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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

#WomenWhoSlayWednesday: When A Good Girl Gives Up Part One

My first suicide attempt was at the age of 30. Two years ago, before my 31st birthday I decided I wanted to end it all.

Me during the worse depression of my life 
On paper I should have been happy. I was a television reporter in a Top 50 Market. I had two men vying for my affection, girlfriends galore, and a 135 lb frame. I had a a super, cute Volkswagen Beetle, an adorable dog, and a supportive family. I was killing it. On the outside at least.

But inside I was NUMB! I literally had no feeling. At the time I was on an anti-depressant Brintellix I believe, and a mood stabilizer called Ambilify. (side effects are increased suicide thoughts) That day on a may afternoon right before my nightside shift I decided I'd fade to black.

No one knew my pain, because I hide it well. I covered my tired face in makeup. I told the men I loved I was getting better, and my I never spoke a word to my girlfriends with the exception of Jade (read about our friendship in the blog 'Beauty and the Cute Girl). I honestly thought no one would understand my pain, and no one could help. In hindsight I was wrong, but my depression couldn't let me see that help was out there.

Now this is MORBID, but I had been researching ways to die for weeks: drowning, hanging, chemicals, anti-freeze. I had decided on overdosing since I saw so many celebrities go that way. I KNOW THIS IS SO MORBID, but it's my truth.


Monday, August 29, 2016

#MakeupMondays: Lolo's Loves, My Favorite Beauty Buys

#MakeupMondays: Lolo’s Love, Some of My Favorite Beauty Buys

It’s ya girl Lauren Hope AKA Lolo. This week I’m going to depart from my emotional #MakeupMonday and gab on the beauty buys I just can’t live without.

It’s a little something I call “Lolo’s Loves” Here are the items:
*Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced
*Glided Honey Highlighter by Laura Geller
*In Bloom Eye Palette by Tarte Cosmetics
*ANY MATTE LIP CREAM by Nyx Cosmetics (I’m obsessed)
My typical news makeup. Here' s me in a live truck

OMG I lived for MAC foundation as a a reporter

I’ve been wearing makeup since I was sixteen. I started with Mary Kay and slowly progressed to Mac Cosmetics when I became a television news reporter. For the most part I stayed in the family of makeup I was accustomed to wearing for that season of my life. For example as a reporter I mostly wore Mac Foundation (NC #45 Studio Fix) complete with concealer, lip stick, and eyeshadow kit. Every now and then I’d mix in some Maybeline but nothing nothing quite compared. Hey if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. That’s how I feel about the items I listed above. They are my tried and trues. Even when I try to bring in something new to the mix I keep coming back to these five items. Here’s why:

*Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced – I discovered this mascara at my makeup heaven Ulta. I went in for a few staples and discovered I had a free sample of ‘Better Than Sex Mascara’. All things considered it was a good sample. I loved the name, but bulked at it. There are few things better than sex… or so I hear. But, this mascara is pretty amazing. When you pull the wand out it is moist which I LOVE! It does a great job of separating your lashes and giving you a good coat of color. It’s worth a try….and honestly worth the price. Not better than sex but pretty damn close.

*Glided Honey Highlighter by Laura Geller – Why didn’t anyone tell me about highlighters as a television reporter? I always looked so washed out in my opinion. I think a highlighter would have complimented my cheekbones and giving me some nice warm glow on-air. Ah well. I was a young Tomboy trying hard to be feminine in the glamourous world of television. A sales associate named Destinee recommended this to me when I worked at the Navy Exchange in Norfolk. I told her I wanted to give my face some pop and she suggested this gem. OMG I fell in love instantly. When applied in your highlight areas ‘Glided Honey’ is perfection. It’s the perfect sun-kissed look, and doubles as a great highlighters for your boobs too. YAS HUNTY put that ish on your boobs. It gives them a nice glow and  I’m told it enhances cleavage. Even though I’m not hurting in that department I love a little honey glow on the girls. TRY IT!

