Category Archives: Beauty

YASIN ABDUR: Artistic Guru


Yasin Abdur was born Allen Roosevelt Travis III, in NYC, into a family of artists. His mother was a Model and his Great Uncle, George “Rufus” Adams was a Jazz musician. A precocious child displaying artistic ability very young, it came as no surprise when at age 3, he began singing and at the age of 13 was professionally signed and repped. Parlaying his love for music and dance into a career, he choreographed and danced on an MTV dance show.  As a Songwriter, he wrote for Brandy, Raptress Eve of Ruff Ryders, 3LW, Harlem World, Trey Lorenz, and Vid Drawz.  Growing up, fashion was always on his mind.  He credits his love and official rise into the world of fashion to his friend and Mentor Debra Ginyard, whom he lived and worked closely with. During the 4 years he was with her, he accompanied her on all fashion shoots, watching this Creative Genius style the likes of Lauryn Hill, Monica, TLC and Robin Givens. Yasin had the privilege of working with this Style Icon daily in addition to sitting and listening intently at her feet as she spoke about fashion and style. He also worked alongside Andrew Caesar, who was responsible for creating the one of a kind style of Missy Elliott, Carl Thomas and Busta Rhymes.

Stepping out into his own lime light, about 8 years ago, Yasin began modeling and styling, as well as becoming the CEO and Artistic Director of his own company, Dapper Afrika. Under his Dapper Afrika moniker, Yasin has provided stylistic artistry to Jade Cole, Eugene Washington, Sarah “Pershia” Bliss, in addition to music video shoots and network television shows. His “Revolution of music, fashion and art” infused styling has appeared on the pages of Paper Magazine, the NY Times, the Satorialist as well as countless others.

Whether in front of the camera or behind the scenes, Yasin Abdur is an Impresario of the Arts, always leaving his mark on the industry. As a Singer, Songwriter, Model, Dancer, Choreographer and Artistic Director, he brings a creative talent and passion to his work that draws raves and admiration. While most stylists strive for a particular “look” for their clients at an shoot, Yasin Abdur aka The Dapper Afrika, strives to create an “personification of style” and is an (AIC) Artist in Consult of “souls” in music, image and fashion, who wants to touch the world through his gifts.


Q&A with Yasin Abdur:

BS: You spent a great majority of your life in the music industry. What is it about the fashion industry that enticed you to become a part of it?

Yasin Abdur:It just happened over time.  I never saw a difference between fashion and music.  Both were my outlets for my emotions.  Fashion came about most likely due to always being eclectic and people always saying to me that I could wear anything- as if I was a living mannequin.  I started out as a print/runway model so I guess that was my training.

BS: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?  How did you overcome it?

Yasin Abdur: The biggest challenge was not going back to school, never wanting to work a 9-5 and to stay true to my dreams, which also meant people would always look at you as if you are just all over the place with no focus. So I had to overcome perception/judgment from family, friends and from many who only look at you from the surface.  I experienced a very intense spiritual cleanse in my life a few years ago that made realize that I was chosen for Greater and one day my story would touch others. Whether it be thru my music or thru my visions as a wardrobe stylist I refuse to let go and give up.

BS: How confident were you in branching out and starting your own company?  How would you describe the experience?

Yasin Abdur: I was uncertain at first because I used to be managed by someone with tons of money or I was under an agent for most of my career. One day someone on the street told me that I was made to be a director or a CEO- and over the past 3 years it just came about.  It can be nerve wrecking at times but luckily I have my team who allows me to lead the way. When you are dealing with the world of fame on any level and staying true to you it’s a battle, but i love my brand and what it stands for.

BS: You wear many hats in your career. Which role do you enjoy the most and why?

Yasin Abdur: I enjoy singing on stage with my band the most.  I can feel people’s pain and share with them my love my hurt with my voice in such an angelic way of communication.  It’s healing for me.

BS: What is the significance of your company’s name, “Dapper Afrika”?

Yasin Abdur: Dapper Afrika is The Revolution of Fashion Music & Art.  Most images/music of what we see in this day and time are forced upon many as what is commercial.  I will eventually launch a Dapper Afrika coffee table book of many iconic entertainers/artists/models, which will feature syling/photography/art under my direction with spiritual quotes from each person which I feel will open up people’s mind to what being a star really means. Dapper Afrika is also a very established styling/wardrobe/image branding company. We dress supermodels on their off days, shoot album covers for artists who are working on their come backs or are seeking a new look.  The GOAL is to put art & spirituality back into these major fashion magazines which is going greatly,  letting people know that style should always be original and from within. 


BS: What makes you different from other stylists / musicians / models? 

Yasin Abdur: I have a list of amazing people that have influenced my life my struggles my journey that I gladly express in each of these gifts. I dont pay attention to the outside world less needed so I believe that my delivery is on another level.  The world only gets an icon every 12 years and I feel and know it’s my time as such.  I dont do well with titles so maybe that saves me from being like others. 


