy duty but extremely effective at leaving your lips moisturized and dryness free!

Badger Balm Organic Cocoa Butter Vanilla Bean

Are you all about organic, nature-friendly products? If so, you’ve met your match in Badger Balm Organic Cocoa Butter Vanilla Bean. This lip balm is both made from natural ingredients plus essential oils that are known for their healing and repairing properties, giving your lips the loving they need sans addictive, harsh ingredients.

Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm with Kokum butter

One of the most popular brands out there with a varied line of products to boast, Burt’s Bees just had to be on our list. If you’re looking for something to condition your lips but not weigh them down with heavy wax, this one’s for you. Plus benefit from the Kokum butter in this product, popularly known for its ability to heal skin.


If all else fails, pull out the Carmex! An extremely effective lip balm that almost instantly repairs the worst of the worst dryness, you won’t be disappointed. Apply overnight and you’ll awaken to a seemingly brand new pair of puckers. But wait. Are you allergic to menthol or camphor (both ingredients contained in Carmex)? Or not a fan of the cool, tingly feel of menthol on your lips? Read on.


Lightweight and great at repairing any chapped or dry skin (whether on your lips or elsewhere on your body, including, yes, even feet!) Vaseline is dry skin’s best friend. The best part? It’s fairly cheap (commonly found at dollar stores) and can double as an effective makeup remover. Also, it’s petroleum based, so it doesn’t have that tingly sensation common to some other lip balms.

There’s nothing worse than chapped lips to ruin your look. So make sure you find a lip formula that works best for you and gives your lips the tender loving care they deserve!