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Women Who Flaunt Their Fabulous

Lily Butler for The Queen Latifah Show
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How many inspiring women did you pass on your way to work today? You know the type: stunning, confident, and wearing something that epitomizes risk-taking and fabulousness – oversized bright-blue culottes with a striped halter never looked so good. We hit the streets to ask some of these women, who hail from around the world, about beauty, friends, and how they make the world their runway.

Shareika Blake (Jamaica)

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What makes you feel beautiful?

For me, beauty is an energy that transcends through how you live your life. Happiness, love, joy — those are the things that make me beautiful. I strive to be happy, to love people, and to create peace around me in order to be beautiful.

What makes you feel fabulous?

Exercise makes me feel fabulous! I need that.

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What are some of your favorite things to do with your girlfriends?

We go out to eat or go dancing. We stay home and chit chat. We like to go dancing in the clubs, and we go shopping all the time. We’re getting into museums and art now because we like to mix it up.

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Elizabeth Martinsen (Houston, TX)

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When does a friend become one of your girlfriends?

I have a pretty good sense when I meet someone of whether I’m going to be close to that person. There’s definitely a moment when you know that someone has become closer to you. Maybe you divulge something personal to them, and then you get to that comfort level. Knowing that there’s trust in the relationship is huge.

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What are some of your favorite things to do with your girlfriends?

I’m from Houston, Texas, and there’s a really vibrant art scene there, so we like to go to museums or go see live music together. There are a lot of small venues. We also go to parks to relax and play games.

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What’s one thing that made you smile today?

I got to see my cousin last night — I’m here visiting family and I don’t get to see him that much — so that was fun and made me smile. I was just talking on the phone with my grandma, and she’s hilarious. I’m going to see her tonight, so looking forward to that has made me smile all day.

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Jes Blake (Trinidad) and Julie McIntosh (England)

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What makes you feel fabulous?

Jes: Nice clothes, nice jewelry, your makeup done right.

Julie: Confidence in what I wear. I’m all about heels.

Jes: Yeah, she loves her heels. For me I’d have to say a nice little short dress that shows off the legs. I don’t have to have heels on, but showing a little skin.

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What makes you feel beautiful?

Jes: Beauty is more about keeping yourself up, taking care of your skin and your teeth. Having a nice smile is important. Your grill must be in order, you know? Julie is all about the nails.

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Julie: Oh yes, I’m all about the nails. And I love big, fun hair. I’m not shy about wearing it big and wild and just letting it be free.

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What are some of your favorite things to do with your girlfriends?

Julie: I love to travel with my girlfriends. So I love girlfriends who want to go to chic places with me, like an exotic holiday in Greece or something. I like to do a lot of European trips, or Central or to Latin America and the Caribbean. And when we get there we can just be free because no one really knows us. We can be a little naughty, and just let go.

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What’s one thing that made you smile today?

Jes: There was this really cute little boy on the train, and he was just running around tapping everybody and laughing. He had the entire car laughing. He was the cutest little kid, and he just lit up and had me dying on the train.

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Julie: Today is pretty much just like any other day for me, and I just walk around with a smile on my face really!

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Shanequa Genelle (Brooklyn, NY)

What makes you feel beautiful?

Beauty is all about what you like. If you like a certain look, that’s what you’re going to repeat to feel beautiful. I personally like a natural look. I don’t like to be overdramatic with makeup or anything really, so I stick to the basics. As long as I have eyeliner and mascara, I’m fine. It’s just really all about how you see yourself.

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What are some of your favorite things to do with your girlfriends?

We always have a little Saturday night thing where we come share blogs that we’ve found and looks that we like. We all like fashion, but everybody’s look is different. We all work in the area, so we meet up here at the park. I work at Cosabella so sometimes they come here and try on underwear. (If you really want to get to know someone, you’ve gotta know what they look like underneath.)

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When does a friend become one of your girlfriends?

My friends are actually all very different from me, but there’s a common ground of being generous that makes us friends. It’s all about loyalty.

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I usually keep things to myself until I feel like the time is right, but I really tell my best friend everything because I know she’s not gonna judge. It took time, but there was one situation with an ex-boyfriend that she helped me through. And she didn’t judge me, she was just there for me. And I knew I could be open with her at any time.

What do you do when you need to pamper or treat yourself?

Skin routines. I’m a really big fan of scrubs, even homemade ones. I like to look at beauty blogs and find different skin routines, so that’s what I like to do to pamper myself. All I need is a clean face and my nails and toes done.

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What’s one thing that made you smile today?

I actually made a woman smile when she was trying on bras today. She wasn’t comfortable with her weight, but I made her realize that you’ve just gotta flaunt it. We actually had a deep conversation and she made me smile because I know that I helped her feel better about herself.

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Adar Zango (Brooklyn, NY)

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What makes you feel fabulous?

I think fabulous involves a concerted projection, or an effort to get a reaction and stimulate — which is great, right? That’s why it’s fabulous. You’re kind of eliciting a response from the outside.

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When I wear a really eccentric piece or accessory that’s completely outlandish, that’s when I feel fabulous. I was just in Tokyo in March — if you love fashion, you have to visit because it’s like a different universe, it’s like New York on adrenaline — and I bought this crazy Issey Miyake scarf. It sort of bounces and it’s this big floral, crazy infinity thing that is just so awesome. It’s a piece that is going to get a reaction. It’s crazy and very big and tactile. People just want to touch it.

What are some of your favorite things to do with your girlfriends?

Drinking a glass of wine on my block — I have a lot of friends who live around my neighborhood fortuitously. We just talk and complain and laugh together.

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What do you do when you need to pamper or treat yourself?

I like to do my hair and nails and go shopping by myself — it’s sort of my me time. Fashion especially. I see the art in it, so I like to look at every piece and take the time to appreciate what I like in a store. It’s a personal experience.

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Macie Cavenaugh and Haley Cavenaugh (North Carolina)

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What makes you feel fabulous?

Haley: Getting my hair done. I do hair for a living, so I’m super into that.

Macie: Cute clothes, high heels. Bandanas, obviously!

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What are some of your favorite things to do with your girlfriends?

Macie: We like to go out for drinks and definitely dance. We have a really good time together no matter what we’re doing.

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Haley: I’m more of a “sit around a fire together” person. We do live really close to the beach, so we go to the beach and hang out outside all the time.

What’s one thing that made you smile today?

Macie: Seeing the sign for the restaurant we’re going to for lunch made me smile because I’m starving and we’re about to eat!

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Now’s your chance to practice for that inevitable “who, me?” moment that makes you put on your leopard-print jumpsuit in the morning. Jump into the comments and share your thoughts on style, your best friends (traditions? escapades?), or just weigh in on the age-old debate over the snedge.

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Looking for something to do with your own lady friends? Get up close and personable with Queen Latifah as she celebrates beauty and fabulousness on the new season of The Queen Latifah Show, premiering September 15.

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[Photos by Victor Jeffreys]

Lily Butler is an Associate Content Producer for Studio@Gawker.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between The Queen Latifah Show and Studio@Gawker.

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