* ‘In Bloom Eye Palette’ by Tarte Cosmetics- UM can I please work for Tarte? I love everything about this makeup line. I found this pearl of a makeup line at Ulta also. I was shopping for a new eye palette kit, but I had specific requirements. I needed something easy, something I could use everyday, and super cute. Well my girl Jasmine (She works at the Greenbrier store in Chesapeake, VA. Ask about her she slays. Her Instagram is @facebyjayee) She suggested the ‘In Bloom’palette. The eye palette came with a card that shows two awesome looks. I’ve since lost mine but if  ME, a makeup amateur, can figure out cool colors so can you. Also Tarte has a great Instagram and Youtube that shows you amazing things you can do with their palettes. I’ve only brushed the surface.

I also love Tarte because the eye palettes and foundation are made of Amazonian Clay. Listen all honestly I don’t know shit about Amazonian Clay. All I know is this stuff is amazeballs. I took some cools pics of the Tarte palette on my Facebook ( @LaurenHope- shameless plug) and my high school friend Fallon raved about it. Fallon says she has sensitive skin and Tarte is the only makeup she can wear. #FACTS So now everytime I got to Ulta I play in the Tarte section and recommend it to other customers. Almost every customers who feels that product on their skin BUYS! These are facts! The foundation is silky smooth and the eye palettes fun. Ok I’ve spent too much time raving. Next time I’ll rave about the Lash Paint Mascara which I adore now.

*NYX COSMETICS Matte Lip Creams- For years I never paid NYX any mind. When I was shopping in CVS I’d see the brand but I thought nothing of it. Underneath the title of NYX it says ‘Professional Makeup’. Well I looked at the price of those lip sticks and thought, “There is no way this is professional makeup.” Well honey let me tell you IT IS! You know who lead me to NYX Cosmetics? Kylie Jenner. As many of you know I love the Kardashians/Jenner clan. I think all of them have business savvy and style. Well Miss Kylie came out with some amazing lip kits ( a matte lip cream and a lip liner) and the internet SHUT DOWN! Lip kits sold in seconds, websites crashed, dreams were crushed. And, like the Kardashian/Jenner lover I am, I wanted one. Well I haven’t been able to get my hands on one since her first launch. I’ve either been too slow, too broke, or too tired. Man one time I got the time wrong and I sat in front of my computer in distress. I promise you, I am college educated. ANYWHO Miss Kylie is one smart cookie. Matte lip creams are huge right now. As I’ve been shopping around I’ve noticed almost every popular makeup brand have either revamped their matte lip creams or launched new ones. Maybe it’s because of Kylie, maybe it’s not.

Well since I couldn’t get Kylie’s I went searching for a comparable stand-in. Some followers told me to check out NYX at Ulta…’s been love ever since. First I tried the standard red, brown, and wine colors. Those matte lips creams stayed on long, moisturized, and were inexpensive. Before long I had a full on habit, a whole makeup bag full of NYX matte lip creams and lip sticks. It’s seriously all I wear. AND wouldn’t you know they have a lot of the same colors Kylie has. My favorite right now is #littledenimdress it’s indentical to Kylie’s #skylie Trust me. And, I also love that you can use coupons for NYX at Ulta and select CVS. YAS HUNTY I saw CVS. If you buy beauty products from CVS, they keep sending you amazing coupons so I get a lot for NYX, and I treat myself to a new lip color often. These products slay, but they won’t break the bank.

Ugh I loved writing this blog! I will definitely do it again. Please send suggestions of things I should try. You can post it on Facebook or email me at Remember I love a good deal so any coupons or promotions please send those too.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

#FineFellasFriday: A Musical Mentor "Zane Robinson", Help Save His Program

#FineFellasFriday: A Musical Mentor “Zane Robinson” Help Save His Program

This is my third time featuring Zane Robinson on one of my online platforms. He’s just so fabulous I had to feature him more than once. I originally met Zane while I was studying journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University. I don’t remember us talking much, but I do remember him having this quiet strength about him. Fast forward a few years and Zane now works in Richmond City Hall. I’ve come to discover his real passion is mentoring kids through music and his program has lost its sponsorship. I’m writing this blog in hopes of encouraging others (people with money and resources) to help keep it going.

