Beauty Resolution: Wear Red Lipstick

by Jackie

"Currant" lip liner, "Russian Red" lipstick, "Russian Red" gloss by MAC.

I once asked a makeup counter attendant to help me find a bold lip color. His response, “Not for you.” According to him, my skin was too dark to wear anything other than translucent gloss. Ever since then, I’ve been proving him wrong with bright pinks, shocking purples, and vibrant reds. Writing about his color complex would take a whole book, but the moral of the story here is: You can wear any color you want and look and feel absolutely beautiful.

But, don’t take it from me. I am lucky to have had gorgeous women of color wearing various shades of red lipstick come across my Twitter timeline. Red lipstick is a bold way to spice up your makeup look. Worn alone, or paired with thinly winged black eyeliner, it’s an ode to vintage glamor. The key to pulling off a red lip is finding the right shade for you. Have fun mixing lip liners and glosses with lipstick to find your unique shade.

Toya, @LifeofaLadybug, wearing "Box" by Illamasqua.

Violeta, @Black_LatinosUS, wearing "Ruby Woo" by MAC.

Chela, @ChelaBK, wearing "Red Drama" by Clinique.

Quynh, @Queengwen, wearing "Red Lizard" by NARS.


Gift Guide for the Sophisticated Gentleman

by Sherria 

It doesn't get more sophisticated than that!


Ladies, you only have four days left to get that special guy a gift for the holiday. But remember, you don’t have to break the bank this season in order to buy nice gifts. It’s always the thought that counts! If you are still thinking about a suitable gift for your sophisticated man, A*cute can help. If you live in New York, please try Uniqlo for warm men’s clothing. They have jeans on sale for $39.50, cashmere sweaters starting at $99.90 and lambswool sweaters starting at $29.90. You can also find and a ton of cozy accessories such as scarves, gloves, and hats. Below are a few items I discovered while pushing through the holiday crowds. All are priced under or near the $100 mark. Tell us what you are planning to buy the men in your life this holiday season.

A*cute picks:

Heavy gauge shawl collar cardigan (Uniqlo, $49.90)

This Men's Refueler's gift set is perfect for a man on the go. It contains a bar of body scrub soap, facial moisturizer, hand salve, and shaving cream. (Men's Refuelers kit from Kiehl's, $29.50)

If your man likes to drink Whiskey, try the Whiskey Stones and Gift Set. The stones are to keep your drink cool without the "watering down" effect of ice. (, $19.50-58.00)

They say that "scent is the strongest sense tied to memory" so buy your guy Gucci Guilty cologne and it will be a holiday to remember! Try a gift set from Sephora. It includes a 1.6 oz Eau De Toilette Spray and 3.3 oz Perfumed Body Lotion (Sephora, $101)

Jennifer’s Style Diaries: Pretty Bold

by Jennifer Tyre

Jennifer Tyre is a photographer and website specialist based in Washington, DC. Check out her work at
Stay tuned as Jennifer Tyre chronicles her style journey.

Simply put, my make-up routine was safe and boring. I was pretty clueless about what looked best on my face, particularly with eyes and lips. Typically, I’d go for golds and bronzes, and occasionally attempted the smokey eye look if I was feeling “adventurous” (although I never really perfected that either.) Finally, I decided it was time to spice up my look. I headed to Sephora on the hunt for something fun, vibrant and bold!

I was intimidated by these colors at first, but Jackie assured me it was the way to go for a new, striking look. I love the boldness of the palette and the colors blend well together. I always get the best results when I mix and match the colors, rather than sticking with one. By Urban Decay, at Sephora

The key to long-lasting eyeshadow is primer; this actually came with the shadows.

