Le Charme Magazine "The Skin Issue"

Page 1






For A

Dark Skin GIRL . . . Through





Founder/Editor- In - Chief/Creative Director

JOSEPHIN E SLOAN Managing Editor

LuLu Botello

India Henderson

Dalana Bryant

Jennifer Leviston

Social Media Contr ibutor

Beaut y Editor

Copy Editor

Contr ibuting Wr iter

Brandee Nelson

Kim Bob

Contr ibuting Wr iter

Khahelah Thornton Contr ibuting Wr iter

Contr ibuting Wr iter

Dana Pittman

Contr ibuting Wr iter

DESIGN & PHOTOGR APHY Depictions of Life Photography & Design

MAILING ADDRESS EMAIL Le Char me Magazine info@lecharmemagazine.com 3 4 0 N. Sam Houston Pk w y E WEBSITE Ste. A10 0 G w w w.lechar memagazine.com Houston, Texas 77060

J U LY AU G U S T 2016 S E PT E M BE R


FASHION & STYLE Summer Fashion Look Book Doll’d Up Boutique Thick Threads

BEAUTY & HAIR Batter Up Editor’s Skin Faves Defining Your Natural

LOVE & SEX can you recover from Betrayal? Expose your inner _______!

HEALTH & FITNESS M eal R em i x Sat i sfy Your S w eet Toot h

LIFE & LIVING For A Dark Skin Girl . . . Own The skin you’re in Getting To the altAr


M e g an p e te

Photography DeiIra Smith-Collard Makeup Megan Pete Hair Josie Sloan

SPIRITUALITY Never Make a Promise You Can’t Keep




How nissi Lamark heals through laughter

Letter from the Editor

As the editor in chief for Le Charme Magazine, I strive the assure the content we bring you is thought provoking, entertaining and uplifting. What started as a small team is growing and evolving into something amazing. No matter how we change and grow we will remember that Le Charme Magazine was founded on the basis of unity, team work and sisterhood. It is our mission to bring beauty, passion and purpose in all that we do. Our skin issue celebrates the beauty of our differences through passionate stories told by purpose driven women. Our skin so often defines who we are but we are much more than what meets the eye. EMAIL

deiira@lecharmemagazine.com FACEBOOK

facebook.com/deiira INSTAGRAM


Thank you readers for your continued support. We will continue to follow through with our vision of empowerment. Keep reading, we’ll keep writing.

Meet the team

Josie Sloan Managing Editor

Dalana Bryant Copy Editor

Kim Bob Contributor

India Henderson Beauty Editor

Chole Leviston Contributor

Brandee Nelson Contributor

Khahelah Thornton Contributor

LuLu Botello Contributor



Doll’d Up Fashion Boutique Model:

Emily Hafley Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup:

Sydney Taplin Jipse INC

Doll’d Up Fashion Boutique Model:

Nissi Lamark MUA: Christen Valentine CoCo Beatdown

Doll’d Up Fashion Boutique Model:

Megan Pete Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup:

Megan Pete

Doll’d Up Fashion Boutique Model: Briana Evans Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Christen Valentine CoCo Beatdown

Doll’d Up Fashion Boutique Model: Kwanja Jackson Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Sydney Taplin Jipse INC

Doll’d Up Fashion Boutique Model: Brittany Bob Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Sydney Taplin Jipse INC

Doll’d Up Fashion Boutique Model: Gaybree Harris Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Christen Valentine CoCo Beatdown

Doll’d Up Fashion Boutique Model: Kwanja Jackson Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Sydney Taplin Jipse INC

Doll’d Up Fashion Boutique Model: Nissi Lamark MUA: Christen Valentine CoCo Beatdown

Doll’d Up Fashion Boutique Model: Kwanja Jackson Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Sydney Taplin Jipse INC

Behind the

Holly Thomas - Owner

HAIR: Josephine Brown MUA: Christen Valentine CoCo Beatdown


oll’d-UpFashion Boutique was a vision seen by owner, Holly Thomas, years before its online presence became a reality. We are based in the Houston, Texas area which brings a rich and stylish appeal to the boutique. The love of fashion and styling was a passion that could only be satisfied by becoming a boutique owner. The name Doll’d-Up Fashion Boutique is used to signify femininity and express all the qualities of a well dressed and well put together woman. Holly has an inerrant eye for what’s next in fashion and a relentless drive to be a successful one stop shop for a shopper who wants to get that to die for look, without having to surf the web or drive all over town. Doll’d-Up works to deliver the best possible shopping experience, and customer service while helping customers possess style -not just buy fashion. Doll’d-Up is committed to offering compelling clothing, shoes and accessories for women. Since 2014, when the boutique launched the online store, our commitment to providing our customers with the best

possible service , trends, and fashion has been our motivation and our goal is to improve every day. This commitment has taken us from a small 2-page website , to 4-5 pages of over 30-40 looks at one time. We’re proud to work with celebrity clients, up & coming music artists , models, as well as offering a personalized styling service. We have competitive pricing and fast shipping at a low to no charge shipping fee. We believe fashion is a business of optimism, and in that spirit we continue to grow and evolve. Competitive pricing, fast shipping ,mobile shopping and exciting new designers offer us continued opportunities to serve more customers in more ways with a fresh, relevant shopping experience and inspiring style. Fashion evolves , Shopping habits change. Our commitment to satisfied customers does not.

