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Patrik Henry Bass
Jun, 04, 2018

This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of ESSENCE

So whether you are a longtime reader of the magazine you're holding or recent to the party, at some point, you have been touched by Mikki Taylor. If you've ever placed an ESSENCE cover in your scrapbook or on your refrigerator, dorm room wall or vision board, chances are our current editor-at-large had a hand in shaping the look, feel and energy of that image.

Taylor says she wrote Editor in Chic: How to Style and Be Your Most Empowered Self (Atria, $26) because she wants "every woman to own her life and master her distinction with the kind of panache that sustains her in every way imaginable." But she offers so much more. In this thoroughly instructive and uplifting guide, she aims to provide you with a boost from head to toe, inside and out. Citing her mother as one of her first fearless forces, the author discusses her mom's work as legendary jazz singer Sarah Vaughan's "everywoman—secretary, hairstylist, makeup artist and wardrobe stylist," eventually opening her own salon in Newark, New Jersey. The transformative space left a profound mark on the future beauty maven, who seamlessly blends personal stories with veteran advice in her new effort. Well respected in the industry, she was on the front lines advocating at beauty companies for many progressive changes on behalf of Black women consumers.

Taylor firmly believes that you are in control of your destiny, and that the world you create in your imagination is powerful. You will reread this book several times to get the laserlike precision that Taylor demands you use to suspend fear and surrender to the faith in your journey.

Like Taylor's debut, Self-Seduction: Your Ultimate Path to Inner and Outer Beauty (One World), Editor in Chic dispenses heaping advice and intersperses positive anecdotes from a range of philosophers and wise women and men. Those who still keep that first sumptuous tome on their coffee tables will appreciate her new offering. In many ways, it's a wonderful companion to Taylor's second offering, Commander in Chic: Every Woman's Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady, which was part homage to Michelle Obama and part blueprint for self-actualization no matter your background or circumstances. That work was full of Mikki-isms, which ESSENCE readers will know as Taylor's signature wit and flair.

Editor in Chic brims with substance that helps us both inform and inspire our life. Each page encourages us to fight our fears and prepare ourselves to step into the future feeling whole and looking great. And Taylor is clear about finding your path: "My mother taught me that to be risk-averse is to be success-averse." Amen and thank you for that sage advice.