Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Bon Jovi Concert Experience, the Best Bootleg T-Shirt Story Ever, and Why People Need to Put Down Their Phones at Live Concerts to Enjoy the Moment Instead of Trying to Record and Tweet Everything

The entire band. I missed Richie. :(

I am so happy I listened to some of you and went to the Bon Jovi concert solo last week. I had sooooo much fun. It was worth the 1-hour drive in rush hour to San Jose. They played for 3-hours straight, no break.  I rocked out to all of my favorite songs: “Runaway,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “It’s My Life,” songs from their new album What About Now and so on. I wish I was sitting near the front with a pack of Walmart panties that I could toss on the stage when Jon Bon Jovi was singing, “Bed of Roses.”  I love that song. And he looked so good singing it in all black and a leather jacket. I can’t believe he’s in his early 50’s. He looks great and can still move.
I took this photo then my got my dance on at the show. 

Cocoa Fly right before the show. I'm hyped! 
In regards to having moves, unfortunately I can’t say the same for everyone at the concert.  From what I saw at the concert and discovered via a thread on the Bon Jovi app (I think I have a problem), the audience ages ranged from 10 to 70. Most people I saw were in their 40’s and 50’s. Most of the people in my section didn’t dance. I know people in their 60’s and 70’s who still dance. Initially I tried not to stand up too much out of respect to the couple behind me. When I turned fully around in my seat,  I noticed they were filming the concert and taking pictures with their smartphones. Who goes to a rock concert just to film it?! We weren’t even that close to the stage to get a good shot. I guess they were filming the screen.  When I saw they were filming, I stood up and danced like I didn’t have to go work the next day. I’ve wanted to see Bon Jovi live for about 10 years now, I had on my tight jeans, cute red halter top, and I paid quite a bit for my ticket. Cocoa Fly was going to rock it out. I was the only one in my row dancing. Everyone else was either on their phone taking photos or sitting like they were at home on their couch.  Even Jon told the crowd in the beginning, “Stand up! This is not television. This is a live show!” Are we so accustomed to looking at our phones and computer screens that we don’t know how to enjoy a live show?

This car was parked near and it made my night. It's a Trans Am.
Check out the plates. I love the '80s. 
Okay I know you’re wondering what’s up with the t-shirt drama. Well, the t-shirts at the concert were $45 and up. I love Bon Jovi, but no way. I walk out of the arena after the show and brotha man/bootlegger rolls up to me and ask if I want to buy a t-shirt. Here’s what followed:

Me: I was wondering if ya’ll would be out here. How much?
Bootlegger: $20
Me: (in my E. Oakland voice): 20 dollaz?!
Bootlegger: A’ight, a’ight it’s late I’m trying to rid of these. How about $10?
Me: Okay cool. What size is this shirt?
Bootlegger: A medium
Me: You have a small?
Bootlegger: Yeah, hold up.

This t-shirt has been to dark places. 
I’m thinking he’s going to head to some car in the back of the parking lot and get a small t-shirt. Instead he reaches down his pants near his right hip, in the space between his boxers and jeans, and pulls out a size small. The lady behind me sees the whole thing and asks, “Do you have an extra Large?” He reaches around to his left hip and pulls out an XL. He had the t-shirts organized by size down his pants! You know what’s crazy? I bought the shirt. LOL!  Today the shirt it is both unworn and in my hamper because I don’t know if it touched anything or something touched it. I have spoken to New Yorkers and they’ve never heard of such a t-shirt hustle.

