Brown Sparkles Too!

It’s Holiday Season again! All around the world people will be celebrating winter holidays like Pongal, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Thaipusam, and of course, bringing in the New Year (Jan 1st, 2015). If you’re searching for the perfect dress to show off your beautiful brown skin tone, what better way to sparkle than wear sequins!

Mindy Kaling – writer, comedian, star of her hit show The Mindy Project, and absolutely fabulous brown skinned fashionista embraces sequins as well as chunky jewelry and bright colors. Where many women of color will shy away from these kinds of bold moves, at Cinnamon Spirit we think you should be the shining star of the party!  Mindy agrees “I wear all of those things, because I like looking at it. It makes me feel happy and excited to wear it.” In the photo below, she wears a beautiful dress and skirt combination. This scene was from the Pilot Episode of The Mindy Project, and to be honest she looks gorgeous! I love that the kind of sequin pattern on top is so much different than the metallic embellishment on her skirt. From far away, it looks like a dress, but when you look closely we find that Mindy has connected the 60s disco-ball and the Victorian Era in the best of ways. While Mindy’s outfit does technically break the mixing-prints rule in fashion, it is a definitely haute look that I think any brown woman could pull off. sequin

Anouksha, 21 fashion blogger from the United Kingdom has found a way to glitter during finals week. Here, she wears a black bomber jacket from H&M, black stockings, and casual tan booties from MissGuided. Paired with her gorgeous vintage flapper, and stuffed bagpack, she get’s an A+ for style. SONY DSC

I found another stunning gold and black sequin dress from BeBe while looking for my own sequined New-Years-Me Dress. I can’t tell what is more radiant, the model’s deep brown skin or her dress. I’m too focused on how happy she looks while twirling around in it!


So maybe, you’re working for the holidays. You can still bring your briefcase of glitter with you! Katerina L., a 27 year old from Voronezh, Russia wears her sequins subtly. This outfit is a perfect day to night outfit that can be worn at lunch with friends, and then again at office party. Her sweater is also from H&M and her skirt is from Mango. She and her skirt, look delicious.Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 6.21.45 PMMy personal favorite is an Etsy Legend worn by a beautiful Indian Model, Menaka Iyer. She is 23 and from Toronto, Canada. I’m sure once you see this dress, you’ll be dying to have it.  She wore this vintage, one of a kind dress to New York City for the first time. “I had my first mimosa in NYC – Dream come true!” Menaka says excitedly. Although I couldn’t find the dress’s link, I did find that her feather earrings are from Spring and her muted (but also black sparkly heels) are from Nine West. tumblr_ng8w2oIHJP1tg7w7jo1_1280Obviously not many of us can afford to splurge and spend thousands of dollars on a holiday dress (we’re too busy getting presents for our friends and family), so I’ve compiled a few under $50 options:

Lony Women’s Sequinned Party Dress ($39 from
Shining Open Back Long Sleeve with Sequins Dress from (only $33.80 with Free Shipping Worldwide!)

Stay tuned to see what sparkles I picked for my holiday dress! Stay warm this season my brown-skinned beauties!

Icon of the Hour: Lupita Nyong’o

A scene from Lupita’s breakout film, 12 Years a Slave.

Written by : I. Ella Noor

Happy Wednesday everyone! If you haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave yet, consider it your homework assignment for the week. Whether you watch it to immerse yourself in some American history or for the heart-touching story of a black man’s kidnapping into slavery, there’s one character who will undoubtedly captivate you. Lupita Nyong’o, the radiant woman whom this post is about, plays Patsey, a 23 year old slave who becomes subject to her master’s disgusting commands. Patsey endures whipping, sexual misconduct, and some of the worst forms of degradation by her master and remains in the hearts of the audience long after the ending credits. Lupita’s performance as Patsey was so commendable that it earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress! This breakout film has earned her more than just a few awards (about 30 in fact); the spotlight is on this brown-beauty all over Hollywood and here at Cinnamon Spirit.

Lupita1Lupita Nyong’o (now 30 years old) graduated Yale Drama School only after playing Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. She was cast three weeks before graduation and insists she had “imposter’s syndrome” until she actually landed in Louisiana. She and her parents are of Kenyan descent although she was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1983.  At the time of Lupita’s birth, her parents were politically exiled and unable to return to Kenya. Therefore, her parents paved their own way – her mother became a leader of the Africa Cancer Foundation! Before Yale, she attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and earned her bachelors degree in film in 2003.

