The BBlogger Spotlight: Celia San Miguel of Sicka Than Average


She goes by many nicknames, Cel, Celi Mari, C Rock, C Span, but here’s what you need to know: her fashion and beauty blog Sicka Than Average is one of our favorites. Why? Because it’s not only super-fun to read and covers our favorite topics, it also makes us feel smarter every time.

No surprise, since Celia San Miguel holds a B.A. in Literature and Afro-American Studies from Harvard. What I find most impressive about this 33-year-old Nuyorican is that she’s been able to successfully transition from one real of media to the next. Having worked on the editorial staff of magazines and newspapers like In StyleVIBE, the New York PostComplex, and GIANT, and penned freelance pieces for all of them along with LatinaEssence,Women’s Wear Daily, and Cosmopolitan for Latinas, she made the jump into the digital realm at the right time by launching Sicka Than Average in 2008. The blog now averages 60,000 to 65,000 unique visitors per month.

Lately, I’ve loved seeing her pop up more and more on Telemundo as a style expert, making the ultimate transition to broadcast.

Get to know Celia via our BBlogger Spotlight and make sure to follow her on Twitter (@sickathanavg) and Pinterest, for starters.

What’s the first beauty product you fell in love with as a little girl?

My mother had a vanity in her bathroom and she kept all her lipsticks in one drawer. I remember being so fascinated by the contents of that drawer but, in particular, these coral Estee Lauder lipsticks she had. I loved how bright the shades were and the gold lipstick tubes, with those vertical grooves, just seemed so elegant to me.

What feature of yours did you dislike when you were younger but now love?

When I was really young, I was embarrassed that I had a big booty. This is, of course, before Jennifer Lopez became famous and even mainstream media started talking about the beauty of women having ample behinds. Needless to say, I was kind of self-conscious about it but as I got older, I realized just how blessed I am to have curves in all the right places. Any dress that hugs my booty perfectly is a must-have!

What’s your definition of real beauty?

It may be cliché, but I do think real beauty comes from within. When you’re confident and you’re comfortable in your own skin, when you’re daring enough to buck societal expectations and simply exist, when you choose to surround yourself with positivity, when you pursue your dreams with integrity, and when you respect others, that inner beauty shines through and makes you absolutely magnetic.

Describe the tone and mission of your blog.

With Sicka Than Average, I hope to cater to women who are adventurous and have an eclectic sense of personal style, ladies who are whip-smart and who want to set, rather than follow, trends. To that end, I don’t cater to the “cult of celebrity” and post article after article about what celebrities wore or did but, instead, I try to showcase different key products that are out there and highlight trends that are on the horizon (sometimes pin-pointing them before they pick up steam) and then I encourage women to nurture their own personal aesthetics and to find a way to express themselves via their beauty and fashion choices. By doing this, I hope to empower women to find their own voice and their own style rather than dictating rules or encouraging them to replicate some celebrity’s ensemble.


If you weren’t blogging, what would you be doing?

I’d be writing. Even if I weren’t focusing on fashion and beauty specifically, I know I’d be writing.  I think that expressing yourself through the written word is truly an art, and I can’t imagine my life without it.

What’s your splurge item this Spring?  

The TRIA Laser Hair Removal 4X would be on the list since it’s an investment towards removing hair completely in the long run. You can use this laser at home and, within three to six months, you’ll start seeing less and less hair grow back. And, really, what woman doesn’t want to avoid the hassle of shaving her legs? I’m also loving the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder since it’s like having your own personal lighting technician with you at all times!

What’s your steal?

I’m pretty obsessed with the EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balms — they moisturize and smooth lips and they come in these adorable egg-shaped containers so that you can twist off the cap and roll the lip balm over your pout without ever having to use your fingers (which can be unsanitary).

Do you have a BBlogger crush?

I absolutely adore Karen from Makeup & Beauty Blog. She’s a die-hard makeup junkie and she has excellent product reviews and amazing photos, plus she has this silly side that makes you smile as you read her content. I also love Beauty Logic Blog — Milly is so warm and approachable, and I think that’s really evident in the way she speaks to her readers. Another favorite would be Musings of a Muse — she covers an expansive array of beauty brands and she churns out content really frequently so that you can always keep your fingers on the pulse of what’s hot in the realm of beauty.

Looking ahead, what’s the next hot trend (for Summer)?  

