Learn from Smart Women

Learn from bSmart Members

Fashion expert, Tai Beauchamp, has devoted her career to empowering women as a stylist, content creator, brand ambassador, on-air personality, and motivational speaker.  After interning at Good Housekeeping and Harper’s Bazaar, Tai became Beauty Editor at O, The Oprah Magazine and then Seventeen Magazine when she was just 25 years old.  Since then, Tai continues to inspire women to feel powerful inside and out as a Style Ambassador for InStyle - partnering with brands such as Dior Cosmetics, Nordstrom, and Target - as well as guest hosting on 'The Today Show,' 'Entertainment Tonight,' 'The Talk' and on red carpets for the Grammy and Academy Awards.  

Tai is now using her expertise as CEO of Tai Life Media, LLC - a digital platform to provide women insights on style, beauty, media, life, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.  Find out how fashion and beauty can empower you to live a beautyfull life (even on a budget!), Tai’s lessons learned as a beauty editor, and how we can all live The Tai Life.

Watch Tai empower women with fashion weekly as the host of TLC's Dare to Wear, Thursdays at 10 PM EST / 9 PM CST

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Fashion and beauty is an opportunity for you to self-express and that is power.

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Fearless Fashion

In what ways can fashion and beauty empower and transform a woman’s life?

Fashion and beauty is all about empowering women and helping them feel great about themselves.  Unfortunately the images of women in media have disempowered women in many ways making them feel like they’re not beautiful unless they reflect certain images.  Beauty and fashion is meant to make you feel good and that’s how I believe women should use it.  And on days when you don’t feel great, it’s a way to elevate yourself.

I feel fortunate because of my experience starting at O, The Oprah Magazine where it was all about empowering women using beauty and fashion to make women feel spirited and embrace who they are.  We’re making strides and inroads in media and advertising with campaigns like the Dove ‘Real Beauty’ campaign and so many others like ‘My Black is Beautiful’ that encourage women to celebrate who they are and express themselves.

When you’re feeling fabulous and on top of the world - wear a 6-inch heel (I do!).  When you’re feeling powerful and want to make a strong statement - wear that red lip.  Or if you’re feeling more reserved, perhaps wear just a pale pink lip.  Whatever it is for you, I believe fashion and beauty is an opportunity for you to self-express and that is power.

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When you feel more confident, you’re going to walk more confidently in the world.

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Where do you receive your fashion inspiration?

The first time I was inspired by fashion was with my grandmother.  I remember being perhaps three or four years old watching her apply makeup in the mirror and apply her lipstick just so.  My grandmother was a woman who went to college, went to grad school, raised 3 children, helped raise me (my mother was a teen mother when she had me) took care of her mother, and was a professional woman on top of that.  But in those moments when she put on lipstick or when she got dressed to the nines, it was self care for her.  Those were the moments where I felt like she celebrated and loved herself.  I find fashion inspiration everywhere I go, but it started with my grandmother.

What are your favorite fashion trends for feeling fabulous in 2015?

One of my favorite fashion trends for 2015 are gold and metallic accessories.  Accessories are important in fashion because, even if you’re not going to buy an entirely new wardrobe, when you have great accessories you’re helping to up your style quotient.  (And we all want to shine a little!)

We’re seeing a lot of romantic styles from floral prints to fringe, which is a little bit more of a flower child 70s feel.  We also saw wide-leg jeans back in.  I like the energy of the 70s.  It was an era for African Americans in particular for soul, power, and an overall sense of camaraderie.  It’s also really good dressing for curvy bodies, so I’m all about the ‘70s.

Another trend I love for 2015 are great heels.  I love decadent and detailed heels with great design.  So that’s what I’m loving for 2015 – gold accessories, 70s inspired trends including lace), and great shoes.  Wanna go shopping?

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Dress for your body.

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What are your beauty brand obsessions for feeling confident inside and out?

