The Right Way To Drink Green Tea For Weight Loss

green teaCan green tea help you lose weight? Absolutely. Does having it in the form of ice cream or noodles count? Not quite. If you want to reap the maximum weight-loss benefits of epigallocatechin gallate, a.k.a. EGCG, a health-boosting antioxidant that’s found in green tea, you might want to consume this herbal drink the right way. Yep, believe it or not, there’s actually a right and wrong way to drink green tea. From “Does the brand matter?” to “Does it expire?” here are seven of your most common questions regarding green tea answered.

Do you get the same benefits with flavored green teas?

Yes, but if the flavoring contains added sugar or artificial sweeteners, it can wreak havoc on you and your waistline, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Opt for plain green tea whenever you can.

What about iced green tea?

The benefits are still there, but iced teas are often watered down, minimizing the effectiveness of the green tea.

Does the brand of green tea matter?

Yes, the difference lies in the quality of tea leaves and the amount of additional, unnecessary ingredients. When purchasing green tea, choose brands that use all natural ingredients and contain zero artificial preservatives, such as Celestial Seasonings, Traditional Medicinals or Yogi.

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Summer Beauty Tips From Ciara’s Makeup Artist Yolonda Frederick


Ciara. Jennifer Hudson. Monica. TLC. Lynn Whitfield. What do all of these beautiful, talented and famous faces have in common? They’ve all experienced the magic of celebrity makeup artist Yolonda Frederick. This makeup maven has become a go-to in the industry for celebrities who want to look flawless, fresh and nothing less. Here, Frederick spills industry secrets, including a detailed “how-to” on attaining Ciara’s signature glow.

A Royal Point of View: What are three essential items we should all be carrying in our makeup bags this summer?

Yolonda Frederick: Evian’s Facial Water Spray, a great sunscreen like SkinCeuticals’ Daily Sun Defense Moisturizing Broad-spectrum Sunscreen SPF 20 and a great tinted hydrating balm like Givenchy’s Hydra Sparkling Magic Lip & Cheek Balm. The bonus is that you get a nice tint for your cheeks too!

A Royal Point of View: Any summer beauty trends we should look out for?

YF: Less is more! For summer, a clean bronzy glow is necessary. Keep your application light and fresh with a tinted moisturizer and a sweep of bronzer for healthy radiant skin punched up with a nice shimmer to the cheek bones. Then add a touch of a fun lip and cheek stain. Bright-colored eyeliners like MAC’s Chromagraphic pencils are in for summer.


A Royal Point of View: What’s the best way to prevent our makeup from slipping and sliding all over the place when the warm weather and humidity start to roll around?

YF: Go for lighter coverage on your foundation choices. Try a tinted moisturizer like NARS’ Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer with Make Up For Ever’s Full Cover Concealer, which is waterproof. Follow up with a great bronzer like MAC’s Bronzing Powder in “Golden” instead of heavier foundations and powders.

A Royal Point of View: What was your first big break?

YF: I got a call many years ago from LaFace Records to do T-Boz for People Magazine. I was so nervous, but fortunately, she and I connected during this shoot and she started requesting me for all of her local shoots. When TLC released FanMail, she made it possible for me to tour with the entire group! My phone hasn’t stopped ringing since then.

A Royal Point of View: Speaking of TLC, how was it like working with the late Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes?

YF: She was an amazing young lady. Always respectful and easy to work with. Sometimes she would fall asleep while I did her makeup.

A Royal Point of View: Is working with celebrities as glamorous as it seems?

YF: Working with celebrities isn’t as glamorous as it may seem. Sure, I get a bird’s eye view into inner circles and being backstage can be very exciting. However, I also consider my job service-oriented, and it’s always about your clients’ needs and concerns first. I’ve earned the privilege through hard work, experience and continually honing my skills to participate in a process that’s meant to create and maintain a certain image for a celebrity brand. This can create lots of pressure to deliver, so when I come to work, it’s time to roll up my sleeves and dig in instead rubbing elbows with the talent.


A Royal Point of View: What’s the best and worst part about your job?

YF: The best part of my job as a celebrity makeup artist is that it’s provided me with the opportunity to visit cities all over the world doing what I love the most and that’s making my clients feel beautiful. Ironically, the worst part about my job is the amount of travel required. It can be exhausting to travel for 18 hours to work and then have to arrive on set with fresh energy and be creative.

