How Fear of Success Almost Stopped Me Cold

My business, The Right Style, is where I store my confidence. Let’s get real honest here: I became a skin care and image consultant because my mother was. She is an Executive Director with Beauticontrol, and she gave me the “gift” of my own business for my 18th birthday. Frankly, it was a gift I didn’t want.


I saw her business and her success and KNEW that I could never do that. So, for years, I ignored it. I use the products and have pretty great skin as a result, but when people asked me the inevitable question, “What do you use?” I would tell them Beauticontrol and REFER THEM TO MY MOTHER.

I was sabotaging my chances to consider even being a success because I crossed the possibility off the list.  I was terrified that if I actually opened my mouth and told people what I did they would throw eggs at me and push me off a street corner. I was living in a state of constant fear of success.

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The Big Chop. One More Time!

I keep things from you, oh fine readers of The Right Style. I keep lots of things from you. For example, about two weeks ago, I got a hair cut. Quite a dramatic haircut, actually. I cut my hair allllllll the way off. Now, if you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m not afraid of scissors. I first cut all of my hair off when I was 16 years old. This was about 13 (gasp) years ago, before Black women fully mobilized around the cult of natural hair. I remember walking into the salon fully intending to get a touch-up on my relaxer and asking for my long-time stylist, Gloria, to cut it off instead. She looked at my mother.

“Can I cut this child’s hair off?”

Mommy shrugged. “It’s her head.”

And then a surprisingly short time later, there I was, free of my shoulder-length straight hair.

My mother has, fortunately, never put any kind of value on the texture or length of my hair– I think that this is one of the things that has enabled me to feel so confident when I decide to change it. A lot of people felt strongly about that first cut. Most of the reactions were good, great even. But my, oh my, was there shade. People would smile at me and ask me why I wanted to cut off all that pretty hair. People told me that it would grow back.

But we’re in a different time and place and this haircut and the many ones that came before it, were much less impactful than that first one. I had grown my hair out into a wild and unmanageable afro this time, all resplendent with brown roots and sun-bleached reddish-brown tips. I had previously dyed my hair a deep auburn black but my hair is always eager to return to its natural, kind-of-wacky color. One of the reactions to my new hair cut? My friend, Carmen, “That’s so you. It always was.”

My hair, in its (old) usual style.

My hair, in its (old) usual style.


The Final Countdown.

Immediately pre-hair massacre. It was a wildly humid/rainy day–my hair had shrunk 3 sizes from that morning.

This is the new me. The new old me, you could say.

This is the new me. The new old me, you could say.

Have you made any big style changes? How did the people around you react? Tell me in the comments!

Photograph Me

That New York Times article was right. Sometimes you really need more than a selfie.

Makeup artists and photographers have a natural alliance. So when Richmond, Virginia photographer, Sean DeWitt, told me that he had a model shoot, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to exercise my makeup artistry. Honestly, I never knew how many women did not feel confident doing their own makeup. My mother, Kyle (whom I’ve talked about before) is a makeup artist extraordinaire and being raised at her feet, I was bound to pick up a few– quite a few– tricks.

I was unable to resist doing a little rebranding and a grabbing a photo before I was done with Sean…

Kerri, headshot

So– what do you think?

Follow Sean on Facebook!

Big Changes

There have been an INSANE amount of changes in my life since I last posted! I have a new full-time gig, I had an incredible styling appointment with a dazzling client, the Scandal season finale slayed me and Instagram rolled out video!

Yes, Instagram video is one of the greatest thing that has happened to me and to fashion marketing in general. I know that I may be in the minority of people when I say this, but I LOVE advertising. A gripping or particularly creative advertising campaign has the power to shape the way that you think about a brand and oft times, as we have seen with the recent chatter over the interracial Cheerios family and the multi-lingual Coke ad, has the power to relect how we view our world and each other.

The 15 second videos are great ways to share moments and inside jokes but they’re also an awesome way to show off fashion. Since fashion is meant to be worn and style is how you take that fashion and make it work in the world, capturing that motion is a natural step.

Though the video is simple and self-shot, it generated a great response on the outfit across Instagram and Facebook. My reach is largely confined to my admittedly large personal circle so imagine what brands with international reach could do…

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So…Who Are You, Anyway?

I’ve got to applaud you. If you’ve been following my adventures here, it is very possible that you have changed your life and are now living according to my advice with very little knowledge of who in the world I even am.

Hi there! My name is Kerri Estella Grinnage and I am a certified Image, Skin Care and Style Consultant with BeautiControl Cosmetics. BeautiControl is an amazing skin care and makeup company at the forefront of the cosmetics industry. I have been a dedicated client of BeautiControl’s since I was a kid (my mom is a consultant, too!), and though I love to experiment with other products, I find myself always coming back to BeautiControl.

More than anything, I love style. More than clothes and designers and labels, I love watching people express themselves through the things that they wear and the way they present themselves. And awesomely, BeautiControl has introduced eBeauti, a tool designed to help you find your fashion personality and colors customized for you! I am Dramatically Glam (excess is never enough) and color-wise, Intense Cool. With these tools and my natural love for spending other people’s money, I work as a stylist and personal shopper, as well.

Hang out with me as I discover the latest and greatest in skin care and cosmetics, fashion and style. I’ll share my adventures and hopefully, help you to find The Right Style.