Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
I received a message from the lovely Ronke of The Musings of Ondo Lady to say I had been tagged. To be honest I didn't even know what being tagged meant. I just assumed that Ronke had added me to her blog roll or something like that. But I've since discovered that tagging is a fun little blogging activity, where blog authors list 6 fun and quirky facts about themselves. So drum roll please:
1. For the life of me, I can't pronounce the word 'strategically'
2. I have a school-girl crush on Russell Brand
3. I religiously read the back pages of the daily newspapers for footie news
4. Nearly every Thursday evening I develop an acute case of OCD, and can often be found spring cleaning and washing dishes well into the wee hours of the morning.
5. I get a kick out of reading people's emails and text messages on the train on the way to work
6. While walking down the street I often burst into song, often forgetting that other human beings occupy the planet. I then become really embarrassed when someone walks by and quieten down quickly.
To play tag, here are the rules:
- Link the person who tagged you
- Mention the rules in your blog
- Reveal six unspectacular quirks of yours
- Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blog and let them know they've been tagged
- Once your post is up notify the person who tagged you
I tag Kwana Writes, Matilda Egere Cooper, Adenike's World, My Fashion Life, Gooders Girl, Disney Rollergirl
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Friday, 18 April 2008
Thursday, 17 April 2008
Leona Lewis has flown to the top of the US charts, making her the first British artist ever to do so. See story.
Mariah will be appearing on American Idol tonight (I know it's dry this year, but probably worth watching tuning in). The superstar will mentor the remaining contestants as well as do a 'Leona who? Don't write me off yet bitches' performance.
Western states have joined forces with the United Nations to get Zimbabwe to speed up and make an official statement regarding the election results. Read here.
Bill Cosby really has recorded a hip-hop album, and apparently it's pretty good.
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
I can't recall how the conversation started, but a few days ago Rich and I were discussing how back in the 80's and early 90's there was a formidable Black British music scene. During this musical golden era we were producing music that was just as good as anything coming out of the USA. I'm talking about the Lovers Rock movement (distinctively British interpretation of reggae music), with artists like Louisa Marks, Carroll Thompson, Deborah Glasgow. And let's not forget about the good old 80's soul era with groups like Soul II Soul, Imagination, Loose Ends and Five Star (Yeah I said it! 'Let Me Be the One' was a choooon)! Then more recently we had Acid Jazz, popularised by The Brand New Heavies, Incognito and Young Disciples. But then it all went quiet. Don't get me wrong, we've had a few waves of excitement with Garage and Grime, but in my opinion they've hardly had the same impact. The music is by and large consumed by a niche market: young, British urbanites, and fails to connect too far beyond.
With this in mind I intend to take us down musical memory lane every so often to educate those who missed out the first time around (you poor things), as well as remind those of us old enough to remember how we used to get down on it. First up is my girl Janet Kay. In 1979 she sailed to the top of the UK national charts with the brilliantly produced, authentic Lovers Rock jam 'Silly Games'. There are very few songs that I can listen to over and over again and never tire of, and this song is definitely one of them. Janet still tours across the country with other graduates from the Lovers Rock era. And yes, she can still hit that high note. Enjoy!
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
So tell us about the Sherry Dixon Make-up Workshops – what can women hope to gain from attending?
Sherry: My workshops are for women who want to learn to put on make-up properly. A lot of women would like to experiment with colour but don't understand the know-how and going into departmental stores can be daunting. My workshops are intimate and attendees will learn how to choose products to suit their skin type, especially foundation, which most people get wrong. Most don't understand the difference between creme to powder, liquid or mousse. Eyeshadows is another problem area. Many don't know how to apply colour to enhance their eyes and most don't know how to apply eyeliner. I will teach them all these techniques in a quick and easy way. If for example you have a fat cheeks, I can show you how to get definition to make them look less round. Large and protruding eyes can be made to look smaller also.
Why do you feel that such a service is needed?
