All Articles Tagged "Beauty"
In November of 2010, I received my last relaxer. I decided that I wanted to transition to natural, but I wanted to let my hair grow a bit before I did the big chop. After several months of transitioning, I started to see what I thought was my curl pattern at the roots. I wondered what my hair would look like fully natural, and from the looks of my curl pattern, I was thinking of something along the lines of Tracee Ellis Ross or Corinne Bailey Rae. In all my delusion, I saw myself riding a bike through a grassy plain, rocking my small curly afro listening to “Put Your Records On” in complete bliss (I know I can’t be the only one). I became a Carol’s Daughter addict. I fell in love with their Black Vanilla Line, and it helped me manage the natural roots and the relaxed ends without drying out my hair. I thought I had it all together.
Eager to see what I would look like with an afro, I went and did the big chop in the spring of 2011. I was disappointed to see hair that looked like a Brillo pad on top of my head. My go-to site for help on such hair matters was Curly Nikki and, at the time, Moptop Maven. However, they had a different type of natural hair, and so did I. I soon realized that what worked for them didn’t work for me. We had completely different hair textures.
Feeling a tad disheartened, I started to get lazy with my natural hair. I did wash days, wash-and-go treatments, and stuck with pineapple puffs. It wasn’t until last year, after struggling for quite some time on my own, that I decided I was going to embrace the movement as a community. I didn’t really see the need for natural hair meet ups and mixers before, but I realized that when it comes to self-love and acceptance, that’s something a lot of women of color struggle with. I assumed these groups were a kind of support group where women shared hair stories, product reviews and celebrated their natural beauty, so I wanted to be a part of that. However, the more I attended these events, the more ostracized I felt.
One of the beauties of being women of color is that we come in all different shades and shapes. We have all different types of hair textures, styles, and features that set us apart. We are a melting pot of all things beauty. So why did I feel left out?
I started to notice that a lot of the faces in many of the small groups I attended fit the mold of light-skinned women with loose curls. That left us 4C, Brillo-pad hair women out. There was a noticeable difference between the women with the flowing, loose curls and the women with tough, shrunken, tight curls–like myself. I found it interesting how even with a movement that promoted self-love through natural acceptance for all women, there was still a divisive standard that marginalized a good portion of us. Scrolling through social media and YouTube channels in search of women whose hair looked like mine, I found women like Francheska of HeyFranHey, MahoganyCurls, and Taren Guy among others. But where were the sisters with strands like mine who could identify with the struggles of hair maintenance? Who hasn’t spent hours standing in front of the bathroom mirror trying to comb out and twist rough hair that leaves your comb with broken teeth? Where were the sisters whose hair always seemed to resemble a TWA until it was blown, stretched or straightened? Where were the women whose hair seemed to absorb water and moisture like the sponge that it resembled?
Aside from my closest friends, I found myself the odd person out at these natural hair events. There’s the loose curl girls, the loc’d sistahs who can’t use any of the products during the product giveaways, and the 4C girls (usually one or two) in the room talking among each other about how they wished they had more defined and loose curls because maybe being natural would be easier to manage.
But truly being natural is embracing our hair the way it is supposed to grow. Just because your hair doesn’t look like a certain someone’s, that doesn’t mean it is unkempt and untamed. It’s delightfully unique and complicated, just like you. And while I would have loved to have felt right at home during those meet ups, I’m learning to appreciate my complex hair as is. Our hair patterns and textures are vast and should be embraced. And for that to happen, we must examine self-love and acceptance without conditions and standards.
As time passes, we welcome all kinds of beauty products and trends that in no time flat, come and go. But when we were much younger, we could have sworn that the following trends and beauty products from the ’90s were going to be hot forever. Here are a few we had and miss.
The Alternatives hair care line by Soft Sheen Carson was simply a modern take on existing hair care products. The fruity scent and cool lime green packaging is what made this product a winner.
If being beautiful was your job, how far would you go to look forever young? For some Hollywood residents, these weird celebrity beauty treatments aren’t far enough.