There are so many great trends this season! CC Creams are going to be huge this year. In terms of makeup, we’re going to see tons of blue eye shadow looks (from turquoise to aqua and cobalt blue), very ’60s-esque white liner and shadow, and bright lip looks — especially shades of coral red and vivid fuchsia pink — but with a matte finish (a welcome change!).

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2012 was Miguel’s year & 2013 will be even bigger


If you’re a music journalist and you’ve written about R&B dynamo Miguel in 2012, chances are you’ve put the 27-year-old and Prince in the same sentence, as I have. And that’s cool, says Miguel. Just don’t get used to it.

“I’m offended for Prince because I’m such a huge fan of his and you can’t compare anyone to Prince,” says Miguel. “But if I’m associated with any ounce of greatness then that’s a huge compliment – and that’s what I think of when I think of Prince; I think of greatness, I think of timelessness, creativity, longevity, just unapologetic and unwavering sense of self. I can only hope to remind people of greatness.”

There’s no doubt that 2012 was Miguel’s breakout year. True, he had shown promise on his 2010 debut album All I Want Is You, but it was this year’s follow-up, Kaleidoscope Dream, that earned high praise from critics and fans alike, who unanimously seemed to agree that Miguel was part of an exciting crop of artists intent on saving a dying genre. “[Frank Ocean’s] Channel Orange, [Miguel’s] Kaleidoscope Dream, and [The Weeknd’s] Trilogy rescued the art form from the monotony of ‘baby, baby please’ as Ocean, Miguel and Weeknd casually re-created it in their own images,” wrote Rebecca Thomas at MTV.

In many ways, that monotony Thomas writes of began when the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B himself, R. Kelly, committed career suicide circa 2002. The game was just never the same – until now. As music journalist Erik Parker puts it, “Miguel’s music came at a time when there was a wide open lane. He split the difference between Trey Songz’ sex appeal and Frank Ocean’s exotic and left-field style. He’s pushing the boundaries in an artistic way that is not too much in the clouds. He’s stretching R&B but it doesn’t feel forced or too self-aware.”

With five Grammy nominations, including Song of the Year and Best R&B Performance for “Adorn,” and Best Urban Contemporary Vocal Album and a spring tour with Alicia Keys coming up, 2013 is looking even better for Miguel.

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Tego Calderon weighs in on Puerto Rican statehood


He was never flashy, even when reggaeton exploded into the mainstream circa 2005 with Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina.” While Yankee, Don Omar, and Wisin y Yandel were basking in the spotlight, Tego Calderon stayed in the background, experimenting with a sound that was never solely reggaeton or rap. It was poetry, informed by the rhythms and circumstances of his island.

Calderon’s sense of responsibility to make music with a message was handed down. From his late father Esteban, he inherited an appreciation for the older, socially conscious salseros like Ismael Rivera, who exposed racism in Puerto Rican society. Since the early days, when he released 2004’s El Enemy de los Guasibiri up until his most recent work like “Robin Hood,” off his latest album, The Original Gallo del Pais, Calderon has tackled topics like corruption and inequality. And as Puerto Rico continues to grapple with issues like skyrocketing crime, Calderon continues to stay true to that urban vigilante persona.

At 40, Calderon continues to perform for loyal fans all throughout Latin America, dabbles in acting (Illegal TenderFast Five), and commands the respect of his peers and the music industry as a whole. The Original Gallo del Pais was nominated for a 2012 Latin Grammy in the Best Urban Album category (the award went to Don Omar).

A recent phone conversation while he was promoting his latest album reveals that these days, Calderon seems content with his life and fulfilled as an artist and a family man. Whether people buy his music or not almost doesn’t matter, because on any given day, you’ll find Tego Calderon in “El Sitio,” his home and recording studio in Santurce, P.R. – doing what he does best.

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Salud! Tequila tasting with Sensato in Vegas for Latin Grammys


What happens in Vegas…well, you know the rest. While in town for the Latin Grammys this week, artists were celebrating their nominations and wins up and down the Strip. One of them, Sensato, was in Vegas on double duty: to perform his monster club hit “Crazy People” with Pitbull during the show, the same song that was nominated in the Best Urban Song category.

If you’ve heard the song – and unless you live under a rock, you have – then you know this 27-year-old Dominican rapper with the hyper, caricature-like flow knows a thing or two about having a good time. So I took him tequila tasting earlier in the week to the hottest new resto on the Strip, Javier’s, which has a vast selection of the agave-based drink.