Thick Threads Model:

Emily Hafley Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup:

Sydney Taplin Jipse INC

thick Threads Model: Brittany Bob Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Sydney Taplin Jipse INC

Thick threads Model:

Nissi Lamark MUA: Christen Valentine CoCo Beatdown

Thick Threads Model: Gaybree Harris Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Christen Valentine CoCo Beatdown

thick Threads Model: Brittany Bob Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Sydney Taplin Jipse INC

Thick Threads Model: Kimberlyn Hunter Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Christen Valentine CoCo Beatdown

Thick Threads Model: Kimberlyn Hunter Hair: Josephine Sloan Makeup: Christen Valentine CoCo Beatdown

Behind the

Clarnissia Bradley - Owner







have been modeling, I have accomplished so much and plan to go as far as the stars will allow me. I’m also the designer and owner of Thick Threads. Thick Threads is a plus size boutique that caters to women in double digit sizes starting at a size 10 going up to a 26; hence the name THICK THREADS! My plus size revamp and resale boutique came about out of a seriously frustrating time; when I was having trouble finding affordable ,cute and chic clothing that actually “fit” me and my personality. With the abundance of support from my fiancé, my family and friends I’ve taken on this venture full speed ahead. I am very optimistic about my future and can only pray that I continue to be blessed with many more opportunities to build up other women around me. I am building myself from the ground up and looking to take on new adventures and make better connections with each new project. When people think of CC, I want “Charisma” and “Creative” to come to mind.


BATTER By: India Henderson


ascara is such an important part of your makeup look. It’s that finishing touch that makes the eyes pop. It could also be the only product used on a simple day that awakens your entire face. It is truly a must-have product in every lady’s makeup bag. There are a few rules that apply when it comes to mascara. We’ll share those rules and our top favorites to help you select the best formula for you.

Everyone has their preference of mascara and the effect that they want to achieve. I am a lover of CLUMPY mascara. I want VOLUME on top of VOLUME. I always opt for a super thick formula that’s going to coat my lashes and make them really stand out. Here are a few tips that will have you batting those luscious lashes in proud glee!


Choose carefully

There are so many different types of mascaras on the market, so it’s important to choose one that suits the occasion. Ask yourself: What effect do I want to achieve? Do I want longer, thicker, or more curled lashes? Heck, maybe you want all three! Then read up on the mascara you want to buy first, and make sure you buy the right mascara for the job.

your eyelashes 2 AfterCurl a bit of practice, you will have

this down pat! Curling your eyelashes really help in giving you a fresh, wide-eyed look. Eyelash curlers are available at professional make-up stores and drug stores nationwide. Remember to curl first, and thereafter apply mascara. If you curl after mascara application, your lashes will be more susceptible to breakage.

pumping 3 Pull No out the mascara wand in one

motion. Do not pump air into the mascara, as this will dry it out, and also encourage bacteria to manifest itself in your mascara. Great mascara could be an investment. You don’t want to ruin that investment by copying something you’ve seen someone else do. There is NO need to pump your mascara.


Upper lash application 4 Start at the roots, and zig zag your

way to the ends of your lashes. Turn the brush sideways to get right to the root of the lash. One doesn’t want a gap between the lid and the start of your lashes, this area must also have product on it.

5 If

Lower lash application

you hung a picture on the wall, you wouldn’t put a frame only on the top would you? No! You would have a frame going all the way around the four sides of your picture! Well, your eyes are ‘the windows to your soul’ and deserve to be framed on the top and the bottom. So don’t forget to coat the bottom lashes too!

Q-Tips Handy 6 If youKeep touch your eyelid or face while

applying mascara, don’t panic. LET IT DRY COMPLETELY. Once it’s dry, take a Q-tip and rub it away. It easily comes of with messing up the makeup underneath it.

To help with your selection, here are a few of our favorites and why we love them so much.


Why we love it: The XXL brush builds incredible volume to make your

eyelashes look fantastically long and thick! It’s like magic. A few swipes with the wand, and you’ll have the look of lash extensions.


Why we love it: It’s been a number-one seller my entire 14 year career as a makeup artist. The specially grooved brush creates even coverage and coats lashes from root to tip.


Why we love it: If length is what you’re after, look no fur-

ther: it extends your lashes and makes them ultra-fluttery.


Why we love it: The name speaks for itself.

Enjoy the benefits of one of the best mascara on the planet (the fullness and volume is out of this world). It’s one of few types of mascara that doesn’t sacrifice long length at the expense of full, thick volume at the base.


Why we love it: This mascara boosts a custom-domed tip to lift, define, and curl even the tiniest of fringe for a sculpted look that’s shockingly similar to false lashes.

MARY KAY ULTIMATE MASCARA $16 Why we love it: This extremely volumizing, super-thickening mascara, creates the look of big, bold, separated lashes that last all day.


Why we love it: There are numerous addi-

tions to the Voluminous line of mascaras, but this carbon black is the best to me for creating a dramatic look of voluptuous lashes without clumps.


Why we love it: This mascara enhances your lashes with intense length and unique lash-by-lash separation. The brush is great for bottom lashes.


Why we love it: The cup-shaped bristles push

lashes up without the use of a curler and keep them in place all day—think hairspray meets (as the name suggests) a push-up bra.


Why we love it: Talk about nostalgia! This classic has

remained a favorite of many for its ability to thicken and separate lashes without getting clumpy.

Remember, a great mascara can be an investment; One that you surely want a return on. With the help of my list of favorites, the next time you hear the words “BATTER UP”... You’re guaranteed to hit a home run!!


s e v Editor’s SkinFa

With DeiIra Smith-Collard


One of the best skin care treatments ever is H20. Drinking adequate amounts of water not only nurishes your body, it does the skin good too.

Mary Kay Time Wise This 3-in-1 cleanser works wonders for my dry skin by providing cleansing and exfoliation all in one. It leaves my skin soft and refreshed.

Blue Lotus + White Tea Treatment Mask This weekly mask treatment nourishes, firms and restores moisture to your skin, leaving skin smooth and youthful looking.

Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Serum

Receiving this in my IPSY box was a treat. For my needy dry skin it’s a must to stay hydrated and that’s extactly what this does. It leaves my skin soft, supple and hydrated.

Hand & Stone Facials

In addition to my monthly massages I’ve added facials to my regimen. The relaxing atmosphere and deep cleansing helps to renew my spirit and my skin.


Your Natural Accepting The Difference of Your Natural Hair from

By: Josie Sloan


o wear your natural, or not to wear your natural; that is the question. I thought I would start off by giving you a play on words featuring a William Shakespeare quote. Hope you caught it. But seriously it can be a struggle to try wear your natural hair. You have to factor in the seasons, winter or summer; the weather, is it raining or humid; and let’s not forget about the elephant in the room, if it’s politically correct for work and/or accepted by your peers. I have been natural since 2007. Prior to that I was addicted to the creamy crack, relaxer. When I was relaxing my hair, it would never grow in the crown area. You know, where the four sections meet. It would grow out to maybe two inches, and then break by the time I was due for a relaxer. People said that I was either leaving the relaxer on for too long, or that the relaxer I was using was too strong. I altered my application process as suggested, and it did not matter. My hair still continued to break. When you think about it if a regular relaxer is too strong, the next move is to stop using them right? That is exactly what I did. I decided to make the switch when a friend of mine explain to me why she went natural. She looked back on

her child hood photos and realized that she had a definite natural curl pattern. Once she found the right hair products, she hasn’t look back. I made the misconception that I believe most people make. If her hair can do it, so can mine. Not true at all. I have very thin hair, and my friend’s hair was thick with these coal black loose coils. Even when she got a relaxer, her hair was noticeably sleeker than mine. That should have been a dead giveaway. Ultimately, I had to use the same

products that she used, but change the application technique. It was by far not an easy task. I went through countless products trying to perfect it, and needless to say, I’m still trying to find the right combination. I love changing my hair, which is part

Hair of the problem. One month you will see me wearing my natural coils. The next, I have straightened it. The following, I will have a sew-in or a wig. Most people do not consider me natural because I am constantly changing my hair. I will keep to myself what I think of those people, and just give you my definition of natural hair. To have natural hair means that you have NOT chemically altered your hair to achieve a style, plain and simple. There are different routes that can be taken to define your natural. Some people do the big chop, while others wear “natural hairstyles” such as braids, dreads, afros, bantu knots, etc. I chose to grow my relaxer out and clip my ends. I would wear my hair in corn rows and wigs until I figured out what my curl pattern looked like. Once I realized I had a definite curl, and overall look was to my liking, I made the decision to wear my hair in its natural state. I have to be honest if I would not have liked my hair, I probably would continue to perm it or go old school with the hot comb and grease. I personally do not like the afro centric look. Nothing is wrong with it, and I have seen women pull it off and are beautiful doing so, but it’s just not me. People were outraged after Beyoncé’s Super Bowl 16 halftime performance. Beyoncé adorned weave that was dyed to her signature blonde and rocked it in its natural waves. She and her back ground dancers wore military gear to resemble the Black Panther Party, and her dancers wore their hair in afros. She was making a statement yes, but it was a political statement. Had nothing to do with her feeling superior than her dancers. The way I see it, she had defined her natural. Instead of criticizing, or passing judgement, do the research to find what works best for you.

Bob m i K H T I W

Do We Ever Really Recover From

Is He Dating A Dutchess? Photo Courtesy of @DutchessofInk

Love & Relationships Why is it so hard for women to support each other? Better yet, why are some women in particular so cut throat, & unsupportive of one another? Why are there women who look at each other as competition instead of sisters? I recently went through something where someone who I thought was my friend was actually my enemy. Someone I believed had my back was actually putting knives in it the whole time. This was a woman who hugged me on Friday, walked into a meeting on Monday and made false accusations about me with me standing there to witness it. Never before had I experienced this level of deceit; I was humiliated and embarrassed. Both my reputation and character were slaughtered. It hurt me to my core. Have you ever felt that kind of agony before? At the end of March, I didn’t know how I was going to come back from the pain of that disappointment. Honestly, I don’t believe I’m still fully recovered. The experience as a whole broke something on the inside of me. Something I have yet to verbalize or even identify. But, as I write this, I am reminded

of how amazing God is! What devastated me in April has lost a lot of its power in May. June has brought some clarity. Most of the wounds I had when I started this article are healing quite well, I have a few scars, but they are beautiful reminders of mistakes I will never repeat. If someone was to put an object directly in front of your face and ask you to look at it, you wouldn’t immediately recognize it, because it’s too close and unable to focus. However; when you distance yourself, your eyes start to adjust and you begin to see clearly. You are able to see what the object. When you are too close to a situation, it sometimes can hinder your view, but as you start to move away, your able to see it for what it was. If you are going through something and you’re questioning God, please allow me to help you save a lot of useless time worrying, crying and stressing. It wasn’t about them. It was about me. God allows situations to take place in your life because there was a purpose in it. Don’t get stuck in the circumstances or events

surrounding your pain. Push past your hurt so you can see the bigger picture and get the lesson of it all. The bible says that ALL things work for our good. That means God uses the painful moments of our life to make us stronger, to make us better, to bring us closer to fulfilling our purpose. There were many directions I could have taken this article. However, I want to use this platform God blessed me with to encourage

and inspire women. I am very transparent with my life because, maybe someone can relate and learn from my mistakes, my pain, my life. Betrayal is inevitable. I promise you at some point in your life, you will experience it up close and personal. There is no way to avoid it. There are some signs I overlooked then, that I see now. Beware of people whose loyalty is inconsistent. If you notice a person is for someone one week and against them the next. Pay attention

they will do you the same way. People with false humility are dangerous. They are the best actors, skilled in their deception, that woman could have won an Oscar for her performance. Last but not least, stay away from people whose personality changes depending on who they are talking to. The bible refers to these types of people as a respecter of person. Meaning their treatment of you depends on your title, position, or rapport you have with people

Love & Relationships with titles and positions! Keep your distance from people who exhibit these behaviors. If you are going through a betrayal of your own or know someone who is going through one. Be a support to them. Don’t allow the trauma from your ordeal to change you into someone you are not. Learn from it and be better because of it. Make a choice today to be a woman that supports other women. Live, Laugh, Love everyone. Be blessed Independent Woman.