A lot of people don’t realize I was a beauty editor.  I love beauty and a product I can’t live without is red lipstick - I even wear red lipstick to the gym.  Red lipstick for me is like putting on my power suit or putting on my cape and it gives me that boost of confidence to not only feel good and powerful, but also to feel great about being a woman.  I also love lashes and mascara because I believe that connecting with someone and looking into their eyes is really important.

How can bSmart members live a beautiful life on a budget?

Living a beautiful life on a budget is possible.  I do it.  A lot of the major brands owned by Estée Lauder and L’Oréal have huge research & development departments.  Just because the products are economical doesn’t mean they’re not great quality.  My favorite foundations for women of color is Black Opal and Iman Cosmetics and they’re both found at your local drug store.

With regards to clothing, one of the tips I have is clothes swapping.  After you’ve worn items you love, get together with a group of girlfriends and swap clothes for 5 or 10 dollars.  You can consign within your group of friends!  There are also a lot of great retailers (from Target to Walmart) that have stylish and accessible items for you to dress smart on a budget.

Watch Tai's bSmart interview here!

I want women that come behind me to feel more empowered, equipped, ready, and in charge.

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Tai Life

What is the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?

I remember my grandmother saying to me (when I was a sometimes insecure, very tall girl - I was 5’10” at about 13 years old) to dress for your body.  You want to follow trends, but those trends might not work for you.  When you put something on that doesn’t work for you, you’re not going to feel good in it.  Wearing things that are flattering for your body is going to help you feel more confident.  When you feel more confident, you’re going to walk more confidently in the world.  That was the best fashion advice I’ve received.

Secondly, there’s nothing wrong with going to the tailor - and you don’t have to pay a lot of money to have something tailored.  Your local dry cleaner has a tailor, so if you need to make the waist more narrow because you need the pants to fit your curvy thighs or if you need to let the hem down because you’re taller or if you need to hem the jacket sleeve - take it to your tailor and you can typically get it done for about 6 or 10 bucks.  It’s very low cost to have customizable clothes just like the celebrities.

What were your biggest lessons learned as Beauty Director of Seventeen at age 25?

I became the Beauty and Fitness Director at Seventeen magazine when I was 25 years old.  It was a role I was deeply grateful to have, but there were a lot of lessons I learned.  At 25, we think we want to be a CEO.  We think we’re equipped to be a CEO.  What I learned at that job (and from burning out after one year) is that pacing yourself is really important.  While you want a six-figure salary right now, a corner office right now - there’s nothing wrong with pacing yourself.  And actually, to pace yourself is to allow yourself the opportunity to learn and grow and invest in yourself.

The other thing I learned from that job is the importance of connectivity with the audience you serve.  One idea I pitched at Seventeen magazine was to have the pages reflect real girls with every skin tone, body type, hair texture and length.  The reason that was so powerful was not only because young women could see themselves on the same level as models, but also because I brought all of you into my office, spoke to you, and connected with you.  The power of authentic connectivity when you’re working with any group is so important.

It's not enough to think you know someone when you’re in service to them.  And that’s what we’re here to do, we’re all here to serve.  The same is true for what I do with Tai Life.  It’s not about Tai Beauchamp; it’s about being in service to women and to empower them.  We’re all here for service.  To connect with the people you’re serving is really important and that has to be wholesome and honest.  So I learnd those three things: pacing, connectivity, and to know we’re all in service.

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To pace yourself is to allow yourself the opportunity to learn, grow, and invest in yourself.

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Who are your most influential mentors and what have they taught you?

I’ve been really fortunate to have some amazing mentors.  My first one is my grandmother.  She taught me the power of not only dreaming but doing.  She set the tone for me to do everything that I do now and hope to do in the future.

My second mentor is a man by the name of Raymond G. Chambers.  He’s a well-known philanthropist who did well in finance and has now devoted his life to philanthropy in the states and internationally.  He co-founded Malaria No More and America’s Promise as well as Millennium Promise.  He’s an amazing man who taught me the power of giving.

My mentor in the world of publishing is a woman by the name of Ellen Levine who serves as the Editorial Director of Hearst Magazines.  I met Ellen when I was a spry 19-year-old getting an internship with her at Good Housekeeping magazine.  Ellen broke so many boundaries and barriers being a woman in publishing and she’s always done so with grace, poise, all while being true to herself, her business, and her family.  I admire her greatly for that.

