Author: fhmpr

Hiding the bruises with make up to becoming a professional make up artist

23634716_10155018868196272_103584026_nFriday, November 16, 2017- NBC NEWS 5: There was a time when Rita Lynn Lester wore makeup only when she needed to hide bruises. She says she spent 13 years and had three children with a man who abused her. She met him she was 15, and didn’t leave until she was 28.
“It started out small,” she said. “Maybe he would raise his voice, or he went from raising his voice to slapping me or choking me. And it went from choking to punching and kicking, and then restraining. And then there were hospital visits, a couple of miscarriages. It got pretty bad.”

Functioning in dysfunction, is what she calls it — until the night he knocked her unconscious as she held their infant daughter. “He just reached back, it seemed like with all his might, and punched me straight across the face. And she flew out of my arms,” Lester said. She woke up to sobbing children and a destro23619161_10155019013891272_1135034434_nyed home and decided enough was enough. That was four years ago.

Now she’s turned everything she’s learned about makeup into a platform, using Facebook Live. She teaches others her glamour secrets in makeup tutorials, while also sharing her story of enduring and overcoming domestic violence.
She’s developed a growing following on both her Facebook pages, calling herself the “Real Rita Lynn,” because she is no longer hiding.  Story by: Kristi Nelson

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Meet our 2017 Shades of Success: Dallas’ Influential Women



Shade of Success has an active mission to bring forth, influential, empowering, and successful women; utilizing their involvement in the community to generate awareness towards charitable initiatives. The vision is to become one of the most successful, leading example women organizations within the Dallas sector to raise a generous amount of funds to donate to a non-profit organization and impact the message of charity.

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Elizabeth Savage

In 1995, Elizabeth was not prepared to come home to a house fire that would alter her life forever Her story speaks to others about her feelings of devastation, heartbrokenness and abandonment. From her pain a organization was birth. She started S.T.A.N.D organization in April 2011. She started this organization having the vision of helping men, women and teens that are affected by domestic violence. She wants to bring hope and help them to move into their peace and start living. She has spoken at churches, schools and events. She is part of the Arlington Police Department program they have called ACAPP. She volunteers her time in areas the department may need. Through S.T.A.N.D a program was created “Born With A Purpose”. This program is for age 8-18. The program was created to help the youth overcome domestic violence. Helps them to focus on their future and go to college. She started a 10/5K Run/Walk honoring victims that have Overcome or lost their life behind domestic violence. This year 2017 will be the 5th annual. She has been recognized by Arlington Chief Johnson with Business Community Award. She also received the award ACAPP Member of the Year and the award for Her Outstanding Service to the Community. She received the Impact award from Equanimity Magazine. Her story is also featured in Mrs. Pat Smith’s book ” Second Changes”

Elizabeth believes that you must be determined through life’s challenges and submit your life to God. Her inspiring message will remind women, men and teens to believe in themselves and not to become discouraged or lose faith. God has blessed her to be the Voice for those that are silent.


You have to hear it to believe it

Front House Management  Karen Michelle sits down with CEO Noel Lee of Monster products to discuss the 37 years of innovation and its most recent BEATrayed lawsuit against Dr. Dre for selling his headphones to Apple for $3 Billion dollars and the creator Noel Lee walks away with $0. It was more than a pleasure to sit down with another genius to discuss marketing strategies for a well known product that launched Beats by Dr.Dre in 2008; says Karen Michelle.14656428_1746630428935524_6247562629828666076_n

Noel Lee’s career took place in 2007 in Santa Monica, CA in the inside of his garage later to discover a successful company called Monster that made and sold high-end speaker cables.

Many would say that Beats by Dr. Dre are overpriced and overrated when it comes to the quality. I would have to agree, maybe this was a blessing in disguise for CEO Noel Lee and his distinguish team to create a product as such that allows us to hear music the way it was meant to be heard.

These past two years Karen has spent time reviewing their new products and becoming a freelance ambassador for Monster as they search for a new identity.

