Liberation

2015 was a year of major changes for me. Outside of finally getting my septum pierced (a thing I’d been dreaming of for years!), I finally got my first tattoo.

I also decided to finally live life as queer. I don’t think I’ve ever shared that with y’all before, but there it is.

I still tingle when I write that. When I say that. Because it is and continues to be so affirming to live freely.

New Year’s eve, I decided to do one more modification. Something I had never done because I’d gotten so much push back. So much: “OMG, but whyyyyyyyy?!” Or “Maybe you should braid it instead to get a different look!”

I heard every reason known to humankind as to why I shouldn’t cut my hair, but I only needed one reason to go for it.

Cause I’m grown and I do what I want. ๐Ÿ˜€

Honestly, my hair has been such a source of contention when it came to professional life (“You have to be marketable to future employers and make sure to adhere to a non-threatening look for work!”) and personal life (see damn near everyone I’ve ever dated that has been more attached to my hair than I am). Even when I transitioned my hair to natural, instead of doing the big chop like I wanted I just transitioned my hair. My boyfriend at the time loved my hair. And I loved him. So I kept it.

Fast forward to December 22, 2015. I’m catching up with a good friend of mine, C. She sends me a pic of her hair, shaved on one side, and I think it’s so beautiful. I didn’t think I would ever be brave enough to rock that. I mean, everyone loves my hair, so I should keep it, right? Then C shocked me.

“As much as I love your hair, this haircut has changed my life. I bet it will change yours too.”

Hmm.

She gave me the info of her barber and I made an appointment the same night. I didn’t know if I would go through with it. I didn’t really tell folks I was cutting it, either. I did warn my coworkers the day before, and my friends S and C knew. ย I just didn’t want anyone to try and talk me out of it.

December 31, 2015: I did it.

I cut my hair.

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I went from this….

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To this!

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Design and all!

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Close up of the swirls. Haircut by Khane at Camera Ready Kutz.

If you would have told me I’d cut my hair (into a Mohawk, no less!) I’d have thought you’d lost your mind. When I tell you I feel free, though? As she buzzed my head every expectation attached to my hair fell away. I feel lighter.

Liberated.

Not just from what people expect when they look at a Black woman’s natural hair but from society’s rules. Yeah, it’s a bit cliche, but I look like the cool, queer, aunt. I happen to BE a cool, queer aunt. It’s awesome to be able to show outwardly the freedom I feel within.

Liberated.

Happy New Year.

Hair Makeup Looks Positivity

Makeup Monday: Day at the Museum

Hello Lovelies!

So, Saturday I actually took a day off. No work, no writing, just a day to actually enjoy my life a bit.

I have a habit of living life with all cylinders going. If I’m not at the day job, I’m grinding on my cookbook and photography projects. And I love being busy, but sometimes I have to remind myself to take a break and enjoy life a bit. And Saturday was my day. I grabbed the camera and met up with a friend at MoMA to see some Jackson Pollock.

And of course, I wanted to do my face all up. Because why not? ๐Ÿ˜€

One of my lovely followers on Twitter (follow me here) asked about my makeup and skincare routine. I’ll get to the skincare in another post, but I wanted to go over makeup basics in this one because this look is simple:

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Earrings by Rachel Stewart Jewelry.

I have on foundation, eyeliner, eyebrows, and lip gloss. That’s it.

How do I keep my skin so flawless? The key is really good primer.

Now, my skin is eternally oily and shiny. I used to complain about this a lot when I was younger, but I don’t now. All that oil has people guessing I’m 5-6 years younger than I really am (I’m 30), so I’m grateful for it. I just don’t always want it to be visible, so I make sure to use a good primer underneath. The one I’m currently in love with is by Miracle Skin Transformer (I use the translucent one.)

Ok. It’s not advertised as a primer. But for my face, that’s exactly how I use it. If you have eternal shine on your face, I’m telling you, it’s the best money you’ll spend. If used by itself, it looks like you powdered your face, but you don’t look dry. If you put makeup on over it, though? You’ll get that matte finish you see in my pics above. Bonus: this is meant to be used as a moisturizer, so you can skip that step in your routine if you like (I layer it over my acne treatment, though.)

If you’ve never used primer before, they have different ones for different skin types. As I mentioned, I’m oily, so I go for a mattifying primer. They make them for dry skin, for normal skin, for folks with rosacea, for folks with dark spots, pretty much any skin condition you can think of, they have a primer for it. Besides Miracle Skin Transformer, I’ve seen good results with Smashbox and PurMinerals primers.

