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Your 2014 Style Upgrade: The Big Chop

22 Jan

ImageLately Lupita Nyong’o, star of the movie 12 Years a Slave and recent SAG and Critics Choice awards, has been gracing the spotlight. Not only is she a talented and award-winning rising actress, fashion gurus are bowing down as she collects her awards.

And she does it all flawlessly with a beautiful buzzed cut.

Last year, Top 7 Perks of Shaving Your Head was one of the most-read posts. So I figured it’s about time I did another post on the subject of hair, just in case you weren’t convinced by Lupita’s flawless presence and my previous post.

When I’m in public, lots of women come up to me expressing their desire to have my haircut. They all usually same something like, “I wish I could cut my hair, but __________ (insert lame excuse here).” I tell them that they can pull it off, but they never believe me. So I guess its time I stop being nice: Ladies, cut the crap. If you want to do it, now is definitely the time. Let it be your big step of 2014, since I know some of y’all already failed at your New Year’s resolutions, while others decided not to make any because they knew they wouldn’t follow through.

YES YOU CAN survive the Big Chop and wear it beautifully.

So let’s address those lame excuses:

Humpty Dumpty Blues: My head is lumpy/ awkwardly shaped
Some of us have dents and ridges in our heads, myself included. That’s an easy fix: don’t shave your head completely bald. Leave about a half of a centimeter (maybe not even that much), just enough to cover the lumps. I was personally concerned about my lumps when I decided to shave my head nearly bald one day—but I got over it.  No one comes over to examine my head for inconsistencies.

Bratz Doll Syndrome: My Head is too big

GRACE JONES

Grace Jones

To be honest, it probably isn’t. And if it is that big, the hair on your head right not probably hiding that fact either. Big heads can be bald too. Wear big earrings and accessories.

He or She?: I’ll look like a boy
Yes you will—and at the same time, no you won’t. That really depends on your bone structure. Gender is a a societal construct and androgyny is in style right now anyway. You’ll be on that Grace Jones/Janelle Monae look. 

Samesies Boredom: I want variety
Even with your hair as short as mine, you can mix it up. How many colors did Amber Rose have when she wore buzz cuts?

A ROSE BLONDEA ROSE MIX

Or you could go with a more natural honey brown dye. Or do like Grace Jones: vary it in lengths and shapes, add texturizer, sculpt designs. Get creative.

I think everyone should cut off their hair at least once, just for the freedom and experience. Unless you’re super attached like those Top Model contestants that cry when Tyra gives them makeovers. Or you just really don’t want to. I’m not a Natural Hair Nazi; Do what you do. I’m talking to the ladies who’ve ever considered it but are hesitant. Buzz cuts are easy, freeing, and look good all the time. If you need more reasons to cut your hair, check out my other post on buzz cuts.

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Life Lessons from the Makeup Counter

16 Oct

Wearing Blue Lipstick (and how it applies to life)

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I usually have to fight with my friends and family about the amount of make-up I wear.  I constantly receive unsolicited advice that “a little foundation wouldn’t kill you,” or that I should put some color on my lips and play up my eyes. Sometimes I’ll apply a smidge of eyeliner, but I‘ve always preferred the no-makeup look and often become overwhelmed at the sight of anything more than neutral gloss on my lips. I never thought I’d receive some of the best life advice while sitting at the makeup counter in Sephora.

I had recently decided to upgrade my look and take more fashion risks, so there was one thing I was itching to try: blue lipstick. Yet, after visiting the popular makeup counters and a few drugstores, I couldn’t find any blue that worked with my brown complexion.

At a Sephora makeup counter, I met a makeup artist who was wearing a bright purple lip color with an ombre affect. I’d previously visited another Sephora and didn’t see any blue lipstick, but I figured I’d ask this woman, since she also seemed to be into eye-catching colors.

“We don’t have blue,” she told me. Just as I was about to mark the trip unsuccessful, she said, “but I can make it for you.” She made her purple color by blending cream eyeliners because the store didn’t carry the bold lip color she wanted. She said people think products must be used in the way they are marketed; however, using them in other ways can get you the results you want. I watched as she created a perfect azure blue.

sb top colorMaybe I was a gullible customer falling prey to this seasoned saleswoman’s pitch. However, I thought about what she said and how it directly applied to experiences I constantly run into as a young adult.