A Royal Point of View: You have strong ties to a program called, “Face to Face: The National Domestic Violence Project,” where you give makeup training and consulting to domestic violence survivors. Could you tell us more about that and how you became involved?

YF: I was connected through an amazing and gifted doctor Marc E. Yune, who’s a volunteer surgeon, former spokesman and fund-raising chairman for Face to Face. I was given an opportunity to participate in an extreme makeover through Dr. Yune. He invited me along with another friend Dina Giesler, the founder of “Atlanta Smiles Foundation, Inc.,” and we all donated our time and services to a very courageous abuse survivor. It was such an inspiring experience. To be able to add quality to a women’s life by simply making her feel confident about her self-image was truly a defining moment in my life. It validates one’s power to make a difference in someone’s life by a simple act of kindness.

A Royal Point of View: Would you ever be interested in launching your own cosmetics line in the future?

YF: Yes, I’m actually in the process of product development right now. In fact, I recently received my prototype, and it’s extremely fulfilling to finally see my idea come to life. My trade mark has been filed and is still in the application phase, so I have to wait until it has been completely registered to reveal the name, but it’s a very cool mobile makeup compact for girls on the go. It will contain various cosmetics items that can be tailored to appeal to each individual’s needs. My goal is to have it on the market by the beginning of the New Year!

A Royal Point of View: What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?

YF: To nurture your body from the inside. Drink lots of water, eat balanced meals, take care of your skin and exercise. This is just as important as using great beauty products!

To achieve a beautiful and natural-looking glow like Ciara’s, head over to

For more information about Yolonda Frederick, check out

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

Inspired by Us Weekly’s “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” column…


1. I’m an avid collector of vinyl records, tour programs, and fortune cookie sayings.

2. My favorite sitcom is Reba. I’ve seen every episode at least 20 times and can recite almost every single line.

3. One of the things on my bucket list is to consume a large pizza with everything on it all by myself.

4. I didn’t attend my first concert until I was 13. Not ashamed to say it was the Backstreet Boys.

5. If I could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, Maya Angelou, Dorothy Dandridge, and Rod Serling would all be invited.

6. I haven’t had a grilled cheese sandwich in nearly a decade. That’s gonna have to change real soon!

7. The most-played song on my iPod is Madonna’s “Angel.” An oldie but goodie!

Mariah Carey Daydream

8. My favorite album of all time is Mariah Carey’s Daydream. One word: life-changing.

9. I self-edit every article I write at least 10 times before hitting “send.”

10. In high school, I had dreams of becoming the next Dianne Warren/Hype Williams. I would spend hours writing songs and video treatments.

11. One of my favorite movies of all time is Selena.

12. Growing up, I was a huge Nickelodeon kid. Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Doug, All That, Kenan and Kel — I loved them all!

13. The first movie I ever saw in theaters was Spice World.

14. I’m literally counting down the days until The Walking Dead returns. It’s the only modern scripted show that I actually watch.


15. I’ve never seen Titanic, but I love Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”

16. One of my guilty pleasures is jamming out to ABBA music.

17. I enjoy watching those late-night Time Life music infomercials.

18. I must paint my nails a different color every week or else, I’ll get bored.

19. I love watching The Twilight Zone marathon every New Year’s Day and Fourth of July/Labor Day weekend.

20. My go-to scent is Marc Jacob’s “Daisy.”

21. I’m obsessed with maxi dresses. I own at least 10.


22. My dream is to own the Birkin bag in black with palladium hardware.

23. I don’t have a favorite color.

24. The first place I want to see when I visit Europe is Italy. Cute guys, classic Italian food, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, cobblestone roads – what’s not to love?

25. I’m the type of person who listens to Christmas music all year round…like in the middle of June.

What I’ve Been Up To These Past Few Weeks…

Sesi Fall 2014 IssueHey Loves,

I want to apologize for being MIA these past few weeks. I’ve just been super busy working my head off on a feature for Sesi Magazine. Some of you may recall the interview I did with Andréa Butler, the Editor-in-Chief of Sesi last month, which turned out to be a great success. She was so sweet! Not too long after our interview, I decided to pitch Andréa. Unfortunately, she passed on my idea, but offered me the opportunity to write another article for the fall/back-to-school issue, which I accepted, of course. Since then, I’ve been working non-stop to make sure the article reaches its full potential.