Every Friday Good Girl Chronicles features positive, encourage #menwhoslay! If you’re holding down the household, effecting change in your neighborhood, or just so motivating it hurts I wa nt to hear from you. This blog is dedicated to the good guys.

#Fine Fellas Friday: Men Who Inspire, Men Who Motivate, Men Who Make Change Happen

I reconnected with Zane in June when I was trying to fight my third parking ticket at Richmond City Hall. He told me about his dream project called Life’s Dream Music Education School, a music production and composition class. The production piece of the program is supported by Zane's business partner Dollar and a Dream Production. 

The program teachex teens ages 14 to 19  music, production, story telling and teamwork. As a self-proclaimed storyteller myself I was psyched (my cool word for excited) to see his program in action.

When I arrived at the Bellmeade Community Center, I took a flight of stairs to the ground floor. Before I could open the door, I heard the steady beat of drums, a bass line, and kids laughing. As a long time music lover it was my kind of place. 
The studio was made of cubicle style walls, and a simple door, but inside it was so much more extraordinary. Turn tables, Apple computers, music programs were all buzzing to life in this little studio, and at the center was Zane. You know how you can see someone and just know they are in their element? In that moment Zane Robinson was in his element.

“How does this make you feel?” Zane asks one of his female students.

She looks as if she’s thinking, trying to find the right words. Zane is working with the young lady on a song she’s been writing for a few days. I later learn the girl’s name is Jocelyn Hill. A singer and song- writer, Jocelyn was recently accepted to a historically black college for music. The chick slays! She’s also a Franklin Military Academy graduate and valedictorian.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

Jocelyn sings a melody. Her voice is soft, delicate, yet it seems to contain so much depth.

“Trying to find it?” Zane asks. In this moment I see that music writing is hard work. It’s so much more than putting some words to paper, and I’m a lot jealous I don’t have the knack for it.

While Zane and Jocelyn are ironing out their latest song, in the corner another student is watching rap music videos. The square in me doesn’t see how this kid is learning by watching music videos, and then Zane’s guidance shows me there’s quite a lot to learn from rappers, and hip hop stars.

Zane breaks away from Jocelyn and sits with a young man surfing Youtube for rap artists.

“Are studying this video or just watching it?” he asks. What is Zane some musical Yoda? (Kidding) What a cool question. “Are you studying this video or just watching?” There’s totally a difference. It’s like half way watching television versus really connecting on with the show’s players, plots, and themes.

Zane then tells the young man to go to an artist named Jadakiss. They watch a few of his music videos, and I understand what Zane means by studying a music video. Instead of just rocking out to the bass line Zane points out moments in the song where Jadakiss is using imagery, foreshadowing, and timing to tell a story. It’s a mixture of the cinematography, and the lyrics. He shows the young man how Jadakiss uses certain camera angles to convey a point. I had this kind of conversations in college level film appreciation and American literature. Here these kids are learning in high school.

There’s an art to music, and Zane wants to cultivate that art with Richmond high schoolers. Life’s Dream Music Education School is a 12 week program where students get to write and produce their own music. The program even allows the kids a chance to perform at public venues in Richmond, and rub elbows with a few rap celebrities.

It’s pretty school that there was a program around to give some of Richmond’s youth a healthy outlet for the life stories. You can help keep the program going by contact Zane Robinson on Facebook or his website

The program is no longer being sponsored by Richmond Public Schools. Here’s where you come in. Zane’s program has lost its sponsorship, meaning they have no place to play next semester. Zane is doing all he can to keep the doors for the kids. If you’re interested helping this mentorship go to or find Life’s Interpretation on Facebook.