Sherry: There are many reasons but the basic one is that women want to look good for work and play. NO longer should we be contented to just look plain and ordinary. A little lipstick or lipgloss can add zest to a plain face and can also be a good feel-good factor. It always amazes me when I put just a few coats of mascara, a lil blusher and a swatch of lipgloss on someone's face and the next thing you know they are walking tall land switching like a superstar. It's called colour therapy and if it works, why not encourage people to wear it and wear it well.
What sparked your interest in make-up, were you one of those kids who was always offering to do other people's faces over?
Sherry: Yes, I was the one who was the family beautician. Everyone came to me to apply make-up for them and I must have been really good, otherwise they would not have come back. It was my grandmother who started me off. I used to look at her applying her ponds cream and face powder every day before she went to market so I think it rubbed off. At one time I to joined every make-up marketing company, for example Jaffra in the 70's, so that I could go out and teach and sell the products at the same time. I became an area manager in a short space of time and it was then I realised I had a natural gift for application. So I then went on and did a two year Beautician's course which really did not give me the tuition I really wanted. So I decided to take a two year course on Fashion Photographic Make-up and Stage and Film. That was so exciting - learning to make cuts and bruises. But I decided to stay in Fashion Photographic make-up techniques more because that was the world I worked in with the magazines. I have never regretted learning make-up. It got me through many doors to many celebs such as Barry White, Luther Vandross, Terry MacMillan, Marsha Hunt, Diana Ross and of course editorial pages in top magazines and newspapers.
What's the one make-up item a woman should never leave home without?
Sherry: Lipgloss - you can do a lot of things with lipgloss. A little switch on the eyes can had some colour and even some on the cheeks can help so long as it's not silver or purple. And of course on the lips it can really make you look sexy.
Are there any styles or trends in the mainstream that you think Black women should stay away from?
Sherry: All I will say is that I don't like that garish look. Although bright red lipstick is back in style, not everybody can wear red. So check out your shade of red (there are over 20 shades - red red, tangerine red, rusty red, burgundy red). If you must wear it, sometimes a more subtle shade is nice.
In terms of celebrities who do you think is in dire need of a Sherry Dixon beauty make-over?
Sherry: I am not going to name names but there are some people who really need to update their look, but they get offended if the idea is suggested. Even if it's not me they come to, I really feel that just like the Americans, some of our celebs need to take make-up artistry seriously. Americans learn the techniques and you never see them looking rough. Why can't the same be said about some of our British celebs? I think they are too mean to spend money on themselves. The just need to call me or call somebody.
And on the opposite side of the scale, who do you think consistently gets it right in terms of wearing the right make-up to suit their skin tone?
Sherry: Kelly Rowland (who does her own sometimes), Angie Le Mar, Beyonce and Estelle.
Are mainstream make-up companies finally cottoning on to the black pound, or are we still under serviced?
Sherry: Mainstream companies still dont get it and I am beginning to think they dont give a damn - especially about their British black customers. When I go to the USA, I can buy my shade of foundation and powder from Estee Lauder,Chanel and Givenchy. They don't stock it here. Why? Clinique had a line which was great for black skins but they did not advertise it therefore it did not sell. So they took it off the shelves. How can we buy it if we don't know its there? MAC, Iman and the new BlackUp range are very good. The problem is not the companies, it's us. If you don't complain, why should they give a damn?
Can there ever be any justification for Black men wearing make-up?
Sherry: Unless men are wearing make-up for stage or a photographic shoot I would be worried if I was sharing my mascara with my partner. I know that some make-up houses are extending their men's range with bronzing powder and mascara, but I don't really like it on my partner. Moisturiser is a must though.
What's the one make up trend popularised by black women, that should forever remain locked away in the past?
Sherry: Black lip liner as lip pencil and plucking eyebrows so thin and then using eyebrow pencil to draw a new one higher than your original line. I sometimes see women on the tube who look as if they are in expression all the time. Oooh, and blusher in a big blob in the middle of the cheeks. Somehow they dont understand that you have to blend it in.
Is Vaseline an adequate face moisturiser, or is this an old wives tale?
