Amber A. McKinnon: Founder & Editor, Brown Bombshell Beauty

Amber McKinnon started out as that girlfriend who always had the insider tips on the best and boldest beauty buys. Now, she gets to be that girlfriend for women all over the web through her blog, Brown Bombshell Beauty! She has also shared her savvy advice via media outlets like Ebony, The Huffington Post, Better Kansas City and Kansas City Live. You can find info on what products to buy, how to maximize your budget when shopping for beauty, and more when you visit this space “where every brown girl is a bombshell”.

Keep reading to learn more about Amber’s recently released e-book, The Brown Bombshell Guide to Beauty and the unique beauty shopping services she’ll be launching in the future.

Amber, tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
Hey, there! I've been a beauty blogger since 2008. My blog is all about celebrating women of color and our inherent beauty. The blog features hot beauty products, reviews and more.

What inspired you to begin blogging at Brown Bombshell Beauty?
I've been a beauty junkie since before I was allowed to wear makeup out of the house LOL. I've always been the friend that my girlfriends always call when they want to know what products to buy. I created the blog as an extension of that. I wanted to be that knowledgeable girlfriend for women all over the web.

Is blogging your full time occupation? If not, how do you manage it with your other professional responsibilities?
Blogging takes up a lot of time, but it isn't my full-time job. Staying organized is the key to managing blogging with my other responsibilities. I'm the queen of the to-do list. My lists are color-coded and I write down EVERYTHING. If I don't write it in one of my notebooks, chances are it won't get done. Hence, the color coding and cute notebook/journal system!


What can readers expect from your beauty e-book, The Brown Bombshell Guide to Beauty?
I'm so excited to have just released my e-book! The Bombshell Guide to Beauty Shopping is a must-have guide to being a super savvy beauty shopper. In the book I share how best to shop for beauty products from the drugstore all the way up to high-end department stores. My favorite chapter shares how to save money on beauty products pretty much everywhere. I love saving a coin, so I spill the beans on how I do it, as well as some places to save beauty dollars that you might not expect. Like I said, I'm super excited for people to read it!

What was the last beauty item you splurged on and really treated yourself?
I would say that the last item I splurged on was some Korean skin care from Belif. They recently transitioned to the US in Sephora stores. I LOVE skin care and think it's critically important to overall beauty, so I treated myself to a few products from their line.

Do you have an easy every day beauty routine that anyone could emulate? If so, tell us about it.
Absolutely! I love getting dolled up but I don't have the time (or patience) for that everyday, so I've mastered what I call my makeup "uniform". First, I even my skin tone with a concealer over any spots I want to cover. I'll use a foundation instead if it's a day where I have more time. Then I set with pressed powder and apply powder blush to the apples of my cheeks. Next, I'll swipe some cream eyeshadow in a bronze brown shade on my lids with my finger and apply two coats of volumizing mascara. I'll finish by taming my brows with brow gel and shaping them with a pencil, then swiping on some lipstick or lipgloss. The whole process takes all of 5 minutes. No joking, I can do it without a mirror at this point.

Do you have a weekend or Sunday night natural hair ritual? If so, tell us about it.
Sunday nights are all about beauty rituals for me! In addition to an at-home facial, I cleanse and deep condition my natural hair for the week ahead. I'll usually do a little pre-poo, shampoo and then deep condition with heat while I work on my laptop or read a book. After that I style it for the week ahead.


What three items are in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal--those Holy Grail items you can't live without?

100% Pure Coconut Oil - My skin and hair love coconut oil! I use it pretty much all over to soften, smooth and add a healthy sheen.

Dermalogica PreCleanse - I don't play around with my skin care and this cleansing oil makes sure all my makeup is removed before I proceed with my skincare regimen.

Beautyblender Sponge - This little sponge is amazing! It makes my makeup go on like a dream and look absolutely perfect.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Chocolate - I'm obsessed with brows and anything by Anastasia Beverly Hills is my favorite. I think I might own one of every brow product she makes!

What's the best piece of beauty advice you've ever received?
My mom gave me the best piece of beauty advice I've ever received. She told me years ago to always take care of my neck. Now that I'm older I notice women who look great in the face, but their neck gives away their true age. So, I take mom's advice to heart and make sure that I treat my neck and décolletage as attentively as I treat my face.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us? Besides your e-book, what else is coming up for Brown Bombshell Beauty?
Brown Bombshell Beauty is almost seven years old, so I'm in a place where I want to make sure that it changes and grows as I have changed and grown over the years. I'm cooking up more e-books, as I'd love for them to become a series containing a library of helpful beauty books. I'm also introducing personal beauty shopping services where I help women assess their beauty collection and see what they want and need to add, I'll take their budget into consideration, then I'll pick out the best products for them. If they live in the Kansas City area I'll go shopping with them, otherwise I'll have items pulled for them locally and provide them with a custom-shopping list. I'm really looking forward to helping women shop in this way!

Learn more about Amber and Brown Bombshell Beauty services at her website and connect with her on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.