Kim Bob

Love & Relationships

By: LuLu Botello


hat do you love most sensual, sexual ,and desirable. about your body? Your Now hold up. This is important. I’m

legs, waist, or maybe even your cleavage? Sometimes we down play our bodies, but what if you decided to make that the focal point? Some would say risky, but I say we are WOMEN, powerful women with curves. If you’re trying to turn heads, BE NOTICED.

going to talk about the essence of a woman’s body.

Take your clothes off and dare to explore the woman that you are. You might say things are good in this department but they can always be better. A man will respond better to a woman that is confident in this Turn up your sexy by shopping for new area so keep an open mind on the lingerie. Not for him, this is for you. following exercise. Buying new, sexy, vibrant lingerie will Close your eyes and give yourself a make you feel wonderful and sexy. massage from head to toe to learn You can even be bold with your from your body. What emotions do color choices. It is all about feeling you give out. There is an energy we rejuvenated. Pastels will make you release when we are sensual and it feel frisky. Bold colors will make you is important to release the aura of

past sexual partners and learn what you want from your partner. If you are single this will help you get what you want from your next partner and if you are in a relationship it may help you revive your current sex drive and help with intimacy levels. This may awaken the beast in you. Take a hand held mirror and see what they see. Do not be shy. You will find that confidence and a sexual energy that you have been holding back. We bring harmony to intimacy when we awaken our true needs. In the next step you feel free to include your partner. You know that touch you can fill a sexual need, use it to evaluate the foreplay. Do you remember slow dancing, grinding, and hugging, kissing marathons? Bring that back! Ask yourself this question, have I ever had an orgasm? Your body changes with time. A woman has needs just like a man, so do not settle. Single or not it is important to bring yourself this

pleasure as a spiritual healing. Find your spots and teach your partner to fulfill them. Do not be ashamed of any part of your body, you are woman you should


With Khahelah Thornton

Dear Dilemma, I truly believe you only live once and you have to make the most of the life you are given. You first have to ask yourself why is your ex an ex? Do the differences that existed to lead the two of you in separate directions still exist? Or have the two of you matured to the point where it could possibly work? Does he still flirt with you or give you any indication that he still has feelings beyond that of a friend for you? If the two of you still have a special connection beyond a typical friendship and if the two of you have matured to the point that allows you to have a relationship I say speak up and tell this man exactly how you feel. Whether he decides to stay in his current relationship or start a new relationship with you, the truth is you will never know if you don’t speak up. Sure there is the possibility he may decide to stay in his current relationship and if that is the case I’m sure that is rejection you can get over, life goes on. There is also the possibility he may decide to give your relationship another go. Your biggest regret will be not speaking up and possibly missing out on the best man for you. Good Luck! Kaye, Missing my ex. I dated this guy about 10 years ago, things didn’t quite work out so we mutually decided to end our relationship. We have remained friends on and off and now more than ever I feel myself missing him and wanting to give our relationship another try. I’m currently single but he is not. He’s in a relationship, but the two of them do not live together and to my knowledge have been dating for a few months, nothing too serious. What should I do? Thanks, Dilemma


Questions for Kaye?

Do you have a question for Kaye, let us know info@lecharmemagazine.com


kay Houston I know it’s been a minute but we are finally back by popular demand. Spotlight Houston is and will always be a staple in Le Charme Magazine. We have decided to branch out and not only make it about places, as well as people making major moves. This issue we are spotlighting a very special lady, Tressa Eleby or Comedienne Tressa. I was invited to a Comedy Meets the Runway Showcase on Mother’s Day, at the Joke Joint Comedy Club, located at 11460 Fuqua Street, Suite #300 Houston, Texas 77089. It was presented by Your Favorite African Productions and Doll’d-Up Fashion Boutique, who is one of our featured designers. Tressa Eleby hit the stage and the audience came to life. She spoke on how not to spend your tax refund, how to get free drinks by using one leg to twerk, but when she spoked about her mother needing the “D”, I was done. She has the state the obvious, in your face, sarcastic and still remains to keep it classy comedy, that all women will love and appreciate. In an exclusive Le Charme Magazine interview, Tressa told us how she has always wanted to do comedy for over 15 years. To do Open Mic or Stand Up was something she wanted to check off her bucket list. She was a member of a group of women called Thick Women of Houston, which were models who gave back to the community. One of the women gave her tickets

to a comedy show. She began to make contacts and connections with the comedians and producers with the intentions of being a writer. After doing this for two years, they dared her to go on stage. With a little liquid courage, she was able to do a five minute set off the top of the dome. Tressa states how there are only a handful of female comedians doing their thing in Houston. She has performed at the Joke Joint, The Improv, and Fat Boys locally and countless places nationwide. She has a full time job and she owns a business, yet comedy has found its place in her life. She desires for comedy to be her main source of income one day, but until that day she still have to pay the bills. In 2013, her mentor created the first hair extension vending machine called, The Mane Vendor. Tressa has served on the board of directors since its creation. You can see her perform as well as some of their hair extension vending machines, at The Good Hair Battle and Show July 17th in Stafford near Houston Texas. She is also a monthly guest on a radio talk show The Sweet Spot hosted by Sweetwater Jones. Discussions include women’s health, hair, and beauty.