No Shave November? Try No Shave Winter. When the weather is cold and, pants are long, there are only a few things worth whipping out a razor for…
Summer is coming. For ladies who would rather wax, it doesn’t have to be a season of pain…
Did you catch these beauty horror stories in the headlines? After reading these stories, free makeup samples, discount manicures, and cheap colored contacts are just a few of the beauty regimens we’ll be avoiding from now on.
We’ve talked about Jazmine Sullivan’s “Mascara” here before. But briefly. And now that her album Reality Show has been out for about two months now, we’ve had time to really let it sink all the way in. I know personally, I’ve picked out my favorite songs and declared Jazmine as one of my faves in the R&B game.
And as most of you know when you declare a fave, it is your duty to bring other people over to your team. So you and the fandom can eventually dominate the world. It was with that mission in mind that I suggested a friend of mine–who just so happens to be a musician– listen to Jazmine Sullivan.
His response was a bit lukewarm. No big deal. I love a challenge. Turns out, I didn’t have to do a whole lot of talking. One day he stopped by my place and Sullivan’s “Masterpiece (Mona Lisa)” just so happened to be playing on my shuffle. And sure enough he was drawn to the genius of the vocal and the production. (For which Jazmine is also responsible.)
So I played the entire album. And then he listened some more on his own. Of course, he loved it and wanted to discuss some of the songs since Jazmine’s work inspires that type of thing. And “Mascara” came up.
We interviewed Jazmine not too long after the album was released and I asked her about the inspiration behind this particular song. She explained that she kept seeing Instagram models who all looked, dressed and posed the same. They even seemed to be leading similar lifestyles.
If you haven’t heard the song, Jazmine sings as one of these women:
Yeah my hair and my ass fake
But so what
I get my rent paid with it
And my tits get me trips
To places I can’t pronounce right
He said he’ll keep it coming if I keep my body tight.
And even though my friend agreed that the song told an incredible story, he doubted whether or not a lot of people would feel comfortable singing it out loud. She sings about a life that so many either shun or are attempting to avoid entirely. He felt like maybe she takes a condescending tone and people would feel like they were being preached to, singing it out loud. I agreed. Nothing wrong with preach singing. That, after all, is the basis of gospel music.
And while it may seem preachy and condescending on the surface, I told him perhaps he would see things differently if he were a woman.
There’s so much pressure for us to look and dress a certain way that hearing yourself sing “Mascara,” in all of its desperation, superficiality and materialism can serve as a good reminder about how wayward these thoughts of altering or conforming ourselves can sound when they’re actually verbalized.
It could be really easy to sing down or preach to the Instagram models of the world. But to me, “Mascara” is a way to sing to our own insecurities, particularly the parts of us that believe our lives would be better if we only looked a certain way. This is why I ride for Jazmine. She crafted this brilliant song that is actually medicine that tastes like candy.
Coconut oil isn’t just great for your hair. From teeth whitening to chicken frying, these surprising uses for coconut oil are all the reason we need to buy in bulk!
As we settle in to Black History Month, the fashion world is taking note of iconic African American women who not only influenced society’s style of dress but also transformed whole communities through their art and their voice as civil rights pioneers. Style Influencers Group founder Christina Brown along with Alexis Felder (from our sister site Bossip) and Jessica Andrews came up with the idea to recreate these icons as part of a #WeAreBlackHistory campaign and did so with a group of the top Black female style influencers around, which includes Danielle Kwateng, Senior Editor of our other sister site, StyeBlazer.com, and our girl Kela Walker from “Ask a Black Man,” just to name a few. Check out a few of the stunning photo recreations below and head over to Elle.com for the full spread.
It’s winter time and that means two things that are not fun: cold weather and dry skin. We can’t do anything about the first drawback of this time of year, but we can absolutely prevent you from walking around with dry, ashy cracked skin — and it might not even cost you anything.
Sister site MommyNoire recently launched a new DIY with Dee video series and in the first clip she taught the editors how to make an amazing vanilla sugar body scrub at home that will keep your skin supple against these damaging elements. Check out the video above to see how easy this is to make and let us know your results!