Ok, you just put your primer on. You can go ahead with foundation, right?

NO.

STOP.

Let it sit on your face for a couple of minutes to set. I usually take that time after I put my primer on to do my hair so that it can sink in. If you start applying your foundation too soon, it could cause your primer to roll, and now you’ve got to start all over. Nobody wants that.

Once it’s set, go ahead with your foundation. I don’t spend much on my foundation because no one makes a color that matches me exactly. I end up having to mix it. My favorites are Cover Girl and Maybelline because they have foundations for specific skin types. I can’t stand when a foundation makes me dewy, and I know up front which ones from those lines will do that. I have on Cover Girl Queen collection Natural Hue in the above look. I mixed Toffee and Classic Bronze to get my shade.

After that, if you’re doing concealer, now is the time. I do a little around my eyes, and I have on PurMineral’s Disapearing Ink concealer in Dark. I am one who prefers the concealer to match my face and not be brighter; I say you should do whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Once all of that is done, I do my eyes. I see that a lot of the YouTube beauty gurus do their brows before their foundation, and I just feel like I’d mess my brows up that way. So I do foundation first, then draw on my brows. I use Milani for this; their brow pencil and brow kit is awesome and affordable. Make sure to comb your brows before and after to keep things natural looking.

Then I line my eyes (Balm Cosmetics Mr. Write Now in Dean B. Onyx for water line and Schwing Liquid Liner on the lid), add a little mascara if I’m feeling frisky (I’m not wearing any above) and done! Lip gloss is optional and had I found my Chapstick first, that’s what I would have had on.

I am working on a tutorial for this look, because this is genuinely my everyday go to makeup for work. I don’t do a lot of color on my eyes by day; I tend to stick with colorful lipsticks and lip glosses.

Next Monday, we’re discussing skincare. See you then!

Hair Makeup Looks

Fatshion Friday: SmartGlamour Body Positive Fashion Show

So, last Friday, I had the opportunity to head out to the city to see a Body Positive Fashion Show that showcased Smart Glamour’s latest collection.

And I thought…body positive? This sounds awesome!

It totally was! There was so much diversity on the runway, from race to body type to height. Everyone looked amazing and I definitely saw some items I could see myself in–mostly because I was able to see myself represented on the runway. And the best part? At the end of the show, when the models did their final walk, they carried signs that read “All bodies are good bodies.” Such an affirming end to an awesome presentation!

Clothing companies? Take note. This is how you appeal to ALL of your customers.

Ok, I’m done preaching. ๐Ÿ˜€ Let’s get to the fashion:

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This burgundy number was my fave look of the night. Doesn’t it scream “holiday party”?

So, remember I needed some help picking out a Lane Bryant outfit? I wore the winner to this event:

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Jacket, Shirt, Jeans, all Lane Bryant. Shoes by JustFab.

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And a closeup! Lipstick is MAC’s Eugenie with a little gloss on top.

So, I basically ended up blending elements from all three outfits. I loved the moto jacket, so I had to have it. I loved the jeans, so I had to have them. And I decided I didn’t want to be too dressy, so this embellished shirt was perfect (and we know how I feel about sparkle!) I did still get those awesome red shoes, though. They’ll be paired with a different outfit I have planned. Thank you all for your input!

Happy weekend, everyone!

 

Fashion Show Hair Makeup Looks Retail Therapy

New York Fashion Week Plus Recap

Hey y’all!

So, before my internet went all over the place, I had a chance to see some presentations during New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

No, notย thoseย shows (although I’m working on it!) This was a different set of presentations, for plus size fashion. Hence the fancy name: NYFW+.

You already know how here I was for it! ๐Ÿ˜€

So, the shows I went to were different. It wasn’t like your standard runway show. The models walked out, of course, but instead of a strut, they stood and posed. Admittedly, I was a little confused, but it was also pretty cool, because as you went to take pictures, the models would give you your own pose.

So fancy. ๐Ÿ™‚

I know y’all came for the fashion. Let’s get to it!

First up: Eula Taylor of Twelve26.

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This was my favorite look from this collection. Isn’t that just..me?

The accessories she used were fabulous as well. All are by iLLASPARKZ:

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Next up: Ava Jones of Pheline.

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These are pants and I want them!

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I even loved the designer’s personal style (that’s her on the left.) Those are sequined harem pants!

And finally: Marco Hall. His collection was my favorite of the night!

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I need this romper. NEED.

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Stunning, right? Oh, and I looked pretty foxy myself:

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Lipstick is Euginie by MAC, necklace and earrings were $1.50 from a local shop.