Thanks for letting me see your amazing organization and for being a #finefella who is giving back.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Good Girl Chronicles Contributor: Jacquelyn Grace's 'You Had Me at Hello'

There's just something special about Grace. She goes by Jacquelyn Grace but I call her Grace. Because when I met this radiant woman I was praying for Grace. I saw her outside of a Starbucks with her husband in a lovely pink pea coat. She was the picture of serenity. I won't lie I was fangirling. She had this effortless beauty about her, and I knew I wanted to know her. Well Grace gave me her blog and I lost the card.

We ran into each other at Greenbrier Mall almost a month later, and this time I knew I had to hold onto woman called Grace.

Here is Grace's latest blog for Good Girl Chronicles: 'You Had Me at Hello' Like myself and Jade, Grace has found that special woman who seems to know exactly what to say and when to say it. Love those kind of chicks. They are totally #WOMENWHOSLAY #IRONSHARPENSIRON

“Hi, I’m Ayla,” she said, smiling at a group of boys sitting on the sand.

“Hi,” they replied, admiring her.

They turned to me. I froze. What was I going to say? What is my own name? How did I get so drunk?

“Uh–hi…she’s Ayla,” I managed to say.

“Hi,” they said again.

Full of rum punch, we sashayed to the clear blue waters of Nassau beach. Or rather, she sashayed. I have no recollection of how my inebriated body made it from point A to point B.

That was last summer. A few weeks ago, Ayla and I told this story to her family during our week-long vacation in Avon, NC, resulting in a round of raucous laughter.

After their guffaws and giggles faded away, something inside me clicked–Ayla had shared with me her secret to breaking the ice, and it was so simple.

“Hi, I’m Ayla.”

So freaking simple.

No crazy pickup lines.

Just an introduction.

Wow. If I only knew that when I was younger…

When I was eleven years old, I had a crush on this boy in my class…and so did a bunch of other girls.

Every day, I tortured myself admiring him from afar and watching this one girl effortlessly approach him.

Her eyes twinkled. His eyes twinkled. They exchanged smiles.

“How does she do that?” I thought to myself. “How does she flirt?”

I filled my diary with my preadolescent frustration and longing.

During those middle school years, a rumor went around that I was mute because few people could see past my shyness. Anxiously, I decided that it was better to be silent than say something stupid. After all, I couldn’t speak to a guy (let alone make eye contact with him) without stammering and blushing and beating myself up later for being so awkward because goshdangit, Jackie, all he was asking for was a pencil.

Le sigh.

It wasn’t until right before I graduated the eighth grade that I had my first victory. It was the last dance of my middle school career, and I still had not danced with anyone. I resigned myself (for the millionth time) to being a wallflower and watched from the sidelines as my classmates smiled at each other and swayed to the music.

I would have looked back at this night with disappointment and regret if my best friend hadn’t literally pushed me if front of this guy I had been feeling all sorts of tension with since the beginning of the first semester. The force of her push made me almost collide into him. We stared into each other’s eyes for a second. It was now or never. Breathlessly, I asked him if he wanted to dance with me. He put his arms around me, and all at once I understood the feelings I had denied all year.
But still, that didn’t happen on my own. That moment was sponsored by my friend’s uncanny arm strength, God’s impeccable timing, and my brand new Charlotte Russe skirt (which still had the ink tag, as I discovered later).

Without that combination, I was still the clueless girl who had no dramatic entrance, no opening lines, and no game.

Fast forward to my first year of high school. I was crushing so hard on this guy who eventually became our class valedictorian, and I was so awkward it was pathetic.

In my diary, I scribbled a poem.

I know that you avoid me
And I avoid you too
Because of fear I cannot
Bring myself to talk to you

I pined after him and his coke-bottle glasses all Freshman year. The year after, at Homecoming, I asked him to dance with me, and I told him how I felt. He let me down gently, but it was awfully ironic that DHT’s version of “Listen to Your Heart” was playing in the background.

Damn that song.

Junior year, I finally got my first boyfriend. That was the beginning of my winning streak for the next few years of my life. I finally grew into my features, and boys started noticing me. No one knew that I still got tongue-tied or shy because I didn’t have to approach the boys. At last, they were coming to me.