My piece is about #BlackGreekLife. It’s a breakdown/guide of the four major Black sororities: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho to help high school seniors decide which one is perfect for them. In the article, I address everything one should know before pledging from some of the common stereotypes to community service and leadership opportunities. The piece ended up being around 2,700 words, which is the longest article I’ve ever written, but it’s fine because I’m a magazines girl and everyone knows that magazine features tend to be on the longer side.

Being the perfectionist that I am, I put my blood, sweat, and tears into this piece, and I cannot wait for you all to read it! The image that you see above is actually the final cover (my story is on the bottom right hand corner). I’m sooo psyched. No word yet as to when the issue drops, but my guess is that it will probably be sometime in September. As of right now, Sesi is not available in stores. To order your copy for only $3.99, head over to They sell out fast, so don’t miss out!


9 Energy-Boosting Foods To Get You Through Your Day

woman yawning

The next time you start feeling that mid-day slump, do yourself a favor by not pouring another cup of coffee, or reaching for a candy bar from the vending machine. Sure, caffeine and sugar may seem like quick fixes at the moment, but the crash that follows will leave you feeling even more tired than before. Instead, try incorporating these nine foods into your diet to help naturally boost your energy throughout the day. You can thank us later.

1. Kiwi

Believe it or not, these bad boys contain twice the potassium of a banana and twice the vitamin C of an orange. And get this: Kiwis also have 2.5 grams of fiber, which helps keep you full and prevent energy lows when you’re hungry.

2. Sauerkraut

Raw sauerkraut isn’t just a great, tasty topping for hot dogs; it also helps you maintain your energy levels. You see, fermented cabbage contains a high amount of probiotics, which allow your body to digest food much more efficiently. As a result, you’re left with more energy.

3. Dark Chocolate

Yes, chocolate can actually be good for you, especially if it’s dark chocolate. It contains theobromine, a natural stimulant that’s similar to caffeine, which is known for boosting your energy and your mood. Oh, and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar and the more energy-boosting potential it has. How cool is that?

Read the rest of my article at [].

10 Common Asthma Myths Debunked

asthmaAccording to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nearly 25 million people suffer from asthma. What’s even more startling is the fact that African Americans are three times more likely than any other racial group to die from the disease due to factors such as genetics, socioeconomic status, health maintenance behaviors, air quality and obesity. In an effort to help bridge the disparity gap, here are some of the biggest misconceptions about asthma.

 1. Asthma can be cured.  

Despite many great advances in treatments over the years, there are currently no cures for asthma. The good news, however, is that with the appropriate diagnosis and proper treatment, most people with asthma can lead normal, active lives.

 2. It’s normal to use your blue reliever inhaler at least once a day. 

If you find yourself having to use your inhaler on a regular basis, we hate to break it to you, but your asthma is not under control. If you’re on a preventer medication, be sure to take it every day, or perhaps it’s time to increase your dose. Needing to use your reliever frequently is a strong indicator that you could soon suffer an asthma attack, which can be life-threatening, so see your doctor right away!

3. People with asthma shouldn’t own pets

Plenty of people with asthma have pets in their homes. Some can be more of a trigger than others; cats and dogs tend to cause the most issues. For many though, a reaction only occurs when getting in close contact with animals, but each individual’s response will differ, of course. Find out what works best for you!

Read the rest of my article at [].

Celeb Dentist Uses Art to Provide Dental Work for the Uninsured

Smile Design Gallery

New York City’s Smile Design Gallery might offer one of the coolest approaches to giving we’ve ever seen.

Since its inception last spring, the out-of-the-box charity, founded by celebrity dentist Dr. Lee Gause, provides complimentary dental services to uninsured people through various art shows/auctions with several celebrities and artists, including Swizz Beatz, Fab Five Freddy, A$AP TyY, Angelo Romano and Chi Modu.

The art shows are normally held every month at various locations around Manhattan, from the luxurious Hudson Hotel to the famed Riverside Church. With $300,000 raised thus far, the next event is scheduled for July 9 at SoHo’s Martin Lawrence Gallery. Japan-born Takashi Murakami, who’s worked with Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, is one of the many artists who will be featured throughout the evening.

The concept behind SDG might be a little unconventional, but it seems to be working considering the fact that more than 500 uninsured people were treated within the past year. To date, approximately 126 million Americans lack dental coverage, according to the National Association of Dental Plans.

Read the rest of my article at [].


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