A mentor of mine (although more so from a distance) is Oprah.  I have learned so much, not only through my work with her, but also from watching her.  I had the opportunity to interview her about two years ago and she taught me something very powerful in this interview.  She said, 'I see you, I hear you, and what you say matter.'  Those three points she made to me during my interview with her has resonated with me and it’s something I quote often because they’re beautiful reminders about why it’s important to acknowledge people and connect with people in everything we do.

Lastly, I would say I have a lot of peer mentors because I’m surrounded by amazing women and men that inspire me.  I think peer mentorship is really important.  We always look to people who have supposedly done something that we aspire to do but sometimes the people you can learn the most from are the people sitting right next to you.  So this bSmart community is powerful. 

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Everything you want requires investment.

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What is the legacy you want to provide for the next generation of women?

Legacy is really powerful.  I don’t do what I do for me – I do it for others.  It comes back to community and service.  I want women that come behind me to feel more empowered, more equipped, more ready, more in charge, and I want to see us in more leadership roles.  What has happened over the last 10 years is that, while we’ve seen growth, we’re still thinking we have to limit some of what we do.  I want us to have everything we want on our own terms. That’s the legacy I want to leave.  And I’m figuring it out…that’s why I froze my eggs…I’m figuring it all out.  We have choices to make, but they’re ours to make.

How can we be smart with our life, career, and relationships like you?

I would tell my 21-year-old self that everything is going to be just fine and to party a little more.  I was one of those people who was very focused on the task at hand and didn’t have as much fun as I should have.  You need to develop yourself holistically.

The other thing I would say is everything you want requires investment. Being of the previous generation and being raised by two lovely African American women I was told you get your education and you focus on your career, which I did, and then I realized that a partner wasn’t going to magically drop from the sky (and he didn’t and he hasn’t).  At age 28 or 29, (not 21) I should’ve started to invest a little more time in my personal life.  If you want a partner and you want a family, realize that you have to invest in that, as well.  Anything that’s worthwhile requires investment. 

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It’s about being in service to women and to empower them. We’re all here for service.

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Sometimes the people you can learn the most from are the people sitting right next to you.

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Spotlight on Tai Beauchamp

Neighborhood: Downtown Manhattan

Occupation: Entrepreneur, Founder of Thetailife.com, Host of Dare to Wear on TLC

Twitter: @taibeau

Instagram: @taibeau

Women I Admire: @oprah @ariannahuffington @heidiiklum @bethannhardison MY MOM and MY Mary

Dream Mentor: Richard Branson & Barbara Walters

Look of the Season: What makes you feel good!

Ultimate Accessory: Hat! I've gotten a bit lazy with my hair.

Favorite Store: Net-a-porter.com...I prefer shopping online

Go-to Outfit: All black everything.

Must-have Shoes: My Christian Louboutin Studded Kate's

Favorite Nail Polish: I get cal gel on my nails...but on my toes, Essie French a White or Marshmellow

Can't Live Without Product: Philosophy Purity Cleaning Cloths.

Signature Scent: Bond No. 9 Astor Place

Cocktail of Choice: Belvedere Gimlet or Veuve Cliquot Rose

Best Date: Dinner, dancing and a run through Paris...all in 30 hours

Travel Destination: I am an adventurer, I'll go anywhere once! But currently planning a revisit to Bodrum and I go to Paris at least 4xs a year!

Current Craving: Dirty French

Best Advice: You are exactly where you are meant to be!

Favorite Quote: 'To thine own self be true.' - Shakespeare

De-Stress Technique: Meditation and a massage.

Latest Gadget: Beats by Dre x MCM headphones...so chic, so hipster, and so coveted!

On My Playlist: Weeknd Earned It

Favorite App: American Express and Instagram

College: Spelman College

Sorority: Mi Phi Mi...is that a sorority? If not, as corny as it sounds, I celebrate all women! I'm part of the sorority called Female.

  

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