Connect with Tressa





Through How nissi Lamark heals through laughter By: DeiIra Smith-Collard



here are women who will inspire you from the moment they step into a room. Nissi Lamark is one of those women. She is a woman who’s presence undeniably fills a space. For her, the whole world is her stage and every person she encounters is her audience,they are spectators she will undoubtedly leave with a positive lasting impression.

As we start our interview with Nissi, there is an abundance of laughter in the room. A euphoric atmosphere of positivity intoxicates us as we begin to speak with her. She is an unwavering ball of energy, ready to answer questions as she

rocks side to side in her chair waiting for us to begin. “Why comedy?” We ask. The room falls silent for a moment; it is the quietest it’s been the entire afternoon. She slightly tilts her head to the side and exhales before she speaks.

“Do you want the lie or the truth?” Initially, we feel as if this is only a setup for a punchline, so we smile and ask for the truth first. Again, a silence fills the space before she speaks, the jovial comedian has stepped aside for a moment and Nissi has fully emerged. She slowly peels back the layers and allows us into her world.

FEATURE The life of Nissi Lamark has been a tale that will rival any fiction novel. Born to a drug addicted mother, she didn’t have the protective covering of a doting parent. She doesn’t recall a childhood of careless whimsy and adolescent innocence. Her tale begins in pain; yet she admittedly honors her mother. Nissi is able to look at her childhood with clarity now. Somehow the hurt she endured as a child pushes her towards greatness as an adult. She playfully remarks, “My mother did crack so I wouldn’t have to.” Nissi uses her childhood as drive and motivation, determined never to be a victim or a statistic, she joined the Navy where she remained for eight years as a military police officer. After leaving the military, she became a police officer for the Sheriff’s Department in Houston, TX. At the time, she was an accomplished, educated 25 year old mother of five, with a successful career, a home she owned, and was a productive citizen who had chosen a profession that serves her community. In every sense of the word, Nissi was living the American dream. There is a pause in her story as she sits up in her seat and prepares to tell the story of how her ending became her beginning. “My eldest son, molested my daughter.” She speaks with conviction, her voice never wavering as she boldly recounts this

part of her life. Nissi disciplined her son to protect her daughter. She made a decision as a parent to reprimand her son for his actions which sent her to jail. At the age of 25, someone who’s life’s purpose was to uphold the law and serve the community, now stood on the other side of it all.


For anyone this would be devastating, from seemingly having everything in place to everything falling out of place a lesser person would have caved. Out on bond, Nissi was alone in her home. With her children removed, she began to suffer from depression and PTSD. Being the resilient woman that she is, Nissi challenged herself to get up. “I can’t sit home, I have to do something.”

“Maybe if I make people laugh about the things that are hurting me, then success, Nissi holds multiple degrees maybe I can deal with it better.” and is now working on her doctorate Nissi chose to take her pain and turn it in marketing. She’s a speaker, a into laughter for someone else to heal motivator, a mother, a wife. She is herself, to laugh it out. This journey to the epitome of greatness. Her heart’s comedy didn’t start out as an open desire is to be of service to people, Mic dare, or a childhood desire to to bring laughter and happiness to entertain, this started as a road to others. Nissi strives to be a role model, a woman that others can look up survival. to and relate to. By the end of the Nissi Lamark’s interview had stunned interview we had been left in awe, Le Charme. Seeing her on stage, she was truly something special and hearing the laughter and happiness we realize when you encounter the in her voice you would never know extraordinary, embrace it. she had endured so much. If we were only judging by what we saw on the surface; we would only see the comedian, but she is so much more. A well educated woman still on a path to

By Josie Sloan Not Validating Ignorance and Loving Me

are so beautiful for You a Dark Skin Girl. I love

your natural hair for a Dark Skin Girl. You shouldn’t have to use sunblock since you are a Dark Skin Girl. If I listen to everyone’s opinions of me and took it for face value, I could be the most suicidal, depressed Dark Skin Girl on earth, but I’m not nor will I ever be. I am strong and beautiful, period. My hair is naturally curly because of genes, not because I’m mixed with something. I use sunblock to keep my smooth chocolate skin healthy. I don’t care how or what people think of me. It’s all about what I think of myself, and believe me I put myself on the highest pedestal, and I dare anyone to knock me down and so should you. We don’t come out of the womb knowing the difference amongst ourselves, its taught to us. My mother is about half a shade lighter than me, and my aunt, her sister who may be a shade or two darker, lived with my grandmother when I was five or six years of age. Both women ended up with dead beat husbands and fathers, who looked very different in appearance. My father was dark skin, and my cousins father was light skin. Since I was young and even as an adult I have a distinct line going down the middle of my biceps. Over the years I have noticed that most dark skin people have this line as well, not sure why but it distinguishes the lighter portion of your arm closest

to your body, from the darker portion of your arm exposed to the outside. I was sitting on the side of my aunt watching TV and noticed that she does not have this line. I say to her “Which would you like to be dark or light?” Her response was, “Light so that I can match my beautiful light skin babies.” My response was, “Me too.” That was the first time I recognize the different skin tones among black people. I mean clearly I knew the difference between black and white but when it came to family we were all the same, or so I thought. Looking back, what my aunt should have said is to be blessed with the skin tone

that God gave you because you are beautiful no matter what. A couple of things ran through my mind, one of which was I not beautiful like my cousins because I was not light skin?

me around as his “relations partner.” First it was “You’re too young, you can never get away.” Then it was, “She is willing to give me the time and attention that you can’t.” Finally, “I think we are complicating the friendship when we try to make it a relationship.” This was on and off for my ninth and tenth grade years. He always came back when he found out someone was interested in me. Once he realized that I was his again he fed me the same BS. All the girls he dated during our hidden relationship were light skinned. It made me wonder if he was embarrassed by me or he wanted to use me until he felt like something better came along, or someone lighter came along.