Monster recently made a few appearances on one of the most watched shows; Empire. The 24 Kart headphones will be a killer this Christmas along with a few others. Talk about14717215_1746613228937244_8417564198670627765_n detail and quality! Karen Michelle is known for her experience in the fashion industry, and to be able to give her opinion on these fashionable headphones is priceless. Monster also just announced the blaster Boom Box, this Boom Box will take you  back as far as the early  70’s when we use to carry our music on the shoulder bouncing our heads to Grandmaster flash while walking up and down the streets in our community.


So if you’re asking yourself, Do we support Monster? Yes, we support a company that has dignity and speaks against domestic violence as we recently learned about Dr. Dre’s history of domestic violence in the beginning of his career. I’m not to sure I would want to wear a brand on my ears, better yet around my neck that symbolize something so negative. I can’t deny Dre’s talent in the music industry as a trail blazer, but at the same time I don’t stand for domestic violence. Dr. Dre you may have had a lot of support back then, but since the truth is out, its time for a new sound, and a pure sound. I AM MONSTER!

Demo Monster’s hottest new Bluetooth headphones and speakers

Use Code [ YDLMN14U8L] Enter this code for 15% off at


Shades of Success Highlights Influential Women of Dallas

We’re excited to highlight successful women here in Dallas each month. It is our mission to bring forth some of Dallas’ influential women that doesn’t go searching for the spotlight, but instead allows others to shine a light on them.

September 2016 Spotlights: Jocelyn Ja’Net



Jocelyn Ja’Net became a victim of child sexual abuse at the hands of her step-dad at six years old.  Through a 5 year time span she was emotionally and sexually abused in her home.  Her abuser was a man of the cloth a ordained minister and pastor.  She is proactive towards prevention of child sexual abuse through her women’s group, SISTERS WITH STORIES.  Jocelyn Ja’Net, is now leading women abuse survivors towards freedom.  She founded  Sisters with Stories September 22, 2011.  

They share stories of their struggles and victories.  Jocelyn has hopes that by sharing her story captives will be SET FREE. And she hopes she can eventually help give parents and people who work with children the tools needed to prevent child sexual abuse, as well as encourage abuse victims to come forward despite threats from their predators.

Others have started to back her cause, too. Jocelyn has worked with former NFL player and motivational speaker Trent Shelton, WFAA news reporter Rebecca Lopez and former NFL player Jesse Holley & Motivational Speaker Baylor Barbee.  Jocelyn Ja’Net has had her hands in media hosting as well. She’s interviewed Kirk and Tammy Franklin, Keyshia Knight Pulliam, Emmit Smith and a host of others.

Jocelyn is launching a campaign August 27th entitled I Overcame & Conquered. The campaign will feature 6 ladies who have suffered through homelessness, drug abuse, rape and grief. She will reach broken little girls, teens and women who suffer with insecurities, self image, and brokenness.

September 22, 2016 will be her 5 year anniversary for her sisterhood Sisters with Stories. Five years of community outreach serving the homeless, the youth, single mothers and prayer & conference calls. Dave Hollister, Laterras R. Whitfield, Derrick Price, Deiondra Sanders have graced her conference line. She has definitely served her purpose in the Dallas-Fort Worth Community!

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Shades of Success highlights influential women of Dallas

We’re excited to highlight successful women here in Dallas each month. It is our mission to bring forth some of Dallas’ influential women that doesn’t go searching for the spotlight, but instead allows others to shine a light on them.

AUGUST 2016- Spotlight



American painter, photographer and design entrepreneur of Romanian birth. Born in a family of traditional artisans, she grew up learning and being inspired by ancient Transylvanian arts and crafts.

She began painting and drawing as a young child, and studied under various professional artists. Excelled in creative arts visual, writing and performing, as well as math and science.

Despite her natural inclination towards arts, due to economic and political instability in her country of origin, Cicort chose a different path. Holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing from Bucharest University of Economic Studies. And became the youngest hospitality female entrepreneur in Romania at the age of 23.

In 2004, in pursuit of self-identity and freedom of expression, she moved to the United States, where she turned to her childhood passion for studio arts.