Watching the makeup artist, Kim, test out eyeliner cream and pencils on my lips, it reminded me a few things:

1. You don’t have to follow every social rule. I admire rebels—who doesn’t? Nothing restricts us from using eye makeup on other parts of the face. I think it’s cool when women shop in men’s stores. I appreciate when people say hello (or at least smile) in elevators. I respect women who ask men on dates. People who violate the norm teach us to be daring, try new things, and live life on our own terms.

2.Take care of inner problems first, otherwise they’ll show up in your outer world. Before applying the cream to my lips Kim applied lip balm, explaining that it would moisturize and ensure that the lines and creases in my lips wouldn’t show through the color. My lips have always been extremely dry—so lipstick would often highlight my chapped lips. Yet, applying shea butter in the morning usually takes care of that problem, making my lips healthier; otherwise, the blue color would be overshadowed by my raisin-looking lips.

Of course, this doesn’t solely apply to lip color. My inner fear of getting rejected from grad school emerged as procrastination on my applications. My close friend’s self-esteem issues projects outward in her relationships with men.Sometimes the things we think we’re hiding underneath a touch of foundation and concealer shows up in everyday situations.

3. Be creative with your resources. You won’t always have exactly what you want, but you might have just enough of the right ingredient for what you are looking for. At first, Kim put this metallic blue eyeliner cream on my lips. I hated it. And it was the only blue cream they had in the store. Then Kim tried something else: she crushed a blue eyeliner color that I picked out and mixed it with lip balm. I looked at this woman as if she’d just painted the Sistine Chapel, and I couldn’t believe how innovative she was. A little creativity goes a long way.

4. The opinion that matters most is your own. There will always be tons of opposing ideas and viewpoints about the way you look. While walking through the mall in my blue lipstick, I got tons of complements and a few blank, yet intense stares. At my home away from home, my cousin and aunt loved it too. However, my immediate family was disgusted. They said it was too Goth for their tastes. They went on for 30 minutes about how much they hated it. Yet, I didn’t see what they saw. Looking in the mirror, I loved it more and more with each glance. Oh well—can’t please everybody.

Tips to D.I.Y:

  • Mix 2 colors together. Blend a lighter and darker blue until you create a color that works best with your complexion.
  • If you can’t find a cream that works, crush eyeliner pencil colors and blend them with a colorless lip balm.
  • Amp up the eye makeup. I usually don’t wear very much of anything on my face, but with a bold blue color, I had to add a little eye shadow, eye liner, and mascara to complete the look.
  • Add a pair of glasses. Wearing glasses, especially thick-rimmed glasses, with the blue color makes the look chic, like you just stepped out of the magazine.

sb5 (2)

Enjoy!

Stylish Statements: Mixing Prints

13 Aug

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How to Mix Prints

Next week, I plan on posting a blog entitled “20 Things Women Should do in their 20’s,” and included on that list was: take fashion risks. So before writing that post, I figured I should take my own advice. Now, I’m no fashion expert and could be doing this all wrong (feel free to laugh at or mock my style if you feel like it), but I love prints and patterns, and am drawn to the mixed-prints trend. Mixing prints is a fun way to upgrade your look, bend the rules, and take fashion risks.

So here’s my advice on how to best mix prints.

Treat stripes as a neutral. Stripe shirts will match with a lot of prints, especially floral.  mx stripes

Do the same for micro prints.

mx jacket

Pair smaller prints with larger ones.

mx lep and pnk aztec

Match colors: blue with blue, black with black, etc

mx flag1

Cheat with lace: a solid lace shirt can act as a kind of print if partnered with a similar pattern.

mx lace

Experiment until you get it right. I’m not the best at this. Sometimes I ask my sister what she thinks and she just shakes her head. But sometimes I try throwing things together and they work. So have fun with it.

Own It! “In all that you do, do it with confidence” ~Cory Hindorff (Cycle 20 ANTM male model)

Here are my favorites from my Mixed Print Pintrest board

pintrest mixed pints

Need more ideas: check out Solange Knowles’ style. Shes a mixed-prints expert!

Related Posts: Top 7 Perks of Shaving your head

Stylish Statements: African Inspired Looks

The Pressure to be Pretty

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