Sherry: Black skins really dont need to be using Vaseline, especially in the sun as there is no hydrating properties in it and will make the skin burn. I know Vaseline is used on extremely dry skin to quickly add oil but as a rule, just stick to using it on the lips, hands and babies' bottoms.
Throughout your career you've worn many hats such as PR Consultant, Editor and Beautician. Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions left?
Sherry: Yes many and I am worried time is running out, so I have to move fast. In a few months I am starting my motivational seminars, which will bring in a lot of professional people alongside me to nurture and bring back positivity into the lives of women around the world. I think it is important to be able to help people along my climb up the ladder and hopefully with these inspirational talks/seminars, we can help women who also want to achieve. I feel so good after my talks and I know that this will eventually be the way I will go - holding a lot of hands, making chains of confident women as I go along. Then the book and the TV show will come after that - in about a year's time.
When is the next workshop, and how can we sign up?
Sherry: The workshops are done in two ways. It can either be a personal one-to-one session where it's just me and the person who wants to learn (1 1/2 hour session) or there are group sessions where I will demonstrate on a model and people will just look on, make notes and then go home and try the techniques that they've learnt from the class. (2-3 hours). So it's really up to the individual to decide what they want. Its a good idea to come along with a friend or two and share the cost.
The cost of Sherry Dixon's Make up Masterclass is as follows:
Cost: £90 for individual sessions
Group sessions: £50 per person
Dates: Saturday 3rd May, Sunday 19th May, Saturday June 14th, Saturday June 28th (future dates can be provided on request)
(Sunday sessions available for bookings of 6 people).
To register: Call Sherry on 07956 472633 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, 7 April 2008
Or so says Britain's Border Agency, who are still fighting to keep Snoop out of the country. Personally, I'm more concerned about the crimes against my ear-drums he has inflicted over the last couple of years. What happened to the Snoop who effortlessly penned rap gems of yesteryear such as Gin & Juice? We miss dawg.
Thandie Takes on Condee
This should be an interesting move. Our Thandie has bagged the role of US Secretary of State, Condelezza Rice, who she'll portray in a forthcoming biopic based on the life of George W Bush. Thandie will apparently be the first non-American to portray someone in the US Administration. Good on ya girl.
Tricia's Breast Cancer shock
The queen of British daytime telly, Tricia Goddard announced yesterday that she has breast cancer. A lump was discovered three weeks ago, which was abruptly removed. Her husband, Peter Gianfrancesco, says she may have to undergo further treatment such as chemotherapy. This is shocking news. But if we've learned anything about the feisty 50 year-old, it's she is a fighter. Let's wish her speedy recovery.
Handy-man charged with the murder of British Woman
Jamaican police have arrested a man on suspicion of murdering a 61 year old British woman at her holiday home on the island. Omar Reid, 31 will appear in court this week charged with the murder of Barbara Scott-Jones. As someone with a huge family base in JA, when I came across this story it sent a huge shiver down my spine. I can only hope Barbara's family can find some solace through the arrest.
Friday, 4 April 2008
Thursday, 3 April 2008
My first question is probably one you've been asked on countless occasions, but can you explain what compelled you to make 'The Souls of Black Girls'?
Daphne: The film was produced over the course of eight months and there was a lot of time given to pre-production and post production. About 3-4months of me editing the piece and working with my supervising producers on the piece. This documentary was done as a journalistic broadcast piece for my final Master’s thesis and on a very limited or virtually no budget.
Daphne: This piece was originally intended to focus on the effects of media images on all women of color (native American, Latina, Asian etc., ) However when I sat down with my supervising producers in the editing of the piece it was brought to my attention that this had to be a piece that focused on Black women as they are the group that is most affected by media images and degraded in the landscape of media images. So it was not intentional for it to focus on Black women. In fact as you listen to my narration I always reference “women of color” I never actually say “black” women because the original intent was to be inclusive of all women because all women of all hues, shapes and sizes are affected by the media images.