Oils, acrylics and mixed media are among favorite art mediums. While her unique eye captures dramatic sunsets, serene landscapes, street scenes and people expressions in artistic photographs. Her work continues the thought and feeling of abstract expressionism while influenced by the feminist artistic movement, and the spiritual and social unrest marking the dawn of the third millennium.

Speaker of English, French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian and German, Cicort’s multicultural personality and depth of thought reflect in her art. A natural born artist, she experiences human consciousness as a world explorer, traveler and seeker of life’s fundamental truths. Often incorporating ancient symbols and subjects in her paintings. Yet her art is universal and timeless.

Abstracting thoughts, emotions and light, the artist creates a powerful visual impact. Resulting in a subtle brain heart connection. Love, sensuality and eroticism are the center of Cicort’s work, attempting to restore Woman’s divine nature in a world built on ego, destruction and war.

Website :

Things are getting Haute!

On July 30, 2016 in Dallas, Shades of Success will conduct their inaugural retreat for young girls in collaboration with the World Noor Foundation at LEVEL Gallery.

Shades of Success has an ongoing mission to recognize influential, empowering, and successful women by utilizing their involvement in the community to generate awareness towards charitable initiatives. Their vision is to become a leading force to female organizations and to support various non-profit organizations across the world. Shades of Success founder, Karen Michelle, felt it important to collaborate with a foundation thatHaute Living ahoot-036 shared in her dream, which led to her recent partnership with the World Noor Foundation.

Women and children are at the very core of the World Noor Foundation’s efforts to increase access to cultural awareness through unique initiatives focusing on the arts, sports and travel. Their work is driven by the belief that the shifting roles of women and youth have become a catalyst for change in creating solid foundations in communities around the globe.

The one day summer camp entitled, “I am a Future Shade of Success” will be led by past and present recipients of the Shades of Success award in an effort to build a legacy-fulfilling platform within the tight-knit Dallas community.

The retreat’s goal is to empower and influence girls by presenting positive role models and reinforcing health and well-being in their lives. Each young girl will learn the basics of leading a healthier and meaningful lifestyle with all-day programming including; yoga, vision board class, round table discussions (anti- bullying and self-confidence) five star etiquette class and closing with a cultural immersion activity. With the support of the Shades of Success mentors and local sponsors the event anticipates having up to 50 girls between the ages of 11-17 years old registered for the retreat.

Media inquiries:
For more information on how to sponsor a girl, contact:

Photography Credit: Kieone Young at: or


Original story:

Publisher: Deve Sanford

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I am a future shade of success: Diversity in unity

For Immediate Release

Dallas, TX-  Shades of Success unveils its first annual one day summer retreat (I am a future Shade of Success) for young girls as a support to beat poverty benefiting the World Noor foundation. This one day camp will be lead by past and present Shades of Success recipients that have displayed throughout their platform the importance of inspiring others.

I am a future shade of success is to empower and influence our girls by being optimistic role models. Each young girl will learn the basics of a healthier and meaningful life style; from yoga, vidiverse-college-womension board class, roundtable discussions (anti- bullying and self-confidence), and closing with a five star etiquette class. Saturday, July 30th , the camp will be held at WAAS Gallery 2722 Logan St., Dallas, Texas 75215

“It is our personal and business goal to bring together 75 young ladies, ranging from ages 13-17 years of age; as we join forces with World Noor foundation and their mission.130c53167059fcdecb4b0f9a5237f57a

World Noor Foundation Mission:

Women and youth are at the core of the World Noor Foundation’s efforts to improve basic education, increase access to cultural awareness, expand economic opportunity, and support social health and well-being. Through our programs, we provide exposure and access to unique and creative ways to interact with the global community. Our work is driven by the belief that the world is a much smaller place than it used to be, and that the shifting roles of women and youth have become a catalyst of change.

Shades of Success have an active mission to bring forth influential, empowering, and successful women; utilizing their involvement in the community to generate awareness towards charitable initiatives. The vision is to become one of the most successful, leading examples to female organizations. Shades of Success hope to be a force in Dallas, promoting women’s successes, and supporting various non-profit organizations across the world..