BS: What is the most important lesson you have learned from your mentor, Debra Ginyard?

Yasin Abdur: She taught me that if you honestly believe in the dream it will come true.  I was about 19 years with no home and she took me in.  That meant a lot to me and ‘til this day I still wake saying “how and why me?”  3 years of my life living in the presence of some amazing iconic artists was out of this world to me.  Nothing is by coincidence and I am thankful for her because she’s true to being a black woman, independent humble and powerful. Everyone has Angels and she was one of mine. 


BS: What advice do you have for people, specifically African Americans, trying to make it in the industry?

Yasin Abdur: Stay away from your ego. Never think you’re greater than another just be great at being you.

Study your art; study your purpose, by surrounding yourself with others whom you aspire to be like.  Stop believing in this so called “industry”- for if you give into it, it will eat you up.  Dont be afraid of the hardships, for there will be many when you want to truly make it.  Lastly, don’t lose your soul for no dollar!

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Black Hair Styles

Natural Hair

While some stylists use the term natural hair to refer only to Afros, others use the term for any hair style without chemical treatment, including Afros, updos and all types of braids. Since the chemicals used to straighten and relax black hair can be damaging to the locks as well as to the scalp, many people prefer a natural approach. It allows the hair to grow longer since it is undamaged and can also be combined with hair extensions.

Straw Set

If you are transitioning to a natural hair style from a chemical treated look, consider a straw set. In a straw set, you use drinking straws or small perm rollers to wrap your hair in ringlets.

1.Once you have shampooed and conditioned your hair, wrap small sections around the straws and secure it with hair pins.

2.Dry your hair under low heat with a bonnet hair dryer, or with very low, diffused heat with a hand dryer.

Roller Wrap Set

Roller wrap sets are a great way to get large, loose curls without damaging the hair with heat styling. This is a very popular styling method for many African American women as black hair tends to be very fragile. For large curls or waves, use large rollers to roll your clean, damp, conditioned hair. Dry your hair under low heat with a hooded dryer. When it is completely dry, you can remove the rollers and brush the hair into smooth waves.

You may find these smooth natural black hair styles easier if you use one of the “natural” relaxers available on the market such as Naturalaxer.


Double Strand Twist

Double strand twists are one of the most popular types of natural black hairstyles. This style can also give hair a break from everyday styling damage, as the twists are typically left in for a few days or weeks. Double twisting the hair is simple.

1.Part the hair into small sections all over the head, approximately one inch in size.

2.Place a small amount of oil on the hair and separate in half.

3.Cross the two pieces of hair over each other and pull tightly. Continue this process until the entire length of hair has been twisted.

4.Secure the end of the twist with a hair tie. Repeat this process until the entire head has been twisted.


Dreadlocks are popular hairstyles for many African American men and women. Dreadlocks are created when wet hair and a small amount of natural products are twisted together multiple times until the hair naturally stays in a locked form. When dreadlocks are put in the hair it will become matted and the locks will stay in place for a long time. The only drawback with this hairstyle is that they are nearly impossible to remove and usually need to be cut out.

Relaxed or Straightened Black Hair Styles

The chemical processes used to relax hair can make for beautiful sleek tresses, but they can also cause dryness, thinning and breakage. If you have your hair chemically relaxed, make sure you discuss the best shampoos and conditioners for your situation with your stylist; some leading black hair stylists recommend Nexxus hair products as well as the Dudley product line.

If you desire long and lustrous straight black hair styles, remember that there is no miracle pill for hair growth and that every process to which you subject your hair has an impact on it. Relaxers, hot curlers, hot combs, and color can all damage your hair and using more than one of these can make the problems exponentially worse. If you are planning to color and perm, you should always do your perm first or the color is likely to change dramatically.

Since straightening your hair removes elasticity from the hair shafts, the straighter your hair is, the more fragile it will become. If you want it bone straight, you will have the best success with very short styles. On the other hand, if you are relaxing but leaving a fair amount of curl in place, you can successfully have a longer hair style.


The different types of braided black hair styles available are nearly limitless. However, there are a few more popular braid options for African American hair.

•Cornrows: Cornrows are small, tight plaits, close to the scalp that are popular on both men and women. Cornrows are typically left in the hair for weeks or months at a time.

•Micro Braids: Micro braids are very tiny braids that are done to either just the root of the hair, or all of the hair. In many cases micro braids are so small, they are not noticed by the naked eye. These braids can be left in the hair for months.

•Tree Braids: Tree Braids are slightly larger than micro braids. They are small, noticeable, three strand braids that are done to the hair in small sections. These braids should only be left in the hair for a few weeks at most.