And that  folks is my first Bon Jovi concert experience. I looked cute. I had fun. I got my rock on. And I bought a $10 t-shirt out of someone’s pants. Not everyone can say the same. The only thing that could’ve made it better was if I had front row seats. Next time. I wish Richie Sambora was there but his fill-in did a good job. According to Jon Bon Jovi, he left the tour for “personal reasons.” The rumor is he wants more money. I’ve also heard it may be substance abuse issues. I wish him well. His absence gives me an excuse to see them again when they tour. And I will be in one of the front rows wearing a clean t-shirt.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

IMAN BB Crème Review and Giveaway

For the last few years, BB creams seem to have been the rave in cosmetics. I didn’t know much about them, except that they're very popular in Asia. But from my research BB stands for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm. It’s an all-in-one product that can even tone, moisturize and protect your skin. In Asian markets it’s a skin lightener as well. And I understand there aren’t many BB cream options for women of color.  But the IMAN cosmetics brand is about embracing all colors of skin and enhancing your natural beauty. The company founded by the Supermodel/Mrs. David Bowie/Businesswoman Iman recently released their own. It’s called IMAN SkinTone Evener BB Crème. And it comes in 6 shades, ranging from sandy brown to rich dark brown skin. I love IMAN products because they cover a wide scope of skin complexions.

I tried IMAN BB Crème. I have some good news and not so good news about my experience with the IMAN BB Creme. I’ll start with the not so good news. I picked the wrong shade. Look at the “After” photo of me below. See how my skin has a slight tint of a rustic brown color? The IMAN website has a “Find Your Shade” section with models of various skin complexions. I picked the model that I thought closely resembled my skin color. But it wasn’t the right match for me.

The good news is that I like the BB Crème. It goes on very, very light. It doesn’t dry out your skin.  In fact, my skin felt moisturized when I put it on. I assume that’s due to almond, aloe and Vitamins A, C and E ingredients. I love that it has sunscreen in it. I know people think that black folks can’t get sun cancer, and that is not true. Our melanin provides some sun protection, but we still should wear sunscreen.

Back to the IMAN BB Crème, I don’t wear foundation often.  My skin is fairly clear and even. But if I can find the right match to my skin, I will definitely wear this in place of foundation when those blemishes do pop up. Check out the second picture. I’m in a different light and the BB Crème looks pretty good on me here. But I want to find the right shade that looks good in any light.

And I forgot to mention a MAJOR reason why I like the product is because it is paraben-free.

Now time for the giveaway! One lucky winner will get an IMAN Cosmetics pack with lipstick, blush, BB Crème trial samples, etc. Best answer to this question wins:

IMAN BB Crème evens skin tone, hydrates skin, protects your skin, etc. Why would a BB Crème make you feel better about your skin?

Email your answer to me at cocoaflyblog@gmail.com with your name and mailing address. I’ll post the winning answer. Deadline is May 1st. Good luck!

FTC Disclosure: Any and all product is being donated to CocoaFly.com by IMAN Cosmetics for participation in the trial program.  These items are not intended as payment for any favorable opinions. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

You’re Never Too Old to Feel Sexy

Granny's Makeup Bag
Photo by Jenee Darden

Look what I found on my grandmother’s bathroom counter. I have three grandmothers, two biological (of course) and one through marriage. I won’t put the owner of this makeup bag on blast and say which grandma owns this bag. Honestly, all three of them bring their on spice to life. Any one of them could be the owner.

I discovered the “Sexy” bag on my grandma’s bathroom counter during an after-church Sunday visit. I playfully asked my grandma who was the owner of the makeup bag. I knew it was hers since she’s the only woman in the house. She was kind of coy and acted like she didn’t know what I was talking about. Then she told me she bought it because of the color, not the word on the bag. I challenged her on that excuse. She raised her voice and said, “I bought it three years ago!” When she bought the bag is totally irrelevant but I guess that was her best defense. LOL

Honestly, I thought it was cool she owned the bag. And I loved it even more that she had the bag out after returning from church. Knowing that my 70-something year old grandmother had this velvety-textured cosmetic bag with the word “Sexy” blinged out across it made me appreciate her as a woman even more.  I guess no matter how old a woman may be, she still wants to feel sexy. She still wants to look pretty and feel desired.  And my grandmother deserves to feel that way, just as her granddaughter.


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