In high school and I had my fair share of guys, but one in particular caught my attention. My ninth grade year I met a senior whose name I will keep a secret, that turned my world upside down and broke my heart. There was a mutual connection between he and I. Everyone in the class knew it, they could see it and made fun of the chemistry between us, while a couple of girls were jealous of the relationship that blossomed. It was said that he was into light skin girls and I am by far not. I guess I should have taken that into consideration I had to tell myself that there was before getting too involved with absolutely nothing wrong with me. I him because he ended up dating a was beautiful, I had a banging body, senior who was light skin but he kept and that the problem was with him

and not me. That he would keep this going just as long as I allowed him to do so. He was a dark skin brother, hell he was darker than I but, he had a complex that most dark skin people develop. They are afraid of getting involved with someone that is dark skin because they don’t want their children to go through what they did. He kept tabs on me. If he knew someone was interested in me he would lie and say you know that my cousin, or that my play brother. He didn’t want me with anyone else but he didn’t want me. I fixed all of that, I started dating a guy who is now my husband. He did not go to our school; he wasn’t even from Houston. True to nature he called me telling me he missed me, and how much he wants to be with me, but I eventually stopped listening, then I stop answering. As an adult I look back on that situation and with guidance I would have known that no good could come from dating a senior who was taking the same English class as a ninth grader. Needless to say I never looked back. I had found someone who wanted to show me off, who adored me. Someone who when I met his cousin for the first time said, “Hey man have some respect.” When his cousin wanted me to hook him up with some of my “light skin” friends. We have children together and I am teaching my sixteen-year-old prince who wants a chocolate girlfriend

like his mom, that you can’t help who you are attracted to. A four-year-old princess that I have to tell on a regular basis that she is a princess because I put her on that pedestal, not because she ties a shirt on her head and pretend to have long blonde hair. I never want my children to feel like I did when I was five years old and my aunt told me light skin because she wants to look like her beautiful babies.

By: DeiIra Smith-Collard

“Just because we’re magic does not mean we are not real.” The words rang loud and true as I listened to a message much needed and well delivered by Jesse Williams. Our 2016 summer issue celebrates loving and owning the skin you’re in. Often we get caught in our own perceptions of one’s skin, of one’s being, of someone else’s existence that we forget they are REAL. We compartmentalize other’s action and motivations based on nothing other than the hue of their skin, the size the skin covers, or the features that take shape within their skin. Skin. What is skin? By definition it is a layer of tissue covering the body, however the world has assigned meanings and labels to the word “skin” that exceed the basic definition found in any dictionary. We have attached things like self worth, acceptance and beauty to the word skin. Why does “skin” carry so much weight when as kids we are taught to judge people for what is on the inside? It seems we are unable to get past color, is that the first or only thing we

have been taught to see? Many of us have friends and family members of different complexions; I believe this to be apart of the magic of our Black heritage. We create many different shades and colors, forming a beautiful rainbow of greatness, but somehow, even now, there are those that are unable to see it. For every girl that has been called darkie there is another that has been called light-bright. For every girl who has been told that she is not pretty because of her skin color there is another that has been told she is only pretty because of it. There is someone who has been told that she would be much prettier if she lost weight, while there is another taught that she shouldn’t eat much if she wants to be pretty. This cycle is what we teach the children of our future, it is what some of us have been taught as children and have carried over into our adult lives, however where there is a cycle there is always a way to break through it. We can always learn to be happy in your own skin.


The first step to owning the skin you’re in is accepting yourself. Look at yourself for who you are truly are. You can never remove those invisible shackles that have bound you for years if you are not real about who you are and what God has blessed you with.


Loving who you are is essential to being happy in your own skin. Loving yourself will make other’s love and acceptance of you less important. With self love you will begin to create more positive experiences and perceptions. Self love is a monumental part of self acceptance. The two go hand in hand.

Don’t Tolerate

The world labels everything. Don’t allow anyone else’s perceptions to define who you are. Tolerating slowly drains you and causes you to question yourself. You end up living for everyone else’s expectations of you, instead of living for the one person you should truly strive to make happy, yourself. Draw your line in the sand and don’t let anyone’s negativity, judgements and biases cross into your space. Stepping into the brave new world of being who you are can be a scary but liberating feeling. When you walk proudly, owning all the worlds perceived flaws and start to view them as your beauty marks, as your unique and undeniably beautiful individuality you will finally blossom into your true self and own the skin you’re in.


Do you have something you want to sound off about. email us at: khahelah@lecharmemagazine.com

WITH Khahelah Thornton

KARMA So I have this friend that’s going through some real life messed up type of drama. She met this man, knowing he was married to his then second wife. The wife called my friend and the two met in person to “talk”. The wife begged my friend to leave her husband alone while she did all she could do to save her marriage and her family. Although touched, my friend decided she was in love and according to the scum in question he was going to exit his marriage whether or not the affair continued, Mr. Scum got a divorce and five years later he and my friend are now engaged. (Very nice ring by the way). For some reason my friend is 10,000 in debt paying for a wedding all on her own, when Mr. Scum confesses to her that he does not want to marry her and has been cheating on her for the last two years and wants to be with his current mistress instead, he tells her to pack her things and to get out of his house. Three weeks later his mom calls my friend and says she paid for the engagement ring and wants it back. WOW. Mistress-engaged-in debtheart broken-homeless- ringless-loveless.