A lubricant, such as Aveda Humectant Pomade, is usually used for the twist. Of course, braiding is an art and it takes a substantial amount of time. Make sure you find someone you trust and that they understand the style you are going for. If often helps to look at pictures to indicate the style you are seeking before your stylist starts. When you wash your braids, make a diluted shampoo and water solution and work it gently into your braids. Then, use your shower to work it first through, then out of your hair. Repeat the same technique with your conditioner.

Keep in mind that braids can stress your hair; if they are put in too tightly, the hair is constantly pulled at the roots and this can result in breakage.


Extensions are popular hair choices for many African American women, mainly because growing out black hair can be very difficult due to its naturally dry and brittle nature. Extensions can be added to black hair in a number of ways.

Micro Braiding Extensions

Micro braiding is a very popular method of adding extensions to black hair. In this process, natural hair is partially micro braided and then extensions are added to the braid. Extensions can be left unbraided, or be completely braided, depending on the preference of the individual.


Fusion hair extensions are less popular with African American hair, but this method can be used on black hair if necessary. With this method, hair extensions are fused to natural hair with protein bonds. This is generally not recommended for women with extra brittle hair.


Hair weaving is possibly the most popular for African American women. In this process, a corn row or track is created around the head, right on the scalp. The extensions are then sewn onto the tracks. Then the real hair covers the track where the extensions are sewn in. Essence magazine has a gallery on African American hair weaves for pictures on how natural hair weaves can look.


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Kiki Barth. This tall, dark chocolate beauty stands 5’11 and model skinny, but very curvy.  She is definitely a chameleon, able to transform her looks from one character to another very easily. I initially met Ms. Barth last year at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim, where she was walking for the Lisa Blue Show. She immediately caught my eye, and when she opened her mouth to speak, her French/Creole accent revealed that she was Haitian. And she is so proud of her native country Haiti.

We had an instant connection. She was just as excited to find out that I was also Haitian. We discussed the condition of the country, the families we lost, the plans to go back, the amazing people we may have in common, and our love for Marc Baptiste–the work he is doing for Haiti and how we should all collaborate. We promised to work together, but if you know anything about the fashion industry, you can go months without seeing the same person again. During fashion week you stand a better chance of reconnecting.  True to the industry, we did meet again at Fashion Week, and promised that this time we were definitely going to make things happen on all levels… business, pleasure, and Haiti.

This season, we had the opportunity to work Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim again in the tents while she was working the Red Carter and the Rana Rojo shows. She killed! Both men and women were mesmerized by her beauty and walk of confidence. She blew kisses and gave us that walk reminiscent of Naomi Campbell; no exaggeration.

Walking the runway this season for eleven shows was definitely a full schedule. Undoubtedly, this prepares Ms. Barth to return to New York to walk Fashion Week for this upcoming season. The demand is already very high. She humbly declines to name some of the shows requesting her. I like that. Please keep in mind, Ms. Barth has already been shot by the legendary Bruce Weber, which gives her bragging rights. But still she keeps mum. Upon further investigation, I learned some famous names that she has the luxury of calling clients are Bobbi Brown, Chloe, Lanvin, Cavalli, Michael Kors, Herve Leger, Anne Fontaine, Nicole Miller and the notable Agent Provocateur.

When I requested an interview for my column, she responded, “Awww, that is so nice.  I really appreciate it.” She has not an ounce of haughtiness or sense of entitlement. Her career is what gave her a measure of confidence, because she feels beautiful when she’s modeling.. So, Ms. Barth wanted our interview to highlight her career, as a way to empower girls. Her desire is to help the orphans of Haiti, to be a role model, like her own idol Iman, whom she admits is one of the Beauty icons she loves.

Q & A With Kiki Barth

MLM: Where were you born? 

Kiki Barth: I was born in St. Marc, Haiti.

MLM: When and where did you start modeling? 

Kiki Barth: I was 15 when I started, and it was in West Palm Beach, FL.

MLM: What is your connection to Haiti?

Kiki Barth: I want to go back there to help the orphans.

MLM: What does modeling mean to you as a Haitian model? 

Kiki Barth: To me, modeling is a different outlet I could focus my energy on and it gave me the confidence all young girls should have. It makes me feel so Amazing and beautiful, especially on the runway.

MLM: Who are your role models? 

Kiki Barth: My mother definitely, but as for the industry it’s Iman. She is classy, beautiful, and smart. Her look is timeless. She’s been in the beauty, fashion, and cosmetics industry for a long time, and certainly has done a huge part to help define true beauty for African American women. She is such an inspiration. She is not just a model, but a role model for women of color. I also wear many of Iman’s cosmetic products.

MLM: What are your future plans for Haiti? 

Kiki Barth: I don’t have one big cause or a plan to save the world, but I contribute to my country Haiti simply by helping out in small ways. I commit most of my free time to working at the food bank, travel to Haiti to teach young girls in school about my modeling, and any other experience, and I volunteer for a variety of causes.

