All Articles Tagged "style"
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.
Did you see the Billboard Music Awards this past weekend? The old-fashioned rules say no white before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. But stars have been killing it in white for months and ignoring the rules.
Not only did these stars brave coming out to the tabloids, but they grabbed the reigns on their life with everything from their sexuality to the style, becoming fashion icons for the LGBT community, and even the straight one!
Ok, so in case you haven’t noticed, we’re a little bit obsessed with June Ambrose. The celebrity stylist and social media superstar is one of our favorite people because of her constant positivity and her endless flow of enviable looks, 1o of which we’ve compiled here for some afternoon happiness.
Just perusing through June’s Instagram–and with more than eight thousand photos, she’s a pretty prolific ‘grammer–can turn your frown upside down in a matter of minutes. That’s why this gloomy Tuesday we decided to add a little June to our spring, and look back at some of the stylist’s best fashion moments to cheer us up.
Aside from styling and creating custom items of clothing for famous faces like Jay Z*–she’s worked with him for 17 years and did his first music video–Mariah Carey, Will Smith, and Ciara, it seems like June is popping up all over the place promoting her fashion knowledge, from TV appearances, to awards shows, to events–she most recently made an appearance at Howard University in DC (see below) as part of the Harlem Fashion Row Conversations With… series presented by McCafe.
Read more about June Ambrose at StyleBlazer.com
Appropriately labeled the Beauty Issue, inside the mag, these musical heavy hitters are discussing self-expression, personal style, and, of course, hair. Erykah told Essence:
“I view my hair and clothes as functional art. I’m my own stylist and I love it, but I am not trying to make a statement.”
And yet, Miss Badu does just that every time we catch a glimpse of her on a red carpet, performing on stage, or posing in an ad for Givenchy. Unsurprisingly, though, her take on her personal style is shared by fellow cover beauty Ledisi. Echoing some of the same sentiments she shared with us in a recent interview, the New Orleans-bred singer said:
“Although I’m known for my long, colorful locs, I still don’t take my hair too seriously. I experiment a lot, dyeing it and constantly switching styles to grab attention. My hair is one of my best accessories and changing it helps express who I am.”
The baby of the bunch, Solange, also shared her view on style, pointing out that everyone should be allowed to dictate what works for their own bodies, saying:
“We all have the option of how we want to express ourselves through our life, hair, style or whatever we decide. We shouldn’t be pigeonholed into any one category.”
Amen to that. These three gorgeous Essence covers are available on newsstands today and you can check out each one solo on the next few pages. Which one are you picking up?
“A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones,” Pantone boasts of their 2014 Color of the Year. We couldn’t agree more! With a few daytime outfits featuring radiant orchid already created, we decided to style those same punchy pants, mesmerizing accessories, and bold dress for evening.
Read on to see 3 outfits perfect for tackling your nighttime obligations in style.
Perk up a neutral look with attention-grabbing radiant orchid accessories. Here, we chose a crocodile embossed clutch and a highly pigmented lipstick. And yes, lipstick is an accessory.
For a match made in heaven, pair with high-waist printed shorts and a sleeveless blouse with a jeweled neckline. Pick up the sheen of the silky top with metallic heels. A fab pointed toe option flatters all. This date night look is failure-proof.
Each spring we’re all about creating a fresh start, especially if that means making room for new pieces in our wardrobes. With loads of seasonal trends to chose from – leather, faux fur, kelly green, and animal print to name a few – this time we’ve decided to invest in a trend that has yearlong staying power (at least according to the people over at Pantone). Yes, we think Radiant Orchid, the 2014 Color of the Year, is up to the task.
Gain inspiration from three outfits styled with deep shades of Radiant Orchid and sunlit adventures in mind. Vivid add-ons, a bright pant, and a vibrant dress ensure there’s a look catered for every comfort zone. Whether you prefer pops of the hue, or you’re confident enough to rock the color head-to-toe, we got you. What are you waiting for? Radiant Orchid is waiting for you…
A gorgeous shift dress is upgraded when doused in radiant orchid. The bold color and piping detail are extremely flattering.
We suggest keeping the rest of the color palette in neutral territory. An olive trench with matching black piping and a fresh floral loafer is a great alternative to wearing heels. Simple black and gold studs and a rich brown satchel tie the look together. Let’s hear it for the stylish employee of the month!
It ain’t easy being kelly green, but we’ve found an amazing trouser, an embellished clutch, and a gorgeous dress in the underestimated hue. Earlier we styled the look for daytime, but now we’re ready to ease the trend into evening with darker pairings, luxe hardware, and heels that are a little closer to the heavens. Click on to find looks appropriate for a mature St. Patty’s evening or suitable for stepping out any night of the week.
Teach a lesson on minimalistic style with this look. Classic shape meets refreshing color with a pair of kelly green trousers. Pair these tailored beauties with a funky striped blouse, a chic bag, chunky heel, and small earrings. Keep the add-ons in a dark hue like black to let the pants really pop.
In search of a vibrant hue that turns heads? Look no further because kelly green has stepped up to claim its rightful place in your wardrobe. A slim pant, demure dress, and pretty accessories all splashed in kelly green are the basis for three enviable daytime outfits. Fresh as newly cut grass, prepare to peep toned down separates ideal for St. Patrick’s Day and beyond. Click on for more looks that allow this underestimated shade to truly shine.
Take One for the Team
Walk with your head held high as you bar hop in style, thanks in part to these amazing kelly green trousers. For a pretty-sporty vibe, rock the bottoms with a floral jersey-inspired tank, a jean jacket with sweatshirt sleeves, and comfy sneakers. For a final feminine touch, add a swipe of coral lipstick.
Jourdan Dunn has an issue with the lack of minority representation on the fashion runway, claiming some designers use one token woman of color in their shows – and get congratulated for it.
“I don’t know why people applaud designers for having just one ethnic model,” she told Miss Vogue. “It’s not like only one type of woman loves fashion.”
She continued: “I find it weird when [model] agents say, You’re the only black girl booked for the show. Isn’t it great? Why is it great? It’s not great.”
Read more about Jourdan Dunn at EurWeb.com