Sensato, who is signed to Pitbull’s label Mr. 305 Inc., has a bright future ahead of him beyond the Latin Grammy nod (the award went to Don Omar for “Hasta Que Salga El Sol”). His new, Pitbull-assisted single “La Confesion,” which namedrops J.Lo, Sofia Vegara, Eva Longoria, Selena Gomez, Shakira, and other hot Latinas is out now, and the two bad boys are working on a full joint album, due some time next year.

Watch here as we learn a thing or two about “fine” tequila and talk about what it means to be Pitbull’s protege. Sensato played it coy when we asked for crazy stories while on tour with Pit, but we can only imagine what that’s like…

Also, check out what Sensato and other celebs told us on the Latin Grammy green carpet about their End of the World playlists, because if we’re going down this year, we’re making it count with some good company, good music, and, why not a nice adult beverage?


What’s in your suitcase: ChocQuibTown’s Goyo


Latin Grammys are just as much about the music as they are about the fashion, so we snuck into one of our favorite band’s room to see which looks they’re going to be rocking this week in Las Vegas.

Colombian hip-hop group ChocQuibTown, beloved at home in Choco and all around Latin America, is nominated in three categories this year – Album of the Year (Eso Es Lo Que Hay), Record of the Year (“Calentura,” featuring Tego Calderon and Zully Murillo), and Best Alternative Music Album.

But they’re not exactly new at this Latin Grammy thing. In 2009, they were up for Best New Artist, and they won Best Alternative Song in 2010 for “De Donde Vengo Yo.”

The band’s Colombian pride manifests itself strongly in the fashion choices of its lead singer Gloria Martinez (a.k.a. Goyo), as we were able to see firsthand during our visit to her hotel room in Vegas. “It’s really important for me to support local designers,” Goyo told me yesterday, right before our Twitcam with the group. If you missed it, check out the full, unedited video here.

The trio of Goyo, her brother Slow, and her hubby Tostao, had so much fun answering fan questions on Twitter, and shared everything from their favorite foods to their dreams of a possible collaboration with Calle 13, and even breaking into an awesome acapella of “Hasta El Techo” (fast foward to minute 14:00 of the Twitcam video)!

But first, I got an exclusive look at Goyo’s wardrobe for the rest of the week. She makes the best dressed list in my book for all of her originality and support of local designers.

Check out the pics on Fusion (ABC/Univision), where this story was originally published. 

Interview With Javier Bardem: Best Bond Villain Ever?


Is Skyfall the best Bond movie ever? Some critics think so, and that’s not necessarily untrue. The 23rd installment of the longest-running film franchise ever (50 years!) is certainly the best of the Daniel Craig pics, and Javier Bardem’s deliciously wicked blonde-haired villain Silva plays a huge role in that.

He’s not your usual Bond villain, that’s for sure. One of the movie’s best scenes between Bond and Silva, right after they meet for the first time, is oozing with homoeroticism, raising the question: is Bardem playing the first gay Bond baddie? “You could read it that way,” Bardem tells Entertainment Weekly. “The word that [director Sam Mendes] kept using was ‘uncomfortableness’. Beyond the sexuality, he wanted it to feel like you don’t know if Silva’s joking or not.”

Watch here as the Oscar-winning Spaniard breaks down the psychology of his bad guy for me during the recent Skyfall press junket in NYC. Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds to meet him.

If Silva reminds moviegoers of The Joker or other classic comic book villains that’s not a total coincidence, says Bardem. He actually spent time sketching the character, using the skills he acquired during his time studying fine arts in Spain. He then brought those to Mendes and they jointly arrived at this “broken man,” who is so focused on revenge that he will stop at nothing to achieve it.

Can Bond fight such a monster, now that he’s aging and got an alcohol problem? You’ll just have to watch, starting November 9.

Christina Aguilera answers my burning questions


I think you already know her name. And just in case you forgot how comfortable Christina Aguilera is in her own skin, she’s dropped a new music video for “Your Body,” the first single off her upcoming album, Lotus. I’m loving the use of pastel colors and the vintage prop styling, all of which suggests a soft and feminine approach, but no less confident than her Dirrty days- if you’re going to rock pink and lavender hair, you may as well do it with panache.

And she does.

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