Obviously my seemingly random volunteer efforts may not change the world or Haiti, but I have learned that if I can impact even one person, then I have done a good job. Realizing that I helped pack hundreds of boxes of food reminds me that even in small ways, an individual can make a difference. I’ve also learned that service does not flow in only one direction. Although I may be the one giving my time to help others, by sharing their laughter, their tears, and their stories with me, other people constantly inspire me to have faith that humans are good. My efforts may feed their body for the moment, but their words feed my soul forever.

MLM: What is your message for young Haitian girls who want to model?

Kiki Barth: My advice to any inspiring young Haitian girls, is to love yourself, recognize your gifts and unique talents and put them to good use. Dream of what you can become. Accept and value the person you are now. Reach for the impossible and do the best job you can do. Never give up, no matter how much rejection you may encounter. One day you will succeed.

Words by Myrdith: Your stereotypical model is supposed to be vacuous and shallow. However, I don’t think Kiki Barth got that memo.  This brilliant, motivating artist sees beyond her own victories to the future success of others that will come after her. What a wonderful legacy to be working towards–to inspire the next generation of Haitians, and all girls that have the privilege of seeing her on the runways, and in the pages of fashion magazines.

See you on the catwalk, Kiki Barth! Representing women, women of color, and Haiti… Your success is our success.

Interview done by Myrdith Leon McCormack

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Photo credit: Michaelle Chapoteau


Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Beauty, Fashion


BLACK Beauty Tips: New Years Makeup Tutorial

Can you believe that 2011 is almost gone?!? It’s been a very rough yet fulfilling year for me and I am sooooo ready for 2012!!! You need to look FAB bringing in the new year….so I have just the look for you! It’s fun, glitzy, glam, and GLITTERY :-). This is the perfect time to dig out your glitter and make some good use of it—and there’s no need to be afraid to use glitter, because at the end of the day…it’s just makeup and you can take it off whenever you please!!

Hope you guys enjoy this look and tutorial. Have a safe and happy new year!!!

Hope you guys enjoy this!!

Remember…Stay Beautiful…Inside & Out


Written By: Ashlyn Morovee


Disclaimer: All views expressed in this post is that of the author and not BLACK STREET entirely.

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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Beauty, BLACK Beauty Tips


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Carol Wilson

Carol Wilson was born in Stamford, CT where she also received her BA in Human Resource and a Doctorate in Theology. Carol is married with nine children and many other extended children. Carol served ads a foster mother for years and have adopted several children. “Children are such a joy, they can sometimes make you cry but over all they bring so much happiness”, Carol. She too was raised in a large family with lots of love and happiness that she wanted her family to have that kind of life style.
Carol having a love for music, also loved to sing and dance. She took ballet and jazz lessons for years.At the tender age of eight, Carol began her modeling career. Both her mother and my aunt were Fashion Designers. Carol has modeled in the states of NY, MO, CT, MA, DC and so many other locations. At some point in her life Carol had the opportunity to model for Fashion Fair Show where Audrey Smalls was the commentator at that time. But unfortunately her parents were too afraid to let her travel to Paris. The distance was out of the question.
Carol also graduated from Barbizon Modeling School in Stamford, CT. She always love fashion and makeup. When she was pregnant with her first son, the desire to own her own makeup company compelled her and she was determined to make it happen. Years later Carol casually mentions her aspiration it to her daughter Ashlee, now business partner and hence the creation of Dream Kosmetics in June of 2010.

Q&A With Carol Wilson

BS:  So many of us would like to enter into the realms of entrepreneurship. What are some mistakes we should avoid making?

Carol Wilson: Avoid rushing into your business without doing some research and working on a business plan. Many times people feel like they don’t need one or they say it’s in my head. Without a business plan it will be hard for your business to stay on track. No lender will take you serious about your business if you don’t have one. If you don’t know how to do a business plan you should contact Small Business Administration and tell them you need to contact SCORE. They will help you achieve that goal.

BS:  Why have you chosen the Cosmetic industry?

Carol Wilson: I use to be a model and when I was modeling my makeup never seem to match my skin color. I began to look around at the faces on TV and I realize that no matter what your ethnicity was there were many shades in each race. Back in the day. if you were a person of color you either look like you were gray or the makeup made you darker then what you were. So my partner and I decided to venture out and create a line that would meet everyone’s skin tone.

BS:  Has this industry been a rewarding one?

Carol Wilson: Yes most definitely! I love seeing women putting on our make up and the happiness that comes over their faces brings joy to my heart. Watching women try on Voluptuous Lip Gloss for the first time and they realize that their lips look gorgeous and they don’t stick together like most leading brand.

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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Beauty, Businesses, Professionals, & Organizations


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