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27 Timeless Beauties Our cover trio divulge their methods for staying pretty
36 Strands Kick your look up a notch with color splashes and sharp cuts
40 Fab in a Flash The legs have it
44 Best Sellers What’s behind the natural hairstyles and brillant nails in Atlanta


47 Looks We Love Color blocks rock
50 Accessories Orange crush
52 Perfect Fit Take shape with drape
54 Cheap & Chic White-hot finds


100 Executive Class Style sessions with four success stories
106 The Closer Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s right-hand woman, talks to Isabel Wilkerson
110 Essence 2009 Smart Money Moves Stay afloat in this sinking economy By Cora Daniels
116 2009 Smart Black Woman’s Career Survival Guide The experts dispense professional wisdom in challenging times   
120 Good Looking Out Age ain’t nothing but a number to these beautiful ladies By Pamela Edwards
124 Sex, Lies & Infidelity Cora Daniels examines why some women who seemingly have it all chose to stray


57 Bright Young Thing Jill Scott uncovers the magic of Chrisette Michele
58 Gazette Alfre puts up a fight; TV dad Russell Hornsby sheds his good father image; a 2007 Do Right Man gets sports lessons
60 Books Africa of old and new comes alive; reflections from a King; Best Sellers and more


65 Your Money-Saving Health Care Guide Be prepared when medical challenges strike
68 Money Makeover Her daughter’s tuition is breaking the bank
72 Woman on Top A corporate giver perfectly mixes business and community service


77 What Men Think Fellas in Atlanta ponder the condom question
78 On His Mind Divorce is painful for men too
82 Love Don’t Cost a Thing Say yes to romance with little or no finance
84 Oh, Brother Finesse on what not to say


87 Path to Power Our visual diary of the inauguration
96 A New Day Meet the incoming class of the Congressional Black Caucus
98 Fade to Black Look who’s leading the Republican Party


129 The Biggest Risks to Your Health Right Now How to protect yourself
132 The Heart-Smart Workout Be kind to  your heart and you shall be rewarded
138 How She Does It A new mom handles data by day and twins by night
140 Sexual Health Three questions you should ask your gynecologist
142 Healthy Food Fast Five easy dinners


18 Between Us
22 Contributors
24 Your Letters
152 Where to Buy
158 Horoscope
160 Get Lifted Fostering Love With T.D. Jakes