Have a good life!


I used to be really cool with this girl that took it upon herself to tell me EVERYONE’S business. Because I wasn’t a part of the inner circle and she was, somehow she seemed to know all of our co-workers messy work shenanigans as well as their out of work drama. After two years our friendship came to an end and six months after that I found out that she had her own secret life that I had no idea about. Let’s just say that Ms. Mouthy found it so easy to discuss other people’s personal life but the juiciest trashiest messy story of all was her own. My point, messy people shouldn’t work as hard spreading other people’s mess while sweeping their own mess under the rug. #FAKE#PHONY



eptember 2016 I’ll be saying I do to the man I love and who’s somehow stolen my heart. We thought we had a great relationship until the planning of the wedding began! Planning our wedding has shown us how different be both think and how we don’t and will not always agree on everything. Anyone who’s ever planned a wedding knows how stressful things can get and how it has the potential to divide a unit. Here are 5 ways to easy the pains of wedding planning.

agenda is at place and not our own. In my personal experience I’ve noticed every time we discuss things concerning the wedding without prayer there is always tension and we tend to let our own selfish desires get in the way rather then what’s best for the both us.

2. Create a reasonable budget: Creating a reasonable budget helps you not to over spend and have severe regret later. A reasonable amount should be the amount you and your spouse can agree on without breaking the bank. It’s okay to create the wed1. Pray: In everything we do we ding of your dreams but rememshould always invite God in and ber you have to live a lifetime afask for his guidance. This is first and terwards. one of the most important part of the process. We invite God in and 3. DIY: Doing it yourself can cut ask for his guidance, so that HIS down a lot the cost. Creating your

own centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnières can save hundreds of dollars. Real flowers tend to be very expensive, and alternative can be silk flowers and add a touch of freshness to them had a few fresh flowers to your arrangement. Baby’s breath can be used as a filler in arrangement and they area really inexpensive. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen bouquets and boutonnières can be created using silk flowers, ribbon and a hot glue all of these items can be found out your local craft store. Visit a few thrift stores you can find really nice vases and picture frames both of these items can a small touches to your perfect wedding. Creating your own save the dates and invitations can not only add a personal touch but they can also save you some cash. Wedding Paper Divas allows you to create your own invitation/ save the date and you can even personalize them by adding pictures of you the your partner. 4. Use your resources: One of the best things is finding out your best friend or even your brother can be your photographer and videographer! If you aren’t as lucky as me find family members and friends you who wouldn’t mind helping you both create your special day.

Often time your venue will have special offers and incentive programs that will aid in planning your wedding. 5. Enjoy The Process: What often happens through the planning process is the couple will tend to forget what’s important. We get caught up in the process and the business of wedding planning and we forget to enjoy it. Remember you are planning your dream wedding with the love of your life! Cherish these moments because will never get them back. Adding these few things to your wedding planning will relieve some but not all of the tension and stress that will come with the process of planning a wedding, but number one is putting God first and he will lead you both in the right direction.

Healthy Meal Remix By: Josie Sloan

Summertime Treats

During the extreme heat of summer. All one can think about is something cool and refreshing such as a creamy cool snack like ice cream, flavorful fruit pies, or a thirst quenching adult beverage. Wait a minute its summer, so that means short shorts, tank tops and swim wear. Waistlines are not forgiving, and who wants to be bloated and carrying all that extra water anyway. I have three summer time treats that will satisfy your sweet tooth and help you watch what you eat. Berry Blast Parfait

The Berry Blast Parfait is to give you the illusion of eating ice cream without all the extra fat and calories. High in protein, cultures, and antioxidants; this summertime treat will keep you on the right track.

You Will Need

½ cup of fresh strawberries 1/3 cup of fresh blueberries ¼ cup of honey flavored granola ½ cup of Greek vanilla flavored yogurt

Let’s Get Started Rinse the strawberries and blueberries off under cool running water and pat dry. Cut the strawberries into fours and place them and the blue berries in a single serving bowl. Top with the Greek vanilla flavored yogurt and sprinkle the granola on top.

Health & Fitness Fruit Salsa Cinnamon Chips

This is a play on eating a fruit pie without all the added butter and sugar that comes along with it. Whole grains, rich fiber, and antioxidants; this treat will have you refreshed before and after a workout. Here’s what you will need.

You Will Need

1 - 6” Whole Wheat Tortilla Sprinkle of Cinnamon 1 to 2 Splenda Packets 1 to 2 sprays of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter ½ a small Gala Apple 4 Frozen Strawberries (thawed) 1 Kiwi Fruit 2 Mint Leaves 1 Tbsp. of Honey

Let’s Get Started Preheat the skillet on medium to high heat. Spray the butter on the both sides of the tortilla and sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on both sides as well. Toast the tortilla on both sides in the skillet and set aside. Chop the apple, strawberries, kiwi, and mint leaves and place in a small mixing bowl. Add the honey and mix all together. Pour fruit mixture onto a small serving plate. Cut the tortilla into triangular pieces and place on the same plate. Enjoy!

Health & Fitness

Vodka Spritzer with Watermelon Ice

Okay, what’s summer without being able to enjoy a refreshing adult beverage. The fruit mixers can be loaded with sugar causing a not so bad drink to turn into diabetes in a cup. Low calories soda, fresh fruit will surely have you enjoying a guilt free pleasure.