Media inquiries:

For more information on how to sponsor a girl, contact us at:


Shades of Success spotlights 10 successful women in the big city! (NYC)

thShades of Success has taken on the rewarding task of celebrating the accomplishments of 10 extraordinary women annually in Dallas. Our mission has been to select outstanding women who not only are successful, but, who also empower, are visionaries, and have a dedication to charity.

Founder, Karen Michelle and Co-founder Meko Krout, are both Dallas natives. They shared a unique vision of success, charity, and empowerment, that materialized into the amazing class of women who have excellence in common, Shades of Success. In line with the mission, the founders have managed to support local charity and bring awareness to several health, wellness, and community challenges that face us today.

Shades of Success nominees are  women who are making waves in her community. She is managing a business/career, she is aware of the world and her community, she is empowering others to do the same. If you know a phenomenal woman that should be spotlighted as a Shades of Success, nominate her!

13339725_10154303946884198_2825663390001233645_nEmail your nomination to: 

The Nomination window opens June 26.

Please include the following:

  • Subject line (Shades of Success: NYC)
  • Nominee(First and last name)
  • Nominee (email or phone number)
  • Nominee(website or social media page)
  • Nominee picture
  • A brief letter on what makes them successful.

Inductees will be announced at our cocktail reception this early fall!

Follow us @10shadesofsuccess on twitter and Facebook.



From performing at the White House to the 2016 Shades of Success Gala

Jasmine Arielle Barnes is a performer both vocally and instrumentally, performing all over the world both with the Morgan State University Choir and as a solo artist. She has sang on world class stages and venues s13162073_10154860431321562_268882043_n.jpguch as the White House, The Sydney Opera House, The Kennedy Center, The Meyerhoff, Carnegie Hall, the Straphmore, Zuumbi Des Palmeres, and many more. Not only has she performed in five of the seven continents, she is also a composer and arranger who has debuted two of her pieces in three of the seven continents. She loves all aspects of music and has a true passion for teaching . She is a voice teacher at Lakewood Conservatory and Park Cities School of music where she pairs science with art to give students several methods to learn their craft .

She holds her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Morgan State University in Baltimore Maryland and will be attending in the Fall for her Masters Degree on Full Scholarship for conducting. She is a proud member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity Inc. founded in 1903, an organization to world class singers, composers, conductors, and more acclaimed music career holders. One motto of Sigma Alpha Iota that Jasmine holds true to her life as an artist is “Vita Brevis, Ars Longa” which translates from Latin to English as “Life is Short, Art is Long”. She believes that giving your all to music and teaching what you’ve learned is truly upholding Art.


Meet our 2016 Shades of Success Gala Keynote Speaker


Lifestyle Expert Extraordinaire, entrepreneur, model, author and philanthropist, Anita Hawkins is the perfect combination of brains, beauty and fierce determination to succeed at whatever she sets out to accomplish.


Anita grew up in Gary, Indiana, where her entrepreneurial spirit took flight when she was still in her teens. Upon inheriting her grandmother’s hair salon, Anita did what very few young women her age would have had the insight and resolve to do…she worked it! After getting her cosmetology license, Anita grew her clientele by operating both in the salon and going house to house servicing clients who were unable to travel to her location. This was to be the first of many successful business ventures for the tiny young woman with big dreams. Dreams she would manage to accomplish in spite of having her childhood and youthful innocence shattered at an early age when she was molested by her older brother for a period of years beginning in the 2nd grade. This unimaginable violation sent Anita down a devastating path of promiscuity and self-doubt that resulted in teen pregnancy, becoming a ward of the state after her father disowned her, and ultimately, she was tasked with the incredible challenge of building a life for herself and her infant son all by age fifteen. It was the love and generosity of a family friend who took Anita in and cared for her son free of charge that enabled her to continue her high school education and begin to build a life for herself and her son.