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Jumpsuit from Lane Bryant, Shoes from JustFab.

I had an awesome time, and saw some equally awesome fashion!

 

Fashion Show Hair Makeup Looks

Fatshion Friday: Fierce and Casual

So, when we last left off, I showed y’all some of the awesome fashion that was shown at last weeks Full Figured Fashion Week Indie Show.

For once, I actually got a chance to snag some pics of my own fashion.

๐Ÿ˜€

So, for the fashion show, I went with classic black. I know, I normally don’t do black unless I’m at work, but this dress had been hanging in my closet collecting dust since January (please don’t judge me), so I figured I’d give it some shine. I paired it with a nice neutral eye, fro picked out and pinned up, and my favorite red lip:

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Dress: ASOS Curve (Sold Out), Shoes: Payless

Now, I had another few pictures of the dress that included more of that super cute bow detail, but let me tell y’all…see, I didn’t check the sheerness of that dress. So, slightly too sheer dress plus insanely bright lighting (for pics!) equals you can see allllllll my shaper and bra, y’all. Just, dammit, man. I think I would have done better to do a black shaper instead of a nude one, but yeah. Don’t be me, y’all. Check that BEFORE you leave your house. This picture was taken away from the theatre lighting near the red carpet, so you can’t see anything.

So, I also got to attend CurvyCon this past weekend as well. I love the idea of shopping and panels and wonderful bloggers in one place. In theory. In practice…well…it was loud, crowded, and not enough seats. I did have fun for the time I was there, and got to meet some awesome folks as well as touch base with some blogger boos. ๐Ÿ™‚

Since I knew I’d be doing a lot of pictures, I didn’t go super fancy. I just wanted to be comfy. So I did sneakers and a cute skirt, and kept my face natural.

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Sneaks from JustFab.

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Skirt from Eloquii (check out theย Midi Skirtsย here!)/Shirt from FeminineFunk

I had a great time last weekend, and looked fabulous doing it!

Hair Makeup Looks Retail Therapy Reviews

So, I Was Part Of A Thing…

And now I finally get to share it!

So, a while back I shared these looks on my Facebook:

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And I told y’all that I was working on a really cool project? Well, part one of that project is done, and I’m so happy to share this with y’all!

So, this project I was part of is all about natural hair and beauty, and I was so happy to participate. Most images of natural hair pretty much stick to the uniform corkscrew curls. Now, don’t get me wrong—those curls are gorgeous. But it also tends to edge out those who have fluffier, less defined curls (mine) or those with dreadlocks or those with puffs, and so on and so on.

Further, when we look at natural hair in mainstream media…well, you don’t see it. Not in all of its forms; not in all of its glory. Think about it: the last time you saw a music video, did any of the women have natural hair? Hear any songs praising those kinky curls?

Well, this video has all of that, and I got to be in it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Without further ado, I present to you:ย Natural Love: A Vignette.

The song was written and produced by the same guy that directed this piece, Civil Justus. You can see his other work on his channel here, and read up on his other projects here. This is just the first part; the next part is interviews about our hair.

I had an amazing time working on this,and am so honored to be a part of it! I can’t wait to share the next part with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hair Positivity YouTube

Full Figured Fashion Week: But First, Let Me Take A Selfie

I’ve discussed in detail before, on my previous blog, how I am not a real fan of pictures.

In an effort to see myself as others do, I have made an effort to photograph myself more, and let myself be seen. Smile.

Although smiling is still pretty weird for me, I make an effort to do it more. I tend to always look unhappy when I’m not, and I want to be more expressive.

It’s all part of the evolution. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, without further ado:

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This was when I went to the sample sale last Thursday. I used the Stila Dare to Bare Palette, Black Sheep Cosmetics Berry Lipstick (bright blue), and a Revlon pink gloss.

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So, this is a sneaky peek at an upcoming post (Thursday!), but this is from the Eloquii trunk show I attended. Same palette with a now discontinued brown lippy from Sephora. I love how my brows turned out here ( I did a different method than usual. Worth the extra effort!) Would y’all be interested in a tutorial? Remember, the YouTube Channel drops next month!

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And finally, this is from last Saturday’s fashion show look. I used a now discontinued ( ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ) Urban Decay palette (it’s hard to see in both pics, but I have on green shadow) and Maybelline’s Color Sensational Elixir in Mauve Mystique.

I pretty much did a relatively neutral palette on my face, because my outfits were so colorful. Where are those outfits, you say? You’ll see them coming up with ย part one of the fashion show recap! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hair Makeup Looks