You Will Need

1 small Seedless Watermelon 2 oz. of raspberries 1 small Lime 3 or 4 Mint Leaves 12 oz. can of Sprite Zero Two Shots of Grey Goose Vodka

Let’s Get Started Cut the watermelon into small cubes and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours. Once frozen remove from backing sheet and place in a freezer bag. Cut up limes into thin slices. Place limes, raspberries, and mint leaves into a 16 oz. tumbler. Pour Grey Goose over fruit in tumbler and let set. Add the watermelon ice and pour Sprite Zero into the tumbler. Add straw, stir, and sip.

Product Details BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME Hardcover: 176 pages Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (JULY 14, 2015) Language: English ISBN-10: 0812993543 ISBN-13: 978-0812993547 www.amazon.com Price: $12.96

By:DeiIra Smith-Collard


n a quest to feed my soul and quench my thirst for elevation and continued consciousness, I searched for a read that would challenge viewpoints and awaken senses. TaNehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me does just that.

This thoughtful and insightful look into race in America reads like a private conversation between the author and the reader. Written as a series of letters to his son, Coates draws a parallel to race, racism and how it has effected and shaped our country. Using his life as well as events both past and present, Coates tells the story of what it means to be a person of color

in this day and time. He tells his story of awakening, of development and accountability and how he found his place in the world. This narrative is emotionally charge and thought provoking and no matter the color of your skin or your status in society, you will be influenced, you will be touched, and you will be elevated.


recipe courtesy of www.dashingdish.com

Snickers protein shake

Health & Fitness


Sweet Tooth

A healthy spin to satisfy your sweet tooth

Ingredients 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 scoop Protein powder 2-4 pkts Stevia or sweetener of choice 5-10 Ice cubes 1/2-1 cup Almond Milk 1 tbs Cocoa powder 2 tbs Peanut flour or peanut butter 1/2 tsp Caramel extract (or to taste)

Directions 1.Put everything into a blender and blend until creamy consistency is reached! Top with peanuts and/or mini chocolate chips if desired! Enjoy! Calories Fat Saturated Fat Carbohydrate Fiber Sugar Protein

240 cal 2g 0g 12 g 3g 6g 45 g

Never Make a

You Can’t

By: Dalana Bryant


ord, I come to you now in the name of Jesus asking you for help...Lord, if you help me this time, I promise I will...” Sound familiar? How many times have you prayed that prayer? Did you actually do what you said you would do? Or did you just say what you think God wanted to hear so you could get what you wanted from Him? Here is the reality of it all, God already knew your situation, what you were going to ask for and he already knew you were going to make a promise that you could not keep. So why do we make these empty promises to God? Lord, if you help me pay my rent, I promise I’ll start giving. Lord if you fix my marriage, I’ll promise I’ll go to church more. Lord, if you do this for me, I’ll do that. Vows are spoken promises made to God, and are often made in response to help received from God. A person making a vow can offer a thing, an action, or the promise of a future action. For example, Jacob promised to worship God and give God a tenth of everything he owned if God would protect him (Gen. 28:20-22). It is an act of trust between people and God. A person making a vow is expected to fulfill it by doing what is promised. We have to be careful when we make promises to God and not allow our feelings to

Spirituality cause us to speak too soon. It is better to promise nothing than to promise something and not be able to do it. Has someone borrowed something from you and promised to give it back by a specific time? Did someone tell you they would come to an event and not show? Did you make a promise to pay a bill and not pay it? Some promises are quickly broken because we never intended to fulfill them. Other promises, while made with good intentions are beyond our power and ability to fulfill. Maybe an unforeseen string of events changed our minds and the circumstances under which the promise was made had changed. Let’s think about how it feels to wait for something someone promised and to be disappointed because they did not keep their promise. It is not a good feeling. We don’t like it and neither does God. “When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him (Eccl. 5:4).” We do not know what the future holds – only God does. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so to make a vow that we will do or not do something is foolish. In other words, if you are going to do something, you should just do it. If you can’t, then don’t. Jesus commands that our words be sufficient without making vows. When we say “yes” or “no,” that is exactly what we should mean. Adding vows or oaths to our words opens us up to the influence of Satan, whose desire is to

trap us and compromise our Christian testimony. God also made promises and God’s promises are always fulfilled. God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? (Num. 23:19) We all have difficulty following through on our word. God, however does not. He will never have to make an excuse for failing to fulfill what He has promised because by His nature, God is good, merciful, and forever true to His word. When we fail to keep a promise, it communicates to God that we do not value Him. We have elected to place something else ahead of our commitment to God. Rationalizing or making excuses to avoid fulfilling the promises made to God is dangerous to our spiritual lives. There is no benefit in giving in to whatever the enemy is dangling in front of us to prevent us from keeping our word. Commitments always come with a cost and if your word can’t be trusted, you can’t be trusted. Spend a few minutes in self-examination. How faithfully do you keep your word — to God and to others? Consider your promises to God. What have you committed to Him? How are you tempted to look for excuses not to follow through on your promises? Christians should not make promises at all. It does not matter if it is to God, our friends or our children. Sometimes people make promises and they

cannot deliver or sometimes people just do not want to when the time comes. That does not glorify God. The only true stability we have is God! He has promised He will never leave us (Heb. 13:5), and He is faithful in all He has promised to us. Our job, then, is to be faithful in all we promised Him. If you encounter a change of circumstances that truly prevents you from keeping a promise you have already made, do your best to fulfill your vow in another way at another time, following God’s guidance. Seek God’s help every day to live with integrity in all of life’s little details. The more careful you become about making promises, the easier it will be to keep them. In the process, you will become more like our promise-keeping God and draw other people closer to Him as they seek spiritual truth. It is not too late to rededicate ourselves to fulfilling our commitment to God and seeking His Kingdom!

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