Lupita's all-white outfit on Ellen
Lupita’s all-white outfit on Ellen

In an interview with Ellen Degeneres (2/21/14) Lupita enters wearing a fabulous minimalist, all white double breasted vest and shorts outfit and subtle earrings. She is immediately greeted by the host and the audience; and her humble personality shines right on through. She says she had never even seen her face on The New Yorker or any other of the numerous magazines she’s been featured in. Lupita is thrilled to be kick starting her acting career as she looks forward to the Oscar Awards coming up.

Official Instagram:

Some fun facts about Lupita Nyong’o:
1. She loves Scandal – Lupita even says that some of her style is copied from fellow dark-skinned darling, Kerry Washington.
2. She wanted to be an actress after watching Stephen Spielberg’s The Color Purple.
3. She once had a horrible braiding experience in New York – therefore she learned how to do it herself. She can cornrow, box braid, and more!

Below is a photo of Lupita Nyong is in a stunning gown by Gucci at the annual SAG Awards (1/18). Her eye make-up speaks for itself. I am personally obsessed with the gold and blue making her features pop.

Lupita Nyong'o at the SAG Awards in Gucci
Lupita Nyong’o at the SAG Awards in Gucci

Get the look for less!

Just $19.60 at JC Penny!
Just $19.60 at JC Penny!
John Lewis True Decadence Maxi Dress (£44.00)
John Lewis True Decadence Maxi Dress (£44.00)

Today, Cinnamon Spirit would like to introduce a new team member: Miss Ishra Ella Noor

I love coffee so much no wonder I work at Starbucks! This is me at Hummingbird Cafe in Christchurch, New Zealand on a study abroad program


Name: Ishra Ella Noor, “Ella”
Age: 21 years
Heritage: Indian
Occupation: Full time student studying Environmental Geoscience and Political Science at Purdue University and Barista at Starbucks

Why did you decide to join the Cinnamon Spirit team? Cinnamon Spirit finally highlights a beautiful asset that I’ve known exists my whole life – dark skin. As soon as I heard about this initiative I just knew I had to be a part of it.

How would you like to help Cinnamon Spirit?
I’ll be routinely posting tips and tricks for beauty, fashion, recipes, and tailoring them specifically to highlight the beauty of dark-skinned women. After all, the fact that we can actually pull off mustard-yellow is a feat on its own.

 Who are some of your style icons? In terms of fashion, I have to say I’m a huge fan of Giuliana Rancic. I love how classy she is but still has a razor sharp edge to her style, and a killer smile to sport around with that dark golden skin matches every outfit.

Plans for the future? “I really want to help people. I’d love to incorporate what I’ve been studying in college to do this. I would love to pursue Natural Disaster Recovery or Hazard Mitigation. I’d also be really excited to have my own art gallery one day!”

Welcome aboard, Ella! We’re glad to have you here at Cinnamon Spirit!

Exercising outdoors is always better than in the gym, at least in my opinion. I feel like a mouse on a wheel on a treadmill! (Maui, Hawaiian Islands)
I love what I study because it gives me the ability to see parts of the world that most people won’t even know exist. (Sunset Volcano, Arizona, USA)
One of my favorite moments, on the Athabasca Glacier in BC!


Classic hair that shows off your fabric and skin

Long, bold dresses with classic tight hairstyles is back.


It draws attention to your facial features and clothing.


Pair up bold colors like red, green or white with brocade and flaunt your skin.


Confidence is the color … yellow!

My Mother always said yellow was the color for dark skin and I believe it now. It requires a certain confidence to pull off but man does it generate cynosure.


Lakshmi Menon combines her dusky beauty with ease on the runway.  Her skin makes the red and orange look so good!


Beautiful Brown Girl

Maybe it’s the clear skin, distinctive eyes, the eye and face makeup, the jewelry or just the color of her skin! It just works.

In particular I like the way her makeup is done.  Slight blush to accentuate her cheek bones and the dark outline of lipstick that keeps things natural. She has served as my poster child on several occasions  to help my glamour effort….simply because our skin tone is almost the same.




What is Cinnamon Spirit?

The story of Cinnamon Spirit, one can say started last week… or is as old as I am or older.

It’s no lie that media and society has fallen short of giving the beautiful dark skinned people of the world their proper representation. This is an effort to rectify that problem.

We want to showcase the beauty of being brown. We want to talk about fashion, health, technology and social demeanor that suits brown skinned people. We want to turn the spotlight on dark skin tones.

Our intent is to have the following sections

  • Fashion
  • Lifestyle
  • Health
  • Technology
  • Real People