By 2000, Anita had married, and she and her husband, former MLB pitcher LaTroy Hawkins moved to Frisco, TX where they had a daughter. In 2006, she launched Trokar Industries, LLC. Since its inception, Trokar has acquired a number of land developments around the state of Texas and celebrated a tremendous victory in September 2014 when D.R. Horton purchased a parcel of land from Trokar for 1.53 million dollars.


After being diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, Anita decided it was time to make some lifestyle changes of her own. Her love of healthy eating and exercise led to her acquisition of the Fresh Healthy Café franchise master for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area which she operates under Lady Eloise, LLC. Restaurant ownership had always been a desire for the mother of two, and after doing a great deal of research, she decided upon the Fresh Healthy Café brand because of the company’s commitment to values that mirrored her own philosophies. Anita celebrated the opening of the flagship location in Prosper in October 2015 with lines out the door during lunch and dinner hours! Her tenacity and business savvy has not gone without notice. Anita was recognized by the National Association of Professional Women for Outstanding Excellence and Dedication to Her Profession and the Advancement of Women and was named one of the National Association of Distinguished Professionals’ prestigious Women of Distinction. In 2015, she was named by 10 Shades of Success as one of Dallas’ Most Successful Women.


Anita is as abundant in beauty as she is in business know-how. As a model and spokesperson, Anita has walked the runway in a number of high fashion events including MegaFest 2015, Designer’s Rack at Neiman Marcus where she donned Pray by percy ray, Grace the Runway benefiting Simply Grace at the Women’s Museum at Fair Park in Dallas and the ShonDanz Entertainment’s Runway Extravaganza wearing show-stopping designs by Andre Terry.  In November 2014, she graced the cover of Curvy Connect Magazine (CCM) and was featured in a dazzling seven-page editorial spread. CCM rightfully dubbed Anita “The One to Watch” in 2015!  She has also been featured on Dallas’ CW 33, FOX 4, Dallas High Life TV on the UA Network, Saigon Network’s The Chau Show, KRNB 105.7, K104 FM, Heaven 97, KRLD Talk Radio’s CEO Spotlight, Street Speaker Radio and The Andy Brown Online Happy Hour with editorial features in The Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Weekly, Southern Dallas County Magazine and Texas Metro News.  She also participated in the panel discussion “Turning Passion into Profit” during Full Figured Fashion Week in New York. Most recently, she was named Duchess of the Krewe de Etoiles 2016 Gala Masquerade Ball Royal Court.


With her tremendous success, Anita has not forgotten the age-old proverb, to whom much is given, much is required.  Generous does not begin to describe the dedication and hands-on involvement with which Anita supports her many charitable affiliations. She walks for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and is one of the organization’s top individual and team fundraisers and serves as a member on the Frisco planning committee for the charity. She gathers and donates items throughout the year for Where are You? which benefits homeless children and their families in the Dallas area. In January 2015, Anita began her tenure on the Board of Directors for Minnie’s Food Pantry and has donated over $100,000 to the organization and its mission to feed the homeless. In November, Minnie’s presented Anita with the Community Service Award for her leadership and commitment to the organization. Annually, she and her husband sponsor the college education of a deserving student to the school of their choice through the Jackie Robinson Foundation.  In 2014, she launched the Find One Reason to Smile campaign benefiting survivors of domestic abuse. The first recipient, Dallas’ Women Called Moses Outreach Center, received over $16,000 from Find One Reason to Smile to aid their mission of assisting women and their children to escape the vicious cycle of domestic abuse. She also serves as a board member for the Source of Hope. One of their many community events includes providing free meals, haircuts and shaves to the homeless on the fourth Saturday of every month. Anita loves putting her salon and barber skills to work for those in need!


Destined for greatness and not slowing down anytime soon, Anita has added another title to her already impressive repertoire…author. Anita chronicles her rise from the depths of abuse, anger and despair to triumph, self-love and success in her debut novel The Storm After The Storm released last year. Today, Anita Hawkins is both self-assured and selfless. She has overcome the harshest of circumstances to become a successful businesswoman, lifestyle expert and fashionista while giving back to those in need and most importantly being a dedicated wife and mother to her family. “Curvy Connect said it best, Anita has definitely been the One to Watch and will be for many years to come!