When I’m not in the mood for bold eyes, I go for a bold lip. Since the weather is (allegedly) warming up, I opted for a bright peach/orange tone. This color is by Sephora, which has a wide range of great colors for much less than other pricey brands. For staying power, don’t forget a liner and lil’ clear gloss to make it pop. Color G03 by Sephora

One thing I hate is cakey, heavy foundation…yuck! Instead, I opt for bronzer a lot of times. I Iove the light, shimmery glow that it leaves. True Bronze by Clinque, at Macy’s

Celebrity Inspired Holiday Looks

Guest blog by Amberly Carter

Celebrities tend to keep their makeup looks simple.  This holiday season follow their lead and don’t over do it.  Consider a few simple things to create subtle sultry looks. 



Nivea soft can be found at your local drug store for about $6

Prep the face with a moisturizer like Nivea Soft.  Let the skin absorb the lotion and if necessary use 1 sheet of 2 ply tissue paper to remove access oil.  To make the skin appear flawless, make sure your foundation is blended well by patting it into the skin.  If you are going to highlight use a concealer 2 or 3 shades lighter than your foundation color under the eyes, down the middle of the nose, and in between the eyebrows.  To preserve your look, apply 2 different setting powders – lighter in the concealed areas and darker around the perimeter.  This will really provide a natural eye popping effect.   




BENEFIT Eye brow shaping kit (Sephora, $30)


Starting off with shaped eyebrows is a must.  The eyebrows frame the eyes, so if they are untamed then this could make one eye appear larger or smaller than the other. If you have bushy eyebrows use a brow brush to comb them.  Be sure that the hairs are not so long they have curls on the ends. Pencil a sharp line around the bottom of the eyebrow and with an angled brow brush fill in any thin spots with powder.  



Before applying any eye shadow, apply a little concealer with an angled liner brush under your sharply penciled line of the brow. Be sure to pat it into the skin and blend it towards the brow bone.  This accentuates the eyebrows and will create a clean canvas for your eye shadow.

      Look 1:  Pump up a natural look with falsies

Janelle Monae has a very simple look to recreate.  Create a flawless canvas and contour the cheeks with an angled blush brush.  Apply barely-there eye shadow on the lids (a cream or neutral is good) and a soft brown in the crease.  Add black crème eyeliner above the top eyelashes line and smudge out a black line with an eye pencil on the bottom eyelash line. Apply false strip eyelashes over the black crème liner and sparsely add individual eyelashes to the bottom lash line. Finish this look with a soft sheer nude lipstick and seal it with a clear coat of lip gloss.


Before applying anything on your lips, make sure they are exfoliated and moisturized.  If your lips are peeling, put some sugar on them and scrub them with a damp toothbrush. Afterwards apply a lip balm like Rosebud Salve to them to keep them soft and prevent chapping.

      Look 2: Matte red lips are timeless

Celebrities with a variety of skin tones from Amber Rose to Sanaa Lathan, Rihanna to Zoe Saldana are known for adding drama to a classic look by wearing daring satin red lips.  A matte red lip has to match your undertones otherwise this look can go way left.  If you are not quite bold enough to step out in fiery red stained lips, mix it with a fuchsia or coral pigmented matte lipstick. Lock in this color with translucent powder so that it won’t appear washed out by your mistletoe kisses or Happy New Year celebratory smooches. 











   Look 3: Add shimmering blush for the holiday touch

You can bet every celebrity makeup artist has added their favorite bronzer to their pro kit.  If you are rushed for time a little blush and bronzer will go a long way.  Mix your blush with a bit of bronzer to give your cheeks a holiday glisten. Scared to wear rosy red cheeks? Afraid you might over do it?  Adding a bronzer will tone it down a bit.  Bronze is a color that looks great on every skin tone so you can never go wrong by adding a little to your cheeks.

Amberly Carter

Amberly Carter is a make-up artist and winner of IMAN’s Leather and Lace make-up challenge. She is also founder of, a resource for women with amber skin-tones who love to wear color and anyone who is interested in makeup, beauty and fashion . If you need any advice or make-up tips, email Amberly at Follow her on Twitter @BlushingAmbers. Subscribe to her YouTube videos at