Daphne: I think that we have certainly made progress as far as more women of color being seen in the media and being more visible, but unfortunately there aren’t enough of the Naomi’s or Halle’s to combat the Lindsay Lohan’s and the Paris Hilton’s and the Brittany Spear’s and the Hannah Montana’s and the Reese Witherspoon’s and Cameron Diaz’s and the Jennifer Anniston’s and the Angelina Jolie’s etc. They’re simple aren’t enough of them and we certainly need more than just Queen Latifah, or Halle Berry to stand for us as Black women. But as far as having to fit the European standard, the reality and unfortunate truth is that that there is a certain look that works and that’s what The Souls of Black Girls attempts to examine and explore.
Daphne: Again, the film explores this very idea and again, there is a certain look that works. However, I think that the landscape is starting to change where you see more women wearing natural hair in commercials to a certain degree but is it a problem yes, and I know that there are many African-American actresses that struggle with that all the time.
Daphne: The comment of the Glamour Magazine Editor is unfortunately the unspoken belief that some people still have in their minds as far as what is beautiful and what is not. And as a woman myself who has natural hair and who has been successful in and outside of corporate America, I will say that it’s a sad and unspoken belief. But at this point and in this day and age we have to come to a place where we are having healthy and positive discussions and dialogue about these very painful and hurtful issues.
There are many high profile entertainers who you interviewed for this project. How did you garner so much interest, and were you surprised by the support?
Daphne: I can honestly say that God is the captain of The Souls of Black Girls ship and I am the co-pilot. I was able to secure the celebrities in my piece by the grace of God and his mercy upon my life and for placing people in my path at the right hour and at the right moment and He decided for me who would be included in this piece. But it also came as a result of relationships that I had built over the years. Chuck D was the very first individual attached to this piece. I had a relationship with both Chuck D and Regina King prior to me putting together this piece and so I simply asked if they would be interested in being a part of this piece and God took care of the rest. And as far as the interest that I’ve been receiving, it has truly been overwhelming and I take it one moment at a time, thanking God for each blessing but also thanking him for breathing this piece into my heart and into my spirit. He chose me and so it is. And so I am humbled more than anything everyday.
Daphne: That is all something that I am diligently working on behind the scenes and so I just encourage everyone to keep checking back with us on the website http://www.soulsofblackgirls.com/ for information about the television broadcast of the piece and DVD release.
I’m working on it right now. There should a screening coming to the UK on June 1st through the Black Filmmaker (BFM) film club and will have info listed on http://www.ica.org.uk/.
Daphne: I see myself pursuing all things “in front and behind the camera”…and I have no doubt in my mind that I will be able to do it all as long as I am true to my spirit and my passion.
Me and my favourite gal, and renaissance woman Sherry Dixon
Hey, Spring looks it's finally upon us. It's funny how suddenly the world looks a whole lot brighter and yummier with the introduction of a few sun rays. A prime example of this was last night when I attended Choice FM's 18th Birthday Party dinner at the Sheraton Hotel in Park Lane. After months of travelling home in the dark and wrapping up in winter woollies, the crowd was ready to celebrate the oncoming season and part-aaay! London gals were out in all their pre-summer finery, as I enviously sized up gorgeous cocktail dresses in an array of citrus colours. The night was hosted by Alesha Dixon and Simon Webbe who entertained the audience with random (and questionable) facts about the station. But then again, after 18 years of providing the UK with a countless supply of R&B, Hip Hop and reggae, I won't hold a few exaggerated truths against them. We were also treated to a few special performances from Jay Sean, Simon Webbe, Ciara and Kelly Rowland. Kelly was the headline act, and despite keeping us waiting for what seemed like hours, when she eventually showed up, Ms K did her thing. My enduring memory will be her wiggling her tiny behind up against Choice MD, Ivor Etienne. Judging by his expression, I'm sure he really felt as if he was re-living his 18th birthday again. Ah bless!
Keysha and Tameka Epsom
Me and Atlantic Record's Publicist extraordinaire Taponeswa Mavunga - you go girl!
Joanna, Sherry and Keysha - Pride girls in full effect.
Sherry with the lovely Kelly Rowland
Two Dixon ladies and a gentleman
- I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.