But even so, to this very day, I am still mystified by the art of flirting. How does one do it? How does one approach a man?

Just the thought of putting myself out there paralyzes me with fear.

But here, in the present, while sipping pineapple juice and vodka, Ayla made it all so simple for me.

Flirting is not complicated. Neither is approaching a man.

All I have to do is say, “Hi, I’m Jackie.”

Fate will take care of the rest.

Lolo's view: In my eyes dear you are more than gold, beautifully and wonderfully made. Thanks for the blog Grace. Check her out at

Monday, August 8, 2016

A #MakeupMonday About Friendship

Don't get me wrong I love makeup. I love the creative things you can do with eye shadow, the cool ways you can contour your face. But more than anything I love how good makeup, a good artist, and a good product can make you feel on the inside. I've had lipstick bring me joy on low days.
And now I'm meeting  makeup artists who show me how to slay with product and slay in life. Today's #makeupmondaymaven is my new friend Caleb, a makeup artist at Sephora in Greenbrier Mall. I didn't have time to do a full blog do I did this YouTube video. 

Thank Caleb for sharpening me with you amazing makeup skills and encouragement. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Another Emotional #MakeupMondays: My MakeUp Love Story, Mary Kay Lady, Ulta Beauty Saves The Day

OMG when did I fall in love with makeup? Well it all started when I was sixteen and preparing to go to Ring dance. I wasn't super popular in high school and I wasn't heavily courted (that's old people talk for being pursued). Ring dance was no different. One of my best guy friends didn't have a date either so we went together. The night of our Ring dance a Mary Kay representative came to home and made me feel like a star. She showed me how to put the makeup on, and what colors looked good on me. From that moment makeup became like armor to me. It was my way of hiding from the world. I never quite mastered the makeup thing in high school, but in college I somehow found a nice balance of natural and fun makeup.

One of the days I nailed it as a reporter in Lynchburg
Thus began my love affair with makeup. When I became a television news reporter, makeup was all about covering dark circles from little sleep, pimples from stress, and highlighting my good features. I won't lie I didn't love makeup during those days. It felt like work, and I had some rough makeup days starting out. There were times when my makeup made me look pale (too much spf) , times it did not cover ( no concealer), and it never lasted ( I didn't know about primers). But, now that I am an amateur makeup blogger, I absolutely LOVE makeup.

Television Makeup: I did not apply any of this... This was for my headshots

Covering Presidents Park: Not Enough Makeup
My makeup obsession went into overdrive when I discovered this store called Ulta Beauty. I can't remember the exact date I met Ulta but I believe we'll be makeup friends for life now. Why do I love Ulta? Well the Ulta I go to is in Chesapeake, and those girls always make me feel beautiful and free. I know all of them by first name, and I know their life stories. They show me products that work, give me samples, offer make up tutorials. THOSE GIRLS SHARPEN ME. I need to apply there.

My Ulta Makeover
On of the toughest days of my month, I went into Ulta for a little love. I had no money and no credit cards. All I did for 3 hours was play in makeup: Becca, Tarte Cosmetics, NYX Cosmetics, Laura Gella, Stila. I tried them all. Then I put on my retail associate hat and I helped other people with their products too. I matched makeup, foundations, and I helped some cool teenagers find good affordable makeup brushes. I felt like I was working there. It was joy, and for those few moment I forgot about my parents, being hungry, having no money, and wondering about my future. For those 3 hours I was just Lolo, fabulous, fun Lolo playing in colors like I did back when I was 16. I could cry. Those three hours were therapy, and I didn't buy a thing. I left with some priceless... acceptance, and love. Thank you Ulta girls for getting me through a tough day. I also bumped into another makeup blogger I respect and the two of us gabbed like girlfriends. Proverbs 27:17 says, 'Iron sharpens Iron so one person sharpens another..." You all are the epitome of that.

You are #womenwhoslay and I love you...... Thanks for a fun